You've seen them when you're shopping at Home Depot, but haven't picked any up yet, right ? They use 75% less energy, and throw off less heat. Each one you swap will last almost seven years, and save you $9/year. That's $63 for each one you swap out ! While we have a large number of tips for saving energy, very few are as simple as this one.
According to Energy Star:
If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.
( editor's note: the mercury concern about CFL's is bit overplayed...see this article on snopes.com )
Choosing the right CFL:
- CFLs work best in fixtures that allow airflow, such as table lamps, floor lamps, wall sconces, pendants, and outdoor fixtures.
- For recessed fixtures, it's better to use a reflector-style CFL than a regular spiral-style CFL. The design of the reflector distributes the light down to your task area more evenly.
- For light fixtures connected to a dimmer or three-way lighting, you'll need to use a special CFL designed to work in those applications. Look for CFLs that are made to use with dimmers and three-way lighting setups.
- Choose a CFL that offers a shade of white light that works best for you. For example, while most CFLs provide warm white light for your home, you should choose a cooler color for task lighting.
- To choose a CFL with the right amount of light, find a CFL that is labeled as equivalent to the old style incandescent bulb you are replacing. Manufacturers include this information right on the packaging to make it easy to choose the equivalent bulb. Common terms include "Soft White 75" or "60 Watt Replacement."
You can purchase CFL light bulbs in our gadget store....And, you can feel good about making the swap too, as it's wonderful for the planet.