Go with the Fluo!

Incandescents Versus CFLs -- Out with the Old, in with the New

Call it pinching pennies, but if you could buy a light bulb that uses 75 percent less energy than your current lights use, you’d probably give it a try. If that same energy-efficient bulb also saves you $30 or more in electricity costs over its lifetime, that would mean $30 more in your pocket – right? And that’s just one bulb! Lighting accounts for as much as 20 percent of a home’s energy use. Add up the savings if you replaced every old incandescent bulb in your home with a shiny new compact fluorescent light bulb.

According to ENERGY STAR, if every American home replaced just one standard light bulb with a CFL, collectively we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year and save more than $600 million in annual energy costs. The benefits of CFLs go beyond dollars and cents – those 3 million CFLs would also prevent the same amount of greenhouse gases that is generated by 800,000 cars!

Incandescent Bulb Comparison CFL
60 Watts Power Use 15 Watts
1,000 Hours Life Span 10,000 Hours
$262.80 Cost for 5 Years of Light
at $0.10 per kWh
$0.50 Approximate Purchase Cost $2 to $4

How to Choose the Right Light

CFLs come in all shapes and sizes and fit almost any fixture, for indoor and outdoor use. The typical home has as many as 40 light sockets. ENERGY STAR-qualified CFLs provide the greatest savings when used in fixtures that are on for a substantial amount of time each day – your kitchen, family room and bedrooms. If you think you’ll use a light fixture for at least 15 minutes at a time or several hours per day, then you should install a CFL in that fixture and begin to realize the savings. Matching the right CFL to the right kind of fixture will help ensure that it will perform properly and last a long time. See ENERGY STAR’S Choose a Light Guide for advice.