New Lightbulbs: What's the
Difference? - from Energy.gov
Traditional incandescent bulbs
use a lot of energy to produce light.
- 90% of the energy is given off as
- That lost energy is
money we are throwing away
Newer energy-saving lightbulbs provide
the choices in colors and light levels you've come to
expect. The new lights are also much more efficient -- so
they save you money.
What Are My Lighting Choices?
Three of the most common
energy-efficient lighting types include energy-saving
incandescents, CFLs, and LEDs. You can find these in most
hardware and home improvement stores, and they are all more
energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Energy Saving Incandescents -- about
25% energy savings
Energy-saving, or halogen,
incandescents have a capsule inside that holds gas around a
filament to increase bulb efficiency. This type of
incandescent bulb is about 25% more efficient and can last
up to three times longer than traditional incandescent
bulbs. They are available in a wide range of shapes and
colors, and can be used with dimmers.
CFLs -- about 75% energy savings
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are
simply curly versions of the long tube fluorescent lights
you may already have in a kitchen or garage. Because they
use less electricity than traditional incandescents, typical
CFLs can pay for themselves in less than nine months, and
then start saving you money each month. An ENERGY
STAR-qualified CFL uses about one-fourth the energy and
lasts ten times longer than a comparable incandescent bulb
that puts out the same amount of light.
CFL bulbs are available in a range of
light colors, including warm (white to yellow) tones that
were not as available when first introduced. Some are
encased in a cover to further diffuse the light and provide
a similar shape to the bulbs you are replacing. If you are
looking for a dimmable bulb, check the package to make sure
you purchase a CFL with that feature.
Fluorescent bulbs contain a small
amount of mercury, and they should always be recycled at the
end of their lifespan. Many retailers recycle CFLs for free.
See EPA's website for
LEDs -- about 75%–80% energy
The light emitting diode (LED) are a
type of solid-state lighting -- semiconductors that convert
electricity into light. Although once known mainly for
indicator and traffic lights, LEDs in white light, general
illumination applications are one of today's most
energy-efficient and rapidly-developing technologies.ENERGY
STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20%–25% of the energy and
last up to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent
bulbs they replace.
LED bulbs are currently available in
many products such as replacements for 40W, 60W, and 75W
traditional incandescents, reflector bulbs often used in
recessed fixtures, and small track lights. While LEDs are
more expensive at this early stage, they still save money
because they last a long time and have very low energy use.
As with other electronics, prices are expected to come down
as more products enter the market.