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Home Page > Consumer Assistance > Consumer Tips > Tip of the Week

Consumer Tip Sunday, January 29, 2006

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Save Money
With Compact Fluorescent
Light Bulbs

Environmental Impact

If every household in the United States replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an Energy Star® qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), it would remove enough pollution from the air to equal removing one million cars from the road.1

Long Term Savings

The price of CFLs has dropped significantly in the last few years. While a traditional incandescent light bulb may cost about $1.00 each, CFLs sell for between $5.00 and $10.00.  Energy-efficient bulbs may cost you more initially, but they save you money in the long run by using one-third of the energy required by a conventional light bulb to produce the same amount of light.

CFLs use 66 percent less energy than a standard, incandescent light bulb and last up to ten times longer.  A typical 100 watt incandescent bulb produces 1,600 lumens (measure of light output) and burns around 1,000 hours.  A 27 watt CFL produces 1,750 lumens and burns an average of 10,000 hours.

CFLs are Cooler

Incandescent bulbs put out a lot of heat ? typical surface temperatures can range from 150 to more than 250 degrees.  The heat introduced into your home by a regular light bulb causes your air conditioner to run longer.  CFLs operate at only about 100 degrees, reducing the demand for air conditioning in the summer and providing a certain amount of safety from hot light bulbs.

The benefits of compact fluorescent bulbs are clear: lower operating costs, longer operating life and more efficient use of energy.2


 1 United States Environmental Protection Agency
2  Federal Trade Commission - Facts for Consumers