Lighten Up (and Save)

Reader Contribution by Earth Gauge
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The average household in the United States spends over 2000 dollars per year on energy for heating and cooling, lighting, running appliances and other activities. Swapping traditional light bulbs for energy-efficient bulbs is one of the easiest ways to start saving energy at home and at work, especially during fall and winter, when fewer daylight hours and cooler temperatures keep people inside. Energy-efficient light bulbs typically cost a bit more at the time of purchase, but in the long run, they’ll save you money because they last longer and use less energy.

Viewer Tip: Replacing 15 traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs can save you up to 50 dollars per year in energy costs. There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing an energy-efficient bulb: energy-saving incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs). Check out these facts on how energy-efficient light bulbs stack up against traditional bulbs:

Energy-saving Incandescent

Uses about 25 percent less energy.

Lasts up to three times longer.

Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL)

Uses about 75 percent less energy.

Lasts up to 10 times longer.

Emits less heat.

Light Emitting Diode (LED)

Uses about 75-80 percent less energy.

Last up to 25 times longer.

Emits less heat.

For high-quality products with the best energy savings, look for light bulbs that have earned the Energy Star.

Burned out bulb? Contact your county solid waste division or check their website to find out how to properly dispose of old light bulbs.

Labels on light bulb packages are switching from watts to lumens. What are lumens? Learn more from

(Sources: Department of Energy, “How Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Compare with Traditional Incandescents,”; Department of Energy, “Lighting Choices to Save you Money,”; Energy Star,