The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 22, 2014

Energy-efficient bulbs cut waste, boost savings

By Jessica Nickels, columnist
Enid News & Eagle

— Recently upgraded federal lighting standards have paved the way for more energy-efficient light bulbs that offer the same amount of light for less money.

“Everyone likes to save a buck, especially these days, and even something as small and simple as the type of light bulbs you use can impact that all-important bottom line,” said Gina Peek, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension housing and consumer specialist.

The bipartisan Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) established new lighting standards requiring light bulbs to use less energy while producing the same amount of light.

Those standards were phased in between Jan. 1, 2012, and Jan. 1, 2014. As a result, traditional incandescent 40-, 60-, 75- and 100-watt bulbs have given way to newer versions that operate on up to 80 percent less energy.

Consider, for example, a 100-watt traditional incandescent bulb can now be replaced with a bulb that burns just as brightly but uses no more than 72 watts. This is good news for your budget.

With the options now available, how do you know which one is right for you and your wallet? Energy-saving, or halogen, incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) are three of the most common varieties.

Check the Lighting Facts Label on the package for important information, such as the brightness of the light in the bulb. A higher number of lumens indicates a brighter light.

For more information on energy-saving lighting choices, visit www.energysavers .gov/lighting or contact the local county Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service office.

Nickels, MS, RD/LD, is Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Family and Consumer Sciences educator for Garfield County.