Switch to CFLs or LEDs

Replacing just 5 incandescent light bulbs can save $60 or more per year in electricity costs!  Upgrading to CFLs or LEDs is one of the easiest ways to save energy and money.

Easy
Households: 2 completed, 2 committed
110
Points ?
$60
Annual Savings
$3 - $10
Upfront Cost
These are estimates
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Energy and water savings

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265
kWh Electricity
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0
Therms Natural Gas
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0
Gallons Gas
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0
Gallons Water
  • Save energy and money
  • Choice of many colors and intensities
  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

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Overview

The Action
We will replace our standard incandescent bulbs with CFLs or LEDs.
Is this action for me?
Yes!  Anyone can do this action.  
When and Who?
This action can be done at any time by anyone.
How long will it take?
Quick - just a bit of time to choose the right bulb and install.
What is the cost?
About $3-10 per light bulb. They cost a bit more initially, but last for years!

Benefits

  • Save energy and money

  • Choice of many colors and intensities

  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

Resources

Financing

Weatherization services & energy-efficiency upgrades for low-income homes.

Programs

Sign up for a No-Cost Green House Call with CYES and start saving energy.

Information

Find and compare energy-efficient light bulbs.

The Basics

Energy efficient CFL and LED bulbs can provide the same amount and quality of light as a traditional incandescent bulb, however at a much lower cost and longer lifetime per bulb. They also come in a wide variety of sizes and colors and can make lighting fun!

Checklist

Identify incandescent bulbs
Select the right energy efficient bulb for your home
Choose between CFLs and LEDs
Change your bulbs and save!

Lighting has evolved

New technologies have transformed lighting in recent decades and there are many great new options for energy efficient lighting.  New lighting technology is more efficient at converting energy into light, resulting in less heat loss and bulbs that are cooler to the touch.  They are also more durable, shining bright for 10 to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.  The benefits are so great that incandescent bulbs are actually being phased out.  As of 2014 they are no longer allowed to be manufactured or imported in the U.S.

Choose the right bulb for your home

When you go to purchase new bulbs there are many types to choose from!  Before you head to the store, think about the area where you will be lighting.  What time of day will you use the light?  Does the bulb need to work with a dimmer?  For daytime use in office areas, cool white light will help keep you alert.  For spaces used in the evening, a warmer light contributes to a calmer and more relaxing environment.  

Both LEDs and CFLs are available in a variety of colors and levels of brightness. They can also be used in most lamps or fixtures.  You can even get really fancy with remote controlled lights where you can change color, brightness and effects right from your phone!  Learn more in this Energy Star video.  If this is all a bit overwhelming, just ask for help at the hardware store and they can help you find the right bulb for you.

CFLs or LEDs?

There are two main types of energy-saving bulbs on the market today: CFLs and LEDs.  Here’s the lowdown on choosing between CFLs and LEDs:

LEDs are the longest-lasting, lowest cost and most environmentally-friendly option. They shine 25 times longer and use only 25% of the energy of an incandescent bulb.  They also contain no hazardous materials, so they are easily disposed of.  They cost a bit more than CFLs initially, but they last longer so are lower cost over time.  Recent technology advances have made LEDs available in many different levels of brightness, types and sizes that fit most uses.

CFLs are generally less expensive than LEDs.  They use a bit more energy than LEDs, but are still much more efficient than incandescent bulbs. They last 10 times more than a traditional bulb.  However, CFLs must be handled and disposed of with care, as they contain mercury, which poses a health and environmental hazard.  CFLs also take a bit longer to get to full brightness, particularly in the cold.

Change your bulbs and save!

Once you’ve replaced your traditional bulbs, you can relax and forget about it.  These long lasting bulbs won’t need to be changed again for a long time.  Spend the extra time figuring out what to do with the savings!