CFLs Transcend Blue States/Red States

Thomas Edison’s old incandescent light bulb is swiftly becoming a thing of the past, according to recent analysis by E Source that shows 81 percent of U.S. households already using at least one CFL bulb.

And lest you think the eco-savvy states are swinging the numbers here, consider this: in the two states with the lowest market penetration of CFLs (North and South Dakota), more than two thirds of all households have one.

CFL bulb

image via Shutterstock

These numbers appear to transcend the red state/blue state divide, as the study, which asked respondents to identify their political affiliation as conservatives, moderates or liberals, found no appreciable corresponding difference in CFL usage. As E Source President Michael Shepard put it, in a statement, “Apparently saving money on electricity bills isn’t really a political issue for most people.” (CFLs use around a third of the energy of traditional incandescents.)

As far as energy efficient lighting goes, which groups lead the charge? This analysis found that homeowners are more likely to use CFLs than renters, and older people are more likely than younger people to do the same, as are those in higher income groups.  However, CFLs are seeing high rates of adoptions from nearly every sector of the population, as in 2000, CFL sales amounted to only 1 to 2 percent of residential lighting sales, while Energy Star reports that CFLs now account for nearly 28 percent of all residential light bulb sales.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

1 Comment

  • Reply August 10, 2011


    This study points out an obvious fact – green can be economic. And because of that, it’s something that everyone can understand and take up. Although renters were found to be less likely to use CFLs than homeowners, this may be an area to focus programs for. Landlords could help renters by providing CFLs or even set up CFL disposal locations for the renters to make adoption easier.

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