Many consumers are increasingly buying products that are more “green.” Even customers who are not overly concerned about the environment have a desire to be more energy-efficient, especially if that efficiency translates into saving money on their utility bills. One of the largest expenses for a homeowner is utilities, and one way everyone can save money is with the lighting they choose for their home. If every homeowner in the U.S. replaced one of the light bulbs in each of their homes with an Energy Star-labeled light bulb, enough energy would be saved to light 3 million homes for a whole year, which would equal a savings of approximately $600 million per year.

The Energy Star label indicates that a light bulb is energy-efficient, and it will save about $6 per year in energy use because it is three times more efficient than an incandescent bulb. It can also help to cut air conditioning costs in the summer because it produces far less heat than its traditional counterpart. Just because a customer has located an Energy Star product, however, does not mean that the search for a light bulb is over. Energy-efficient light bulbs come in all shapes and sizes, just like traditional light bulbs do.

If a customer is looking for a light bulb in the shape of a candle for wall sconce lighting, it is available as either a compact fluorescent bulb or an LED light bulb. If three-way or dimmed lighting is desired, that can also be accomplished with CFL bulbs. In order for you to recognize what type of energy-efficient light bulb is needed, you must determine the kind of fixture the bulb will be used in, as well as where it will be used. You must also decide whether or not the lighting needs to be warm or white. All of these considerations will help a customer figure out whether to use CFL bulbs, LED bulbs or a combination of both.

Once you have chosen to switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, your incandescent bulbs can be replaced right away. There is no need to wait for them to burn out; the sooner they are replaced, the sooner a consumer will enjoy the cost-saving advantages of energy-efficient light bulbs. Meanwhile, any remaining incandescent bulbs can be saved for those fixtures that provide light for only a few minutes at a time, as with the inside of a closet.