Lighting accounts for about 7% of a home’s energy costs. CFL bulbs use 66% less energy and last up to ten times as long as incandescent bulbs. They now come in a range of sizes, so they’ll fit almost any type of fixture, and styles, including full-spectrum, which mimics natural sunlight.
Test out one of each – Soft white, Daylight, and Bright White, and see which ones work best in your house. Traditional incandescent bulbs use more energy because the majority of electricity generates heat vs. light. Also consider choosing the CFL bulbs that have a ‘covered’ dome over the spiral bulb for safety and a better looking fixture – especially for recessed lighting.
Sample performance: Replace 20 incandescent bulbs that are 60 Watts with a life expectancy of 1,500 hours, with CFLs that only use 14 Watts and last 8,000 to 10,000 hours.
The ROI Calculation is based on replacing 20 bulbs that typically burn 750 hours per year with dimmable CFLs that cost between $1.00 and $3.00 and the average cost of electricity that is $2.76 per day. Each bulb saves on average $4 to $7 per year. Dome ‘covered’ and Dimmable CFLs are still higher in cost than the ‘corkscrew’ typical models, so the Light Emitting Diode (LED) market is picking up traction quickly. LEDs also do not contain mercury and they last between 50,000 and 80,000 hours!