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One of the simplest ways to save energy at home? Lighting improvements.

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 have been phased out through new, federal energy-efficiency standards that became fully effective Jan. 1, 2014. New light bulb options use 25 percent to 80 percent less energy.

How to choose the right replacement light
With any light, first make sure 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.

Energy-saving options: Good, better, best
Here are energy-saving replacement options for traditional incandescents:
  • Good: Energy-saving incandescents. These halogen incandescents use about 25 percent less energy and last up to three times longer than old-school incandescent bulbs.* Good for low use areas.
  • Better: Compact fluorescent lights. ENERGY STAR® CFLs use about 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs.* Better for areas that don’t need dimming.
  • Best: LEDs. Light emitting diode bulbs use about 80 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer than incandescents.* Best for high-use areas. LED bulbs are more expensive to buy since the technology is still maturing, but prices have come down a lot recently.

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 a standard incandescent light bulb, compare lumens (brightness). For example, a 60-watt standard incandescent produces about 800 lumens. You can get the same amount of light, or lumens, with most 13-watt CFLs or 10-watt LEDs.

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 brightness (lumens), estimated yearly energy cost (dollars), life (years), light appearance (from “warm” to “cool”) and energy used (watts).

Learn more


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