West Virginia Department of Commerce Cost-Saving Lighting

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Cost-Saving Lighting

Use CFLs to reduce your lighting costs


Use energy efficient light bulbsUsing compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) in place of incandescent lighting in your home can reduce your annual residential lighting costs by two-thirds, according to the West Virginia Division of Energy.

The average home has 30 incandescent lights, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) ENERGY STAR® Program. DOE estimates that replacing the five most frequently used fluorescent lights with comparable CFLs can help homeowners achieve energy savings of $60 annually. This is because CFLs replace incandescent lighting that is three to four times greater in wattage, which represents the power used by each bulb. Plus, because they have a life six to 15 times longer than a comparable incandescent light, they are perfect for those hard-to-reach or constant-use lighting applications.

What is a CFL?

How can a CFL save money?

Additional information

What is a CFL and where do I use it?

A CFL is very similar to the standard fluorescent light seen in offices. The way CFLs work requires less electrical power than an incandescent bulb, thus providing the savings described earlier. A 15-watt CFL can replace a 60-watt bulb and a 20-watt CFL can replace a 75-watt bulb while providing similar light levels. But a CFL is not for every application. Read the package to make sure the light meets your color needs (warm colors are fine for general indoor use, cooler-color lights are better for reading and task areas). The package should also be able to tell you where a CFL can be used. CFLs are temperature-sensitive and may not operate energy-efficiently in some conditions.

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How can a CFL cost more and save money?

While a CFL can cost three to 10 times more than an incandescent light, the life of a CFL is six to 15 times longer. So as well as saving energy, they allow you to replace one CFL for every six times you are now changing incandescent lights. That’s a lot less getting out that ladder and replacing a hard-to-reach, high-use light. As discussed on the
ENERGY STAR® Program website, CFLs can save $25 or more over the light’s lifetime.

CFLs generate less heat than incandescent lights so are safer to operate and can reduce a home’s cooling load in the summer.

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Additional information

For more information about saving money and energy, contact the West Virginia Division of Energy at (304) 558-2234 or (800) 982-3386.

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