Replace your inefficient light bulbs

Why? Inefficient incandescent bulbs, despite their low initial price tag, are costly to run and replace in the long term. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use about 75% less energy and last at least ten times longer, saving you money on energy bills and lighting costs. Halogen light bulbs and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) also provide high-quality light while using less energy than inefficient incandescent bulbs.
What to look for:
  • Choose ENERGY STAR® certified bulbs for guaranteed efficiency and performance. As CFL technology has matured, problems like flickering, long start-up times, early burnout, and poor light quality have been solved. ENERGY STAR certified bulbs and fixtures must meet strict performance specifications, so today's CFLs produce high-quality light to meet your expectations while saving you money.
  • Find a CFL bulb with about 1/4 the wattage of your old incandescent bulb, since CFL bulbs require less power to produce the same amount of light. Most packaging will list equivalent wattage, so you can match the new bulb to what you formerly used.
  • Consider LEDs. High-quality LEDs can be more efficient, durable, and versatile than other lights. Unlike incandescent and CFL bulbs, which emit light and heat in all directions, LEDs emit light in a specific direction. Try LEDs when you need to focus light on a particular surface, like a kitchen counter or reading area.
  • Shop for style. Today's efficient light bulbs come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes to suit most lighting fixtures and decor. Choose the bulb that best suits the room where you want to install it. Learn more about choosing the right lights for your home at the ENERGY STAR Light Quality Guide website.
  • You can find CFL bulbs at hardware, grocery, drug, and specialty lighting stores.

Things to think about:
  • Install efficient light bulbs in the lights that you use most often, like those in the kitchen, family room or outside. Consider replacing all your bulbs if you can.
  • If you prefer the warm light of incandescent bulbs, try an efficient bulb labeled "warm white" or with a color temperature around 2700°K. You can find a bulb's color temperature on its packaging.

Good to know:
  • Many retailers sell dimmers, timers, and motion sensors specially designed to work effectively with CFL bulbs. Make sure to purchase and install hardware that will work well together.
  • If you're planning on using CFL bulbs outside, choose bulbs and fixtures designed for outdoor use.

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Tip Details

Save up to $35 over bulb life

Up-front costs: $2 to $4 for CFLs to replace 60- to 100-watt incandescent bulbs

Pays back in: Less than one year

Rebate: We've partnered with local retailers to bring you LEDs at discounted prices. Visit for more information.