When you think of energy efficient lighting, what most likely comes to mind is that iconic green bulb known as the compact fluorescent lamp, or CFL. But CFLs are just part of the larger spectrum of energy efficient lighting choices available today, which include LEDs, halogen lamps, and newer, more efficient and/or lower wattage versions of those familiar fluorescents and incandescents.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, artificial lighting is responsible for nearly 15% of all residential electricity use–a figure that can be cut by 50-70% by adopting new, energy efficient lighting technologies. In an effort to tighten the nation’s energy budget and cut carbon emissions, the government has passed legislation on a new set of efficiency regulations for the lighting industry, starting in 2012. Under the new regulations, a number of different incandescent bulbs will be phased out and replaced by lower wattage versions, such as the 100 bulb, which will reduce its wattage to 72.
According to Larry Lauck, Vice President of Communications for the American Lighting Association, these regulations are ushering in more types of light bulb technologies for the consumer. “There is a bit of a learning process for the consumer for the first time since Thomas Edison invented the light bulb,” he told us. “The good news is that these new bulbs will last many years so you can replace a bulb and forget about it for years.” He said the key is knowing what type of bulb will work best for its desired application in the home.