It’s possible to save money on electricity while maintaining good light quality. Lighting represents about 20 percent of a home’s electricity bill. Switching from incandescent bulbs to ENERGY STAR®-qualified CFLs is the easiest step you can take to reduce your energy bill and help the environment.
Compared to incandescent light bulbs, ENERGY STAR-qualified CFLs:
- Use about a quarter of the energy to produce the same amount of light;
- Last about 10 times longer and produce about 75 percent less heat, which reduces cooling costs;
- Save about $30 or more in electricity costs over the lifetime of the bulb;
- Have manufacturer-backed warranties; and
- Meet strict energy efficiency and performance requirements.
In 2007, Americans saved approximately$1.5 billion by switching to ENERGY STAR-qualified CFLs. The energy saved could light all the households in a city the size of Washington, D.C., for more than 30 years. Put another way, changing these bulbs removes as much greenhouse gas pollution as planting 2.85 million acres of trees or taking 2 million cars off the road each year.
It’s best to install fluorescent light fixtures in all ceiling and wall fixtures that will be on for more than two hours each day. These often include fixtures in the kitchen and living room, and sometimes those in bathrooms, halls, bedrooms and other higher demand locations.
Another effective money saver is to install dimmer switches to conserve electricity because they optimize the amount of light used. Three-way light bulbs also save energy because they can be adjusted to specific lighting needs.