Understanding Eco Friendly Light Bulbs

By 2014, incandescent light bulbs will no longer be available for sale in the United States. In 2007, the U.S. Congress banned them and dictated that 2014 would be the deadline for changing over to eco friendly lighting.

Fortunately, there are excellent alternatives available to light your home even as you burn less energy!

Let us take a look at the three leading eco friendly light bulbs:

CFL - Compact Florescent Light

The CFL is the most familiar eco friendly light bulb. The main advantage of CFLs is that they burn far less power and typically last longer than incandescent bulbs. For example, 100W incandescent bulbs can be replaced with a 20 to 30W CFL. It is least expensive of the environmentally friendly light bulbs.

  • Harsh light color
  • They struggle on dimmer switches
  • Concerns about radiation output
  • They can take a few minutes to reach full brightness

Best Places to use CFLs
  • Places where it is easy to forget to turn off the light such as closets, outdoors, and garages
  • Fill lighting in hallways, laundry rooms, rarely used bedrooms, etc.


Halogen are the most similar to traditional incandescent bulbs, but they are still different. This eco friendly light bulb is filled with halogen, which improves efficiency by preventing loss of the filament. They are typically more expensive and a little less energy efficient than CFLs. When the halogen is dimmed, it tends to last for a very long time.

  • Less efficient than CFLs or LEDs
  • They tend to be directional and burn very hot

Best Places to use Halogen
  • Recessed lighting, down lighting, directional lamps, track lighting
  • On dimmer switches
  • In rooms where true color and soft lighting are desirable, such as bedrooms and bathrooms

LED - Light Admitting Diode

The LED is the most energy efficient eco friendly lighting option available. LEDs last a VERY long time, 5-20 years. LEDs have no filament and produce little heat and no radiation. Modern LEDs have been designed to closely match the color and feel of incandescent lighting. There even some designs that change colors and operate on a remote control. LEDs are dimmable.

  • Price (though the purchase price is recovered quickly because of its extreme efficiency, price tags can be $40 or more)

Best Places to use LED
  • Because LEDs have been designed in so many shapes and sizes, they are ideal for any lighting application!

These are the most common environmentally friendly light bulbs on the market today. Each is more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs and will reduce electricity bills.

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