It helps to turn lights off when you’re not using them. But the real key to savings is also switching to new lighting technologies.
New standards help you save on lighting
Inefficient incandescent light bulbs are being phased out as new, federal energy-efficiency standards take effect between 2012 and 2014. New light bulb options use 25 percent to 80 percent less energy.
How to choose the right replacement light
Energy-saving options: Good, better, best
With any light, first make sure it does what you want it to do — that it’s appropriate for the task. That may mean dimmable lights for your dining room or kitchen. And you want to make sure it provides the right amount of light — or lumens — for the setting.
Here are energy-saving replacement options for traditional incandescents:
- Good: Energy-saving incandescents. These halogen incandescents are about 25 percent more efficient and last up to three times longer than old-school incandescent bulbs.*
- Better: Compact fluorescent lights. ENERGY STAR® CFLs are about 75 percent more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs.* CFLs are generally the most cost-efficient replacement right now.
- Best: LEDs. Light emitting diode bulbs are 75 percent to 80 percent more efficient and last up to 25 times longer than incandescents.* Since LED technology is still maturing these bulbs are more expensive, but prices are starting to come down.
To help you when you’re shopping for replacement bulbs, see our comparison chart (PDF) with more details on these three energy-saving options.
Think lumens instead of watts
When you need a replacement for an incandescent light bulb, compare lumens or brightness. For example, a 100-watt incandescent produces about 1,600 lumens. You can get the same amount of light, or lumens, with most 23-watt CFLs.
Check the Lighting Facts label
To make comparisons easier, lighting packages will now include Lighting Facts labels — which look like nutrition labels on food packages — that show light output, watts, lumens per watt, color temperature and more.