Energize Connecticut Sheds Light on Energy Efficient Lighting Myths

Knowing ‘watt’ the options are can save money and improve satisfaction


With the arrival of fall, the days become shorter and that means Connecticut residents will use their lights more often and for more hours.  What most don’t realize is that lighting accounts for nearly 20 percent of the average home’s electric bill, and keeping the lights on longer will inevitably increase these costs.

As a result, it’s time to debunk common lighting myths and encourage residents to become ‘energy smart’ when selecting bulbs that are the most energy-efficient, money-saving option.

Myth #1: “CFLs are always that ‘spiral’ design.”
This all too common myth is not true.  There are many different styles of CFLs, and more specifically, the “covered A-shape” model looks exactly like a standard incandescent bulb.  This chart can help residents to see the different ENERGY STAR® certified light bulbs.  CFL products have become smaller and come in a variety of styles and specialty applications, including standard shapes, chandelier, globes, indoor, outdoor floodlights and more.  There is a CFL available to support just about any residential lighting application.

Myth #2: “LEDs and CFLs are too harsh.”

CFLs in particular are offered with different color blends designed to look more like natural light, and LEDs can light rooms like a common bulb.  In addition, these bulbs come in a wide variety of lighting output. When it comes to the brightness of a bulb, look for lumens, not watts.  Simply put – more lumens means more light.  With coloration of the bulb, look for the Kelvin (K) rating on the label because considering coloration for your lighting needs is just as vital as brightness.  For instance, you may want a different light coloration for your kitchen than you would for a bedside lamp.

Also, did you know that there are dimmable CFLs and LEDs available on the market?  All consumers have to do is look for an ENERGY STAR certified bulb that is marked as “dimmable” on its package because not all are.

Myth #3: “Energy efficient lighting just costs too much.”

When it comes to upfront cost, this may appear so, but there are many significant considerations to keep in mind as you search the aisles of your local big box store.  The average incandescent bulb costs 50 cents, when compared to the average price of $2 to $5 for most CFLs, depending on the brand and incentives provided by Energize Connecticut.  Although the upfront cost for a CFL is more of an investment, CFLs use 75 percent less energy than common bulbs and can last up to 7 to 11 years.  LEDs, on the other hand, use 80 percent less energy than common bulbs and can last up to 15 or 25 years making them the longest lasting bulb on the market.

“Overall, switching from traditional lighting to ENERGY STAR certified lighting is a smart move with proper education and a clear understanding of labels,” said Jamie Howland, First Vice Chairperson, Energy Efficiency Board.  “With energy savings of 75 percent or more, coupled with Energize Connecticut incentives at the time of purchase for a variety of bulbs, you can save money upfront and in the long-run. That’s especially important as the sun sets earlier in the fall and winter.”

For more information on energy efficient lighting solutions for your home, please call 1-877-WISE USE or visit www.EnergizeCT.com.

About Energize Connecticut

Energize Connecticut programs help you save money and use clean, affordable energy.  The programs are a partnership of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, and your local electric and gas utilities and are funded by a charge on customer energy bills.  Information on energy efficiency programs can be found at EnergizeCT.com or by calling 1.877.WISE.USE.

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3 Comments on "Energize Connecticut Sheds Light on Energy Efficient Lighting Myths"

  1. please follow up with information on the safe handling of these mercury infused toxic bulbs.

  2. One interesting, but missing, piece of information regarding Myth #3 is the high upfront cost of LED bulbs, which can easily be 5-10x the cost of a CFL. When factoring in energy savings and expected bulb lifespan, how do LEDs compare to CFLs, and does their high upfront cost outweigh the overall savings in energy usage? According to the above article, LEDs are marginally more energy efficient than CFLs and last about twice as long, which seems to not justify the significantly higher upfront cost, at least at this point in time.

  3. I like the higher efficiency of the CFLs but the life span has proven to be far short of the promised 5-10 years. In the 4 years we have lived in our current house, I had to replace half of the CFLs. One supplier replaced the failed ones, others were too difficult to reach. The quality control should be better.

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