In the average U.S. home, lighting accounts for about 20 percent of your electric bill. You can save money by changing the light bulbs in your current fixtures to energy efficient lighting, such as ENERGY STAR-qualified Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) or Light Emitting Diode Bulbs (LEDs). ENERGY STAR qualified light fixtures and decorative holiday light strings are also available.
- Light Bulb Choices
- Shopping for light bulbs? Check out the new labeling.
- Choose the right CFL for the right socket
- Discount energy efficient lighting from DTE Energy
- Frequently Asked Questions about CFLs
- CFL Myths and Facts*
- Lighting and legislation - The facts
Check out the new labeling
When shopping for light bulbs check out the new packaging labels. The labels are designed to help you choose the most efficient bulb that best fits your lighting needs. The back of each package of light bulbs now has a "Lighting Facts" label similar to the "Nutrition Facts" label that is currently on food packages.
While watt measurements are familiar to consumers and have been featured on the front of light bulb packages for decades, watts are a measurement of energy use, not brightness. As a result, reliance on watt measurements alone makes it difficult for consumers to compare traditional inefficient incandescent bulbs to more efficient bulbs, such as compact fluorescents (CFL) or LEDs. A lower wattage CFL or LED light bulb can produce the same amount of brightness as a traditional incandescent bulb, but uses significantly less energy, or watts. The new labels that focus on brightness in lumens will help consumers make purchasing decisions as they transition to more energy-efficient types of bulbs.
The new labels give a lot of good information, but what does it all mean?
A lumen is a measure of the total amount of visible light emitted by a light bulb. The higher the lumen, the brighter the light. Lumens ratings can run from 50 to over 10,000. A typical 60 watt equivalent light bulb is about 850 lumens. Color temperature can also be quantified using a scale marked in degrees Kelvin. Lighting can vary in color temperature between 2,000 degrees Kelvin (warm) and 9,500 degrees Kelvin (cold); the scale is derived from the fact that the light emitted by heated objects produces a spectrum, which changes as the temperature increases. Low-temperature lighting is progressively warmer (more red/yellow), while high-temperature lighting grows progressively colder (more blue).
|Inefficient Incandescent Watt||CLF Watt||LED Watt||Lumen||Kelvin|
Here are some helpful tips for choosing color temperature
CFLs are available in a wide variety of shades of white light, ranging from yellowish to white to bluish white light, which allows you to customize the mood of your space. Many CFLs come in "warm" colors to match the yellowish light of incandescent bulbs, but you can also choose "cooler" colors with whiter or bluer light.
- Warm White - Use where skin tones and wood tones are important, such as kitchens, bathrooms and recreation rooms. Usually around 2700-3500K.
- Cool White - Use where color is not as critical, such as offices, work areas, utility rooms, storage areas and garages. Usually around 4100K.
- Day Light (5000K) - The 5000K lamp produces a much whiter light more closely associated with sun light. The advantage of this light color is that it increases contrast. Black becomes blacker and white becomes whiter. This lamp makes an excellent reading light, can be used in areas where precise tasks are being done, and is great in high bay lighting situations.
Over the next three years, the minimum efficiency standards for incandescent light bulbs will be raised for bulbs manufactured in or imported into the United States. These changes in standards are primarily the result of requirements in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA).
Many consumers think the incandescent light bulb will no longer be available or manufactured. This is not true. Only inefficient incandescent light bulbs will no longer be manufactured.
The table below shows the new standards and effective dates.
|Current Incandescent light bulb watt||Maximum Incandescent light bulb wattage||Effective Date|
More efficient incandescent light bulbs are now available in retail stores for purchase. They are called halogen incandescent light bulbs and are 25% more efficient than the inefficient standard incandescent light bulbs. Halogen bulbs are very similar to the inefficient incandescent light bulbs in shape, but have a glass casing around the filament. They come in clear and frosted glass types.
In 2012, 100 watt inefficient incandescent light bulbs will no longer be manufactured. But there are many alternatives to choose from that are even more efficient than halogen bulbs.