Bright side of light bulb changes - CBS46 News

Bright side of light bulb changes

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Say goodbye to your old incandescent light bulbs.

Manufacturers have been phasing them out for the last few years to comply with the 2007 Energy Act. The most common alternatives are CFLs and LEDs.

CFLs only need one-fifth to one-third the electricity of incandescent's to produce the same amount of light and last about 10 times as long.

"They start up initially, but takes them a while to warm up. So, to reach the optimum light output it's going to take a couple of minutes," said lighting designer, Don Dragoo.

If you need light immediately in an area of your home, CFLs might be a problem. You could try an LED. They are 10 percent more efficient than CFLs, but: "A lot of the LEDs require a special type of dimmer. People who are replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs have to be cognizant of the requirements of replacing that dimmer with a specialty dimmer that works in conjunction with the LEDs," said Dragoo.

And the new bulbs may not work in all of your existing lamps either.

"If you are not sure what this is going to mean for you, check with your electrician because you might find you have lighting fixtures that will need to be changed," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

While energy-efficient light bulbs last longer, they do cost more than the older incandescent bulbs.

"When you look at total life of that bulb versus what you paid for that bulb versus the amount of energy that bulb is using, these are much cheaper," said Bob Nuss, Managing Director of Goodcents. "So the tradeoff there is if you want to keep your old incandescent light bulbs you're going to pay more and change them out more. They are going to create more heat in your home as well."

Lighting is one of the top energy users in the home so when shopping for light bulbs check how much energy the bulb uses because that will have an impact on your electric bill.

Start by looking at the mission of the light bulb. What are you using it for? If you're just trying to get general light, then experts recommend going with the bulb that uses the least amount of energy.

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