When it comes to energy efficiency, the bulbs in your lighting fixtures can play a much larger role than you may realize.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners have three main options when choosing energy efficient light bulbs: halogen incandescents, CFLs and LEDs. However, because halogen bulbs only meet the federal minimum standard for energy efficiency, CFLs and LEDs are usually your best bets.
CFLs vs LEDs
An Energy Star-qualified CFL light bulb only uses around one-fourth of the energy of a traditional incandescent bulb. Additionally, CFLs last up to 10 times longer than standard bulbs, making them a great choice for saving on energy and replacement costs.
However, CFLs also contain small amounts of mercury, which means homeowners must follow certain protocols for disposal and recycling in order to stay safe and protect the environment.
Meanwhile, LEDs can save just as much energy while lasting even longer than CFL light bulbs. In fact, an LED can last up to 25 times longer than a traditional incandescent light bulb.
However, LED light bulbs also tend to be more expensive. While these costs can be recouped through reduced energy and replacement costs, they still may be an expensive investment at the get-go.