Given the many light bulb choices available today and the new bulb efficiency standards that are set to go into effect in 2012, selecting the right bulb for your home can difficult. Below, check out the tips from the Natural Resources Defense Council for selecting the light bulb that both looks best and is energy efficient.
The efficiency standards that are set to take effect on January 1, 2012 mean that older, incandescent bulbs will be phased out. Consumers, however, will still have a choice between newer, more efficient incandescent bulbs, CFLs and LED bulbs, reports the NRDC.
Congressional Republicans included a rider in a spending bill last week that will delay enforcement of the light bulb efficiency law that was signed by President Bush in 2007. The Associated Press reports Rep. Fred Upton (R-Michigan) said, "Americans don't want government standards determining how they light their homes."
According to the NRDC, the change is hardly a coup. The Republican rider "pertains only to funding for federal enforcement of federal lighting standards for this fiscal year." The delay will not affect standards for manufacturers, or ultimately, consumers. Rocky Kistner, a HuffPost blogger with the NRDC, said "the money-saving law" is "good for American consumers -- and for American workers and their companies."
Light bulb manufacturers even oppose Congress' efficiency standards funding delay. A statement from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, representing over 90 percent of the lighting industry, said the industry "remains committed and supportive of the lighting standards established [by the 2007 law]."
Captions courtesy of NRDC. Images courtesy of NRDC unless otherwise credited.
Buy the bulb that gives off the amount of light you need (lumens), not the amount of energy you're used to wasting (watts). For example, a typical 60W light bulb produces around 800 lumens. But CFLs that produce 800 lumens only use 15W. To help consumers during this transition, bulb packages will likely contain a claim like "as bright as a 60W bulb" or "15W = 60W" to indicate the bulb is a suitable replacement for your old 60W incandescent bulb.
Look for the quality of light you prefer. To avoid that harsh cold light -- only buy bulbs with "warm white" or "soft white" on their labels.
Not all bulbs are dimmable. If you need a bulb for a dimmable socket, choose an energy-saving incandescent or LED.
For recessed lighting, select an LED, CFL or halogen reflector or flood light.
To ensure the bulb is one of the best in the bunch in terms of energy-savings, choose a bulb with an ENERGY STAR label.