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Compact fluorescent light bulbs

Easy energy saver
Making the switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs is one of the easiest ways to save energy in your home.
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Compact fluorscent light bulbThe next time you need to buy light bulbs for your home, take a moment to look at the variety of compact fluorescent lamps(CFLs) available - your electric bill will thank you for it!

Significant energy savings

  • CFLs use 75 percent less energy to produce the same amount of light. An 18-watt CFL can replace a 100-watt incandescent.
  • They last ten times longer. The life of a CFL is up to 10,000 per bulb, compared to less than 1,000 hours for an incandescent.

If you replace one 60-watt incandescent with a 15-watt CFL and use it six hours a day, you could see an energy savings of more than $40 over the four-year life of the bulb. You'll also save on the cost of purchasing at least eight incandescent bulbs during that time, and numerous trips to the store - and that's just one fixture!

Making the switch

A general rule when buying CFLs is to choose a wattage that's about one-third of what you usually buy. The table below from ENERGY STAR below shows some typical wattage conversions:

CFL conversion chart - courtesy energystar.gov

CFLs are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you should have no problems finding bulbs to fit any fixture in your home. If you have a unique or unusually-shaped lamp or fixture, take the existing bulb along to the store to compare sizes.

Be sure to read the package carefully, especially if you'll be using lighting controls like dimmers, timers, photocells or motion sensors. Most CFLs are rated for outdoor use, but not all.

CFL disposalSafe CFL disposal

CFLs do contain a small amount of mercury – it’s important that you do not throw them in your garbage can, if at all possible. Instead, follow these steps:

  • Visit http://www.earth911.org/ or call 1-877-EARTH911 to find your local disposal options. You can also contact your local waste management agency for recycling options.
  • If there are no other options, place the CFL in a sealed plastic bag before putting it in your trash.
  • Never send a CFL or other mercury-containing product to an incinerator (some waste agencies incinerate their trash).

Wisconsin residents can visit www.focusonenergy.com for additional CFL recycling information and to locate Wisconsin retailers participating in the CFL recycling initiative.

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If you are vision-impaired or have some other disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to shopping or ordering on or using the benefits of our website, please contact Alliant Energy at 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268).