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Compare light bulbs for energy efficiency


Compact fluorescent bulb equivalent

CPL (compact fluorescent bulbs) use far less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs.

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How do light bulbs compare for energy efficiency? Learn how much energy each type of bulb consumes.

Incandescent light bulbs – Old standard energy efficiency

Conventional incandescent light bulbs are energy hogs compared to other lighting choices. Just 1/10th of the energy consumed by incandescent bulbs becomes light. The rest of the energy is wasted as heat. Heat released by incandescent bulbs can help warm a room in winter, but adds to the cooling burden in the summer. Rooms lit with incandescent bulbs require more air conditioning, and more energy, to cool.

Halogen incandescent light bulbs – Better energy efficiency

Halogen incandescent light bulbs consume 25% less electricity and last nearly three times as long as conventional incandescent light bulbs.

Fluorescent lights and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) – Very good energy efficiency

Fluorescent bulbs, whether in conventional long tube shapes or spiral versions shaped to fit a standard socket, use 75% less energy than conventional incandescents. Fluorescent bulbs contain a small quantity of mercury, which is a hazardous substance and requires special handling when the bulbs burn out.

Light emitting diode (LED) bulbs – Best energy efficiency

Light emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) consume nearly 80% less energy than traditional incandescent. These bulbs are currently the most expensive lighting choice, but they have the longest lifespan, lasting nearly 25 times longer than ordinary incandescents.

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