All light bulbs are not created equal! Incandescent light bulbs may be cheaper to buy in the store, but they have a much shorter lifespan and use a lot more energy. This means they costs you more money overall. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) and light emitting diode (LED) light bulbs.   

CFL light bulbs

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Just the simple act of switching to CFL light bulbs can make a big impact on your electric bill. CFLs use 75% less electricity than incandescent light bulbs and last 6 times longer. CFLs also will save you $40 or more over their life time. Visit the Energy Star website to learn how CFLs work and how to choose the right one for your home.

To find a location to recycle old CFLs, visit lamprecycle.org. To learn how to clean up a broken CFL, visit the EPA website.

LED Light Bulbs

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Want even more savings? Then install LED light bulbs today! LED light bulbs can last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs and up to 4 times longer than CFLs. They are extremely durable, safe, and are even more energy efficient than CFLs.  Read more about LEDs at the U.S. Department of Energy and Energy Star websites.

How do I choose the right energy efficient light bulbs?

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CFL and LED light bulbs come in a variety of shapes, light colors, and brightnesses, so it may be confusing at first to find the proper bulbs for your home. Different light fixtures require specific light bulb shapes. Watch this video and use this tool from Energy Star to choose the right bulbs for your home.

Since CFL and LED light bulbs use fewer watts (less energy) to produce about the same amount of light as an incandescent, it can be difficult to know which bulb to buy. To help, energy efficient bulbs list their brightness in “lumens”. Watch this video from the U.S. Department of Energy to learn how many lumens are needed to produce the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs.

How do I get free efficient light bulbs?

Schedule a Quick Home Energy Checkup. It is free -- and they will even install the LEDs for you. Everybody is eligible for the Quick Home Energy Checkup, so don’t leave this opportunity on the table! 

Where can I find less expensive CFLs and LEDs?

Sometimes the cost CFLs and LEDs can be pretty high, compared to incandescents. It’s important to remember that these bulbs will save more in energy costs than they cost to buy. However, in Maryland, there are certain stores that have ongoing reduced prices. Visit BGE’s Smart Energy website to find a participating store near you.