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Choosing Energy Saving Light Bulbs

Save money and energy with you lighting by making smart choices when buying light bulbs. Here are five tips for buying the right energy saving light bulbs.

When it comes time to change that light bulb, you can make a “green” choice—one that will save both energy and money. Here are some suggestions:

compact fluorescent energy-efficient light

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb

1) Choose compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Compact fluorescents use from about one quarter to one third as much energy to produce the same amount of light as a standard incandescent bulb, and they can last up to thirteen times longer. CFL torchieres are also available to replace those energy-hogging halogen versions that gained popularity in the 1990s. For more on CFLs, see Compact Fluorescent Lighting.

2) Purchase three-way bulbs. Three-way bulbs can operate at three different wattages (for instance, 50 watts, 100 watts, and 150 watts), allowing you to choose the lowest wattage for your needs. They work on lamps outfitted with three-way sockets. Both CFL and incandescent varieties are available.

3) Choose low-wattage bulbs. Always use the lowest wattage that will meet your needs. Try out bulbs of varying brightness, measured in lumens, to find the least energy-sucking bulb for your particular lighting application.

4) Select energy-saving nightlights. Replace incandescent nightlights with plug-in electroluminescent panels, which consume a mere 3/100 watt of electricity, or the brighter mini-fluorescent varieties, which give off as much illumination as a 20-watt standard bulb. In addition, photocell nightlights sense the presence of light in a room, automatically turning on at night and off in the daytime.

About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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