Still confused about how to make the transition to compact fluorescent light bulbs or CFLs? Well, thanks to new laws, all light bulb packaging now features a “Lighting Facts” label that includes information about brightness, energy cost, life expectancy, light appearance (warm or cool light), wattage and mercury content. The goal of these FTC-mandated labels is to standardize how the lighting industry markets light bulb features, while providing consumers with a simple and quick way to compare bulbs.
At the same time, the front of light bulb packaging has moved away from the long-trusted watt to classification by lumens. Lumens are an accurate measurement of brightness, whereas wattage (a measurement of energy used to light a bulb) doesn’t accurately convey the brightness of a light bulb.
For comparison, a traditional incandescent 100-watt bulb, a halogen incandescent 72-watt bulb and a compact fluorescent 23-watt bulb all deliver the same brightness – about 1,600 – 1,700 lumens. Just remember, the higher the lumen number, the brighter the bulb. The new world of light emitting diode (LED) bulbs falls into this regulation as well.
CFLs still cost more to purchase, but their energy efficiency and lifespan deliver a solid return on investment. Because a CFL uses an average of 75 percent less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and can last up to 10 times longer, you should easily save more than $40 over the lifetime of a CFL bulb. And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign up for Duke Energy’s free CFL offer. Click here to see if you qualify.
Now you can shop smart, save money and enjoy the ambiance created by any number of lighting styles. Share with us how you’ve transitioned your home to CFLs in the comment section below.