The Best Kept Energy Saving Secret: The Complete Guide to Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Topics of discussion:

-Best brands or types
-What to look for
-What to avoid
-How to properly dispose of old light bulbs.

Best Brands and Types of Light Bulbs:

The best way to save energy in your home is by purchasing energy efficient light bulbs. The most popular brands available to purchase are Phillips, EcoSmart, General Electric, and Utilitech. According to “You have many choices in energy-efficient lighting. The most popular light bulbs available are halogen incandescent, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although they can initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, during their lifetime they save you money, because they use less energy. You can find these in most hardware and home improvement stores”. 

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What to look for when purchasing:

Energy Star Logo

When purchasing a light bulb you should always look for the ENERGY STAR logo. According to “If the bulb meets the energy efficiency and performance standards of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy’s Energy Star program. For more on Energy Star standards, visit”

To find out the light appearance of a light bulb, look at the Lighting Facts label on the package. The Lighting Facts label gives you information you need to compare different bulbs. It tells you:

  • Brightness (in lumens)
  • Yearly estimated energy cost
  • Expected bulb life (in years)
  • Light appearance (how warm or cool the light will look)
  • Wattage (the energy used)
  • If the bulb contains mercury

Below is a chart explaining watts vs lumens 

How Energy Efficient Lights Save You Money:

There are three things to avoid when purchasing light bulbs to save money. The first thing when shopping for light bulbs to avoid is looking for watts. Instead of viewing how many watts a light bulb produces, look for the lumens. Lumens is the amount of brightness the bulb outputs. The most popular light bulbs available are halogen incandescent, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The second thing to avoid is, halogen incandescent and compact fluorescent lamps. LED’s are the most energy efficient light bulbs available today. The last thing to avoid is off brand light bulbs. A majority of off brand light bulbs are not ENERGY STAR approved and do not have as long of a light span as for example, General Electric or Phillips.

How to Properly Dispose of Old Light Bulbs:

Incandescent bulbs and lamps can be thrown away in the trash. If a bulb is broken, wrap it first in paper or plastic before placing it in your trash bin. This prevents broken edges from cutting through your garbage bag and creating a mess, and it helps protect you and your waste hauler from accidental cuts or injury.

If the bulbs are intact and you have a creative streak, you can also try upcycling them. Incandescent light bulbs can be turned into Christmas ornaments, little vases for small plants or mini lamps – you can find thousands of fun ideas on Pinterest alone. However, make sure you take proper safety precautions before trying out any of these DIY projects. 

Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs do not contain mercury but are made with other hazardous substances such as lead and arsenic. Many communities will not accept these bulbs in their recycling program, which means most people throw their burnt-out bulbs in the trash, by default. Unfortunately, this means lead and arsenic end up in the landfill and, inevitably, back in the water stream. Check with your local recycling center and ask if they accept LEDs as part of their special collection services.

Halogen bulbs contain halogen gas, which means they are not easily recycled, and many communities recommend you throw these bulbs in the trash. If this is the case in your city or town, make sure you put the used bulb back into its carton or container or wrap the bulb to prevent it from shattering. To keep these bulbs out of your landfill, ask your local recycling center if they have a special collection policy for halogens.

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After reading this we hope you make a wise choice by purchasing energy efficient LED light bulbs. Lykins Energy Solutions can save you money on top of using energy efficient light bulbs by comparing your rates here:

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