Choosing the Right Energy Saver Light Bulb

Everyone is interested in saving money these days, so it is only natural to want to invest in energy saver light bulbs. If you’re new to purchasing this type of light, or have been disappointed in the past, you should know there are several types of energy saver light bulbs to choose from depending on your needs.

The first consideration is the type of outlet where you’ll be installing your bulbs. For standard light fixtures, you can use a regular CFL bulb. For fixtures with dimmer switches or three-way lights you’ll need to look for Energy Star light bulbs or dimmable compact fluorescent light bulbs specifically made for those types of outlets. If you plan to use a CFL bulb with a motion-activated light outdoors, check with the manufacturer of the light fixture.

Next, you’ll need to select the right color for your energy saver bulb. Different bulbs emit different colors of light. For a soft glow similar to the standard color of incandescent bulbs, use a bulb labeled 2700K to 3000K. Kitchens and workspaces require the cool white light of bulbs labeled 3500K to 4100K. Natural day light bulbs are labeled 5000K to 6500K.

Another important consideration is light output. If you’ve been used to using 60-watt bulbs you’ll need an energy saver light bulb labeled 13 to 15. Energy saver light bulbs rated 18 to 25 are equivalent to 75-watt light bulbs. If you want 100-watt power, look for CFLs rated 23 to 30.

There are several shapes of CFLs available that will help inform your choices. If you’re looking for a bulb for a table or floor lamp you can use a spiral bulb, a covered a-shape bulb or a tube bulb. Pendant fixtures require a covered a-shape or globe bulb. If you need a bulb for a ceiling fixture, try a spiral or tube bulb. Ceiling fans require either spiral bulbs, covered a-shape bulbs, candle bulbs or indoor reflector bulbs. Indoor reflectors are also the best choice for recessed cans and track lighting. Wall sconces can be used with either spiral, tube or candle shaped bulbs.

For outdoor use, you can use outdoor reflectors for flood lights. If you have covered outdoor lamps, you should use spiral bulbs, covered a-shape bulbs, tube bulbs or candle bulbs.

You can find CFL bulbs at grocery stores, home improvement stores and hardware shops. If you have special needs, like a dimmable CFL bulb, you may need to search online to make your purchase.

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Source: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_guide

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