Most people don’t give a lot of thought to their lighting until you flip a switch and the light doesn’t go on. For many of us this is a nuisance although one that can be fixed with relative ease.
Now consider you are older, live independently, or have some mobility concerns and your hallway light doesn’t come on when you flip the switch. It is evening time and to be able to see to get to your bathroom and bedroom you need that light, which is burned out. The steps to change the light include, getting the step stool, having a replacement bulb on hand, climbing the step stool, being able to unscrew the burned out bulb, install the new one, climb back down the step stool and return it to the closet or garage. There are many points in this process that could be dangerous and be the cause of an injury.
If this bulb is a regular incandescent this is a process that will be repeated with frequency as this hallway light is used. What are the choices to limit the need for this change out? CFL’s – the curly q lights do have a longer life, although it is shortened with frequent on and offs, it does have a warm up time to reach its full light output, it also contains mercury so if it is broken in this process is a hazard requiring special clean up and disposal. The most important consideration for me when using a CFL is if this is a transition placement where I will want full light when I turn on this light- a hallway, stairway, bathroom, garage, front door are all places where I will want light immediately so not where I would use a CFL. LED’s are now becoming more economical to purchase, they are a major energy saver when compared to the incandescent and they have a life of 10-20 years. This is a choice that most likely will eliminate the need for a change of this light for as long you are living in this home.
If you have an older loved one or someone with mobility concerns who is living in their own home a switch in the lights that are essential for their safety to LED’s would be a very good investment in their safety and security.