Lighting accounts for about 20% of the electric bill in the average U.S. home. Switch to ENERGY STAR certified compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and light emitting diode (LED) bulbs and save. They provide the same amount of brightness as standard bulbs and use less energy. Each incandescent bulb you replace with an ENERGY STAR certified light bulb will save you about $10 in energy costs each year. Imagine if you replace all of your light bulbs!
With new technology, ENERGY STAR light bulbs provide warm and inviting light without the flickering and humming of older fluorescent bulbs. ENERGY STAR certified light bulbs can replace regular bulbs in lamps and are available in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes. They can also be purchased in dimmable models and models compatible with motion sensors.
Purchase discounted ENERGY STAR certified light bulbs:
Save Money with ENERGY STAR Light Bulbs
While both ENERGY STAR certified CFLs and LED bulbs save you energy and money, LED bulbs provide the greatest savings. The chart below outlines lifetime savings that can be attributed to using an LED or a CFL instead of an incandescent light bulb:
*Assumes 3.2 hours of daily use at $0.15 cost per kWh
**Lifetime cost to operate for the same length of time equivalent to one LED bulb, including incandescent and CFL replacement costs.
How to Choose the Right Light Bulb
Step 1: Find the right style of bulb. CFL and LED bulbs are now available in many shapes and sizes for your needs. For example, CFL and LED bulbs are now made for 3-way, dimmable and outdoor lighting. Check the packaging for the right bulb style, base size and correct usage. Check out ENERGY STAR’s interactive Choose a Light Guide to help you find the best one.
Step 2: Look for the Lighting Facts Label on the light bulb packaging. The Lighting Facts Label is a tool to compare different light bulbs. The label provides a summary of a bulb’s light output (lumens), the amount of energy needed to light the product (watts), color of light (Kelvin), and whether or not it is dimmable.
Step 3: Pick the right color of light. CFLs and LED bulbs come in a variety of shades of light, from yellow, to white, to blue. Check the Kelvins (K) on the package to find the right color for you.
- Warm yellow light (2700-3000K) – standard color of incandescent bulbs
- Cool white light (3500-4100K) – good for kitchens and work spaces
- Blue light (5000-6500K) – good for reading
Step 4: Look at the amount of lumens (not watts) to find out the brightness of the bulb. To save energy and money, find the bulbs with the brightness (lumens) you need. Then, choose the one that needs the least amount of energy (watts). To make it easy, many LED and CFL packages tell you the wattage of the incandescent bulb it replaces – which is its “brightness equivalent.” Learn how much light output you need.
How to Safely Dispose of CFLs
Because CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, EPA recommends that consumers take advantage of available local recycling options for CFLs. You can contact your local municipal solid waste agency directly, or go to EPA’s CFL Webpage or www.earth911.org to identify local recycling options. If your CFL breaks, we recommend that you follow EPA’s instructions for Cleaning up a Broken CFL.
ENERGY STAR Light Bulbs Website
Learn more about ENERGY STAR certified CFLs and LED bulbs.
Mass Save CFL Lighting Video
This video explains the different shapes, sizes and shades of light of CFL light bulbs to help you with your lighting purchases.
Learn more about how to choose energy-efficient light bulbs.
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