Use ENERGY STAR Lighting
Change your bulbs, save a bundle!
Did you know there is a simple project that you can do at home today that will save you money and requires only one trip to the store?
Changing your lighting to ENERGY STAR certified bulbs from incandescent can lower your lighting energy usage by up to 80%. Plus, there are financial incentives available from your utility suppliers.
Lumens versus watts (AKA how much light do I need?).
Separating myth from fact on CFLs and LEDs: 2014 article from National Geographic.
Pepco: Save up to $7 when purchasing ENERGY STAR certified lighting (Added bonus: up to $10 in rebates when buying ENERGY STAR lighting fixtures.)
BGE: Save up to $7 when purchasing ENERGY STAR certified lighting (Added bonus: up to $10 in rebates when buying ENERGY STAR lighting fixtures.)
Potomac Edison: Save up to $5 when purchasing ENERGY STAR certified lighting (Added bonus: up to $10 in rebates when buying ENERGY STAR lighting fixtures.)
I’ve heard CFLs contain mercury and are bad for the environment. Is that true?
Mercury is a naturally occurring element, and it is also released into our environment through man-made processes like generating electricity from coal-fired power plants. When you use less electricity to light your home you are actually releasing less mercury into our environment. On average, CFLs contain 2.5 milligrams of mercury, or an amount that is the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Over the course of its life a CFL will use less electricity and therefore emit 4.6 milligrams less mercury than the incandescent bulb.
This fact sheet from ENERGY STAR has much more information about mercury and CFLs.
LED bulbs do not contain mercury.
How do I dispose of old CFLs?
Click here to learn about how to dispose of your old CFLs. Many retailers that sell CFLs also collect and recycle the old ones. Check with your local hardware store or your favorite home improvement retailer for more information.
What do I do if I break a CFL?
First, get children and pets out of the room. If you break a CFL open a window and ventilate the area for 15 minutes. Use a dust pan and broom to pick up the big pieces. To get the small pieces of glass, wrap a loop of packing tape, masking tape or duct tape around your hand so the sticky side is out. Then dab the area where the CFL broke. Do not vacuum up the pieces. A step-by-step cleanup guide is available through the EPA.
Doesn’t the light from a CFL or LED just look different than a regular light bulb?
ENERGY STAR bulbs are available in several light temperatures: warm is the same color as light from incandescent bulbs; cool or bright light is good for task lighting; daylight or natural light is very bright and good for reading. You can see pictures of the various color temperatures here on the ENERGY STAR Color and Mood page and find the right light for your lamp.