The switch from incandescent light bulbs to energy-efficient light bulbs is inevitable – so why not start saving money now? In fact, the traditional incandescent light bulb is becoming increasingly difficult to find as they are no longer manufactured. While the initial price of energy-efficient bulbs is typically higher than traditional incandescents, newer bulbs cost less to operate, saving you money over the life of the bulb. This also means (a lot) less time spent changing bulbs around the house.
An average household dedicates about 5% of its energy budget to lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $75 each year.
You have many choices in energy-efficient lighting. The most popular light bulbs available are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
Halogen incandescents have a capsule inside that holds gas around a filament to increase bulb efficiency. They are available in a wide range of shapes and colors, and they can be used with dimmers. Halogen incandescent bulbs meet the federal minimum energy efficiency standard, but there are now many more efficient options to meet your lighting needs.
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are simply curly versions of the long tube fluorescent lights you may already have in a kitchen or garage. Because they use less electricity than traditional incandescents, typical CFLs can pay for themselves in less than nine months, and then start save you money each month.
Light-emitting diode, or LED, lights are a newer option for residential lighting. They are significantly more energy-efficient than either incandescent or CFL bulbs and last 8 to 25 times longer than halogen incandescents.
LED bulbs are currently available in many products such as replacements for 40W, 60W, and 75W traditional incandescent bulbs. LEDs work well indoors and outdoors because of their durability and performance in cold environments.
Today’s energy-efficient bulbs are available in the wide range of colors and light levels you’ve come to expect. New lighting standards took effect in 2012, and money-saving options such as halogen incandescent, CFL, and LED light bulbs are available today. For high-quality products with the greatest energy savings, choose bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR rating.
Do you use energy-efficient lighting in your home? Have you noticed a difference in your electric bill or how often you are changing bulbs?