Traditional lighting technologies, such as incandescent and fluorescent lamps, no longer provide the best value. About 90% of the electricity consumed by traditional incandescent lamps produces heat instead of illumination.
Light-emitting diode (LED) lamps are as efficient as CFLs, last about 25-35 times longer than incandescent lamps, require less maintenance, and are mercury-free, unlike CFLs.
Magnetic ballasts used with fluorescent light fixtures prior to 1979 contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and have to be disposed as hazardous waste.
Electronic (high-frequency) ballasts are cost-effective, 12% more efficient than magnetic ballasts, and eliminate flicker and hum. The most energy-efficient instant-start and programmed rapid-start electronic ballasts can be used with LEDs.
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