ecomii - a better way
June 18, 2018  |  Login

Switch to energy-saving CFL lightbulbs

Saving energy by using CFLs instead of standard light bulbs is easy as… changing a lightbulb!

  Email This Tip  | Back to All Tips

What are Ratings?
Impact ecomii tips impactecomii tips impactecomii tips impactecomii tips impact
Health ecomii tips health
Savings ecomii tips savingsecomii tips savingsecomii tips savings
Ease ecomii tips easeecomii tips easeecomii tips easeecomii tips easeecomii tips ease
How many eco-friendlies does it take to change a light bulb? Just you! Swap your regular bulbs for CFLs – no special parts or fixtures are required and the benefits are huge.

CFLs are so efficient because they use less energy (watts) to produce the same light (lumens) as a comparable incandescent bulb—in some cases a full 80% less! For example, a 15W CFL produces the same amount of light as a 60W incandescent bulb, so the CFL saves 45 watts of energy for every hour it is on. Multiply that savings by several hours and several light fixtures, and you will save watts and watts of cash. (See Financial Benefits below.)

The efficiency of CFLs means less demand for energy and fewer environmental impacts from energy production—impacts that include the generation of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

The use of CFLs also reduces waste sent to landfills since one may last as long as 10 incandescent bulbs.


Take Action / Next Steps
  • Remember that wattage and light output are different, and it can be confusing at first when identifying a CFL that is equivalent in light output (lumens) to, for example, a 75W incandescent. To help, manufacturers are now required to label light bulbs with their lumens. You can also rely on charts like the one below, produced by Energy Star, to determine the light output equivalency between standard bulbs and CFLs.
  • Eventually CFLs will burn out, and since CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury they should be handled and disposed of properly. State and local laws determine how to dispose of spent fluorescent lamps. Look up lamp recycling and disposal options by state:


Prev Tip Next Tip
Did You Know?

Click below for more facts about this tip.



1. Energy Star and the National Energy Education Development Project [3 August 2006] “Comparing Light Bulbs.” Available from: [27 November 2007]

2. California Center for Sustainable Energy [September 2006] Energy Connection newsletter. Available from: [27 November 2007]

3. US EPA and US Department of Energy. Energy Star Program. [undated] “Lighting.” Available from: [26 November 2007]

4. Union of Concerned Scientists [Spring 2007] “Dialogue.” Earthwise newsletter, Volume 9 Number 2.
Available from: [26 November 2007]

5. US EPA and US Department of Energy. Energy Star Program. [23 April 2007] “Energy Star Change a Light, Change the World 2007 Campaign Facts and Assumptions Sheet.” Available from: [27 November 2007]

6. US Department of Energy. Energy Information Administration [undated] “At Home and At Work: What Types of Lights Are We Using.” Available from: [27 November 2007]

ecomii featured poll

Vote for your Favorite Charity



ecomii resources
ecomii Tips Newsletter 

Sign up today to receive a weekly tip for living greener

Get in Touch

Got suggestions? Want to write for us? See something we could improve? Let us know!