Light Up Your Life:
Tips for Efficient Lighting
Bin im Garten / Wikimedia Commons
Ever since George W.
Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 which
boosted efficiency standards for lighting, consumers have seen a surge
in light bulb choices, from halogen
incandescent bulbs and LEDs,
As the law is implemented over the next few years, prices for energy efficient bulbs are dropping. Here are some tips for lighting up your life with less energy:
- Find the
right fit. Use this fun interactive website
from Energy Star to see which bulbs can be used in which fixture types,
including 3-way and dimmable options. This handy comparison
chart from bulbrite also allows you to pick the right replacement for your
Incandescent? LED? CFL? From an efficiency standpoint, LEDs are the best
option. They also achieve full brightness instantly and work well with dimmers.
Although the sticker price is still well above other options, prices are going
down and they can last over twice as long as CFLs. Read this field
test of LEDs to choose the best option.
- Check for
the Energy Star label. Without the Energy Star label, manufacturer’s claims
aren’t verified. Be sure you see the blue star label on bulbs you purchase.
Lumens. With efficient bulbs, the amount of energy it takes to light a room
is less important than the amount of light it produces. “Lumens” is a measure
of this light and is labeled on new bulbs. To learn how to decipher a bulb’s
lumens rating, watch
CFLs. Because of their mercury content, many jurisdictions require you to
recycle CFLs. Use this guide
from the Environmental Protection Agency to find a facility near you. Many
retailers like Home Depot and Ace Hardware also offer CFL recycling
- Light the
future. New lightning technology is working seamlessly with smartphone
apps, like this program from
Smart Home Labs that lets you control your LEDs from your phone or tablet.
- Bust some
lighting myths. Incandescent bulbs being banned? Not so. Visit the Lumen
Collation website to bust this and other common myths around new light bulb
Want more guidance
about purchasing energy-efficient, money-saving bulbs for your home? Check out
this handy resource from EarthShare member charity NRDC before you replace