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