Choose efficient light fixtures
ENERGY STAR® compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) offer an easy and affordable way to save energy and money, but these lights may not operate as efficiently as possible with light fixtures you already have. Installing specialized, efficient light fixtures will ensure you receive the best performance possible from CFLs and LEDs.
What to look for:
- The ENERGY STAR label. Qualified CFL and LED fixtures offer guaranteed efficiency and savings.
- The number of pins in the CFL plug. CFL light fixtures have either two pins or four pins connecting the bulb to the fixture. Either type can have dimming capabilities, but be sure to check the bulb package to make sure it is compatible with a dimmer switch.
- The right light bulb. Be sure to choose a CFL or LED for your new fixture. Remember that CFLs require about 1/4 the wattage of your old incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light. Most packaging will list the equivalent wattage.
- Besides using less energy, dedicated CFL fixtures contain the ballast (the starter device in a fluorescent bulb) in the light fixture itself. That means you're less likely to burn out a plug-in CFL bulb than you are a screw-in CFL.
- CFL fixtures can also improve the style of the lighting throughout your home, because the lamp structure and shade are both designed for use with CFLs.
Things to think about: First, install CFL or LED fixtures in the areas you light the most, like those in the kitchen, family room or outside. Second, make sure the CFL or LED fixture is designed for the activities you do most in that room. You want to be sure the light from the new source is going to be the right amount for your needs.