U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

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Lighting

Illustration of a compact fluorescent light bulb.

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs—A Bright Idea!
ENERGY STAR qualified lighting provides bright, warm light and uses about 75% less energy than standard lighting, produces 75% less heat, and lasts up to 10 times longer.

Making improvements to your lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. An average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Using new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50% to 75%. Advances in lighting controls offer further energy savings by reducing the amount of time lights are on but not being used.

Indoor Lighting

Use linear fluorescent tubes and energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in fixtures throughout your home to provide high-quality and high-efficiency lighting. Fluorescent lamps are much more efficient than incandescent (standard) bulbs and last about 6 to 12 times longer.

Today's CFLs offer brightness and color rendition that is comparable to incandescent bulbs. Although linear fluorescent and CFLs cost a bit more than incandescent bulbs initially, over their lifetime they are cheaper because of how little electricity they use. CFL lighting fixtures are now available that are compatible with dimmers and operate like incandescent fixtures.

Indoor Lighting Tips

Image of a compact fluorescent bulb over a recycling symbol.

CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. Many retailers are offering free recycling services for consumers at their stores.


Image of a shopping bag filled with different types of compact fluorescent bulbs.

ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs are available in sizes and shapes to fit in almost any fixture.

Outdoor Lighting

Many homeowners use outdoor lighting for decoration and security. When shopping for outdoor lights, you will find a variety of products, from low-voltage pathway lighting to motion-detector floodlights. Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, thrive in outdoor environments because of their durability and performance in cold weather. Look for ENERGY STAR LED products such as pathway lights, step lights, and porch lights for outdoor use.

Outdoor Lighting Tips

LED—A New Kind of Light

Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, offer better light quality than incandescent bulbs, last 25 times as long, and use even less energy than CFLs. Look for ENERGY STAR qualified LED products at home improvement centers and lighting showrooms.

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Content Last Updated: 4/9/2009