The Savings are Real

Traditional incandescent bulbs are the cheapest to buy, but they’re the most expensive to own. The reason is simple: incandescents waste a lot of energy. The electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent bulb costs five to ten times the original purchase price of the bulb itself. That makes ENERGY STAR® certified CFLs and LEDs, which typically have a higher sticker price but use up to 75 percent less energy to create the same amount of light, the far better deal. And when you consider that electric lighting burns up to 12 percent of the average home energy budget, the savings are clearly worth the switch.

Beyond bulbs, you can increase your energy savings even more with ENERGY STAR® certified light fixtures. They use 25 percent less energy than standard fixtures, come in hundreds of decorative styles for a variety of applications, and offer convenient features such as dimming options and motion sensors.

See how much you can save with ENERGY STAR's light bulb energy savings calculatorLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

Energy-efficient lighting lessens our impact on the environment, too. Making small changes at home is a great way to fight climate change. That’s because the average home contributes twice the greenhouse gas emissions as the average car. If each household in New York switched just one incandescent bulb to an ENERGY STAR certified CFL, we could prevent more than 562 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over the life of the bulbs. That’s the environmental equivalent of taking 40,000 cars off the road for a year.

Save Energy and Money with CFLs and LEDs

Watts consumed (to achieve equivalent brightness) 75W 20W 16.5W
Avg. lifespan (hours) 1,000 hours 10,000 hours 30,000-50,000 hours
Avg. cost per bulb $0.60-$1.25 $1.00-$9.00 $5.00-$30.00
Annual operating cost $8.87 $2.37 $1.95