NYSERDA Study: Most New Yorkers Are Ready to Replace Incandescent Bulbs with CFLs and LEDs

More Are Making the Smart Switch to Greater Energy Efficiency

November 25, 2013

New Yorkers recognize the value of switching from incandescent light bulbs to more energy-efficient options, according to a recent survey conducted for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

More than half of those polled believe it’s important to use CFL and LED bulbs that are ENERGY STAR® certified. In addition, the true cost implications are the top consideration for three-quarters of New Yorkers when choosing which light bulb to buy. While just over 40 percent of respondents viewed the high price of CFL and LED bulbs as a disadvantage, 47 percent identified energy cost over a bulb’s lifetime as the top reason to switch from incandescent bulbs to their more energy-efficient counterparts.

ENERGY STAR certified LEDs last at least twice as long as CFLs, and cost 90 percent less to run than incandescent bulbs. ENERGY STAR certified CFLs use 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, providing savings of up to $70 in energy costs over the life of just one CFL.

Conducted by KJT Research, the survey reached 1,017 consumers across the state to help NYSERDA understand how consumers make light bulb purchases, the importance they place on energy-saving options and their perceptions about ENERGY STAR certified compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

It’s important for consumers to educate themselves on these benefits of new CFL and LED lighting technologies as incandescents are phased out in 2014. The research shows that the average New York consumer spends six to seven minutes comparing bulbs. To cut down the time consumers need to spend evaluating lighting options, NYSERDA suggests the following steps:

  • Step 1: Know the fixture type. Are you dealing with a table lamp? Recessed lights? Outdoor flood lamp? Are you replacing a bulb on a dimmable fixture or one that needs a three-way bulb? Is the bulb going into an enclosed fixture? The fixture matters; certain bulbs work best for certain jobs.
  • Step 2: Look for the ENERGY STAR label. Some incandescent bulb technologies—including halogen—are being promoted as energy efficient, but actually turn electrical energy into heat to create light, wasting energy. They’re not much better than traditional incandescents. Bulbs with the ENERGY STAR label are certified to save energy and last longer.
  • Step 3: Read the Lighting Facts Label to select the bulb brightness. With CFLs and LEDs, you’ll need to look at lumens (lm), not watts. Here’s a quick correlation reference: 100w = 1600lm, 75w = 1100lm, 60w = 800lm, and 40w = 450lm.
  • Step 4: Pick the light color you want. This is measured in Kelvins (K). The lower the number, the yellower the light (2700-3000K); the higher the number, the whiter the light (4100K). Daylight is 5500K-6500K.
  • Step 5: Choose the ENERGY STAR bulb that has the additional features you need. This includes the CFL shape (the familiar spiral, globe, tube or candle) and lighting levels (dimmable or 3-way).

Lighting infographics are available from NYSERDA.

For more tips, go to NYSERDA: www.nyserda.ny.gov/bulbology. Consumers who want to simulate lighting technologies and patterns for their home can use the Lighting Research Center’s Lighting Patterns for Homes eBook: www.lrc.rpi.edu/patternbook/Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

About NYSERDA

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on TwitterLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., FacebookLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., YouTubeLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., or InstagramLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

Last Updated: 11/26/2014

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