How To Make The Move To Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs

by Dave Logan


Lower electricity bills and tons less in global warming pollution are two very attractive benefits of making the permanent switch to energy-efficient lightbulbs. In these hot summer months they lower your cooling bills, too, because they don’t burn nearly as hot as traditional bulbs. If every household replaced three incandescent bulbs with CF bulbs, the pollution savings would be equivalent to removing millions of cars from our country’s highways. Such a simple change to make for such dramatic, positive results.

Here are a few simple ways you can make the switch to energy-efficient lightbulbs:

1. Start with just a single bulb. Given the abundancy in choices out there, make sure you’re using a bulb that produces the kind of light you want. We recommend looking for Energy Star bulbs labeled “warm white” and see what you think.

2. Make sure the size and shape are right. CF bulbs can be bigger than standard bulbs, so make sure your lamp or fixture can accommodate the specific CF bulb you’re considering. You shouldn’t have any problems finding one that fits; you won’t have to replace your favorite lamp or anything!

3. Understand the wattage. A CF bulb will have about 25% of the total watts as compared to a traditional incandescent bulb. A 20-watt CF full-spectrum bulb equals the light output of a 75-watt incandescent light. You might even qualify for a utility rebate by using less energy!

4. Recycle your old CF bulbs. CF bulbs contain small amounts of mercury (far less than thermometers, for example), so be sure to recycle them when they burn out years down the road. Check with your garbage service to find out if they offer recycling for CF bulbs. There are now over 2000 Home Depot locations that will take them as well. You can also check with Earth911 to find your nearest recycling location.

For more helpful information on these and other home improvement projects, check in often with the TDL Blog. And don’t forget to visit to find a trusted home improvement professional to help you with your next project!