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Choose compact fluorescent light bulbsChoose compact fluorescent light bulbs!

Save on your home and office utility bills with a range of compact fluorescent light designs and shapes that fit almost any fixture, indoors and out.

Everything you need to know about replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with modern, energy-saving compact fluorescent lights.

Why should I buy a compact fluorescent light bulb?

Compact fluorescent light bulbTo save energy. Compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, use only one quarter of the energy of standard incandescent bulbs. A 15-watt CFL produces the same high-quality light as a typical 60-watt incandescent bulb and saves 45 watts for every hour you leave the light on.

Aren't fluorescent lights just for offices?

Not any more! Thanks to a number of technological advances in recent years, ENERGY STAR® qualified CFLs are a great choice for your home and office. They come in a range of designs and shapes to fit almost any fixture, indoors and out. CFLs can provide warm light for a living room, or brighten up a workspace. And they don't flicker or hum like fluorescent lights of the past.

Why are CFLs more expensive?

Because they are a better product. Production costs for CFLs have dropped a great deal in the last 10 years, and manufacturers and retailers are passing these reductions on to consumers. But CFLs still cost more because they are more expensive to make than standard incandescent bulbs. The CFL manufacturing process is more complex, requiring more electronic materials and higher product-inspection and quality-control costs.

Why do CFLs use less energy than incandescent bulbs?

Fluorescent technology is much more efficient at converting energy to light. Standard incandescent bulbs, which have been produced the same way using the same materials for more than 100 years, waste 90% of their energy by producing heat, not light.

Image: How much will I saveHow much will I save by using CFLs?

An average Canadian home has 30 light fixtures, indoors and out, that consume close to $200 of electricity every year. Replacing just five bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs in high-use areas can save up to $30 a year, depending on location and amount of time used. That means you'll pay off the added cost of the bulbs in less than two years, and they last for at least five. Better still, you won't have to change them as often!

Where can I install CFLs?

They can be installed indoors or outdoors. The package will tell you where the CFL can be used. You'll find CFLs to fit almost all fixtures, from ceiling units to standing lamps. A good idea is to start installing CFLs in areas where lights are on longest, such as the kitchen, family room and outdoors. Many people install CFLs in hard-to-reach areas because they don't have to be changed as often.

Compact fluorescent light bulbDo CFLs work with dimmer and three-way switches?

Some CFLs are specially designed to work with dimmers and three-way switches. Check the package to make sure.

Why choose an ENERGY STAR qualified CFL?

On CFLs, the ENERGY STAR symbol means that the product meets strict specifications for quality, including long life, colour and brightness as well as energy savings.

How do I compare incandescent light bulbs with CFLs?

The packaging for ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent lights will give you all the information you need to make a true comparison with other bulbs. On each package, look for:

  • Compact fluorescent light bulbthe amount of light produced by each bulb, measured in lumens
  • the average expected life of the bulb in hours
  • the wattage of the bulb
  • the wattage of an equivalent incandescent bulb

Remember, the wattage rating listed on light-bulb packaging is a measure of the power used, not the light output. CFLs use much less energy to deliver the same light output as incandescent bulbs.

Image: What is ENERGY STARWhat is ENERGY STAR?

ENERGY STAR is an international symbol that will help you quickly identify products that reduce energy use in your home. When you see the ENERGY STAR symbol, you can be sure you're looking at the most energy-efficient products on the market.

Image: Need more informationNeed more information?

If you want to know more about compact fluorescent bulbs, ENERGY STAR or other energy-efficient product options, visit the ENERGY STAR Web site in Canada at energystar.gc.ca. For free publications please call:

Office of Energy Efficiency
Natural Resources Canada

Leading Canadians to Energy Efficiency at Home, at Work and on the Road. The Office of Energy Efficiency of Natural Resources Canada strengthens and expands Canada's commitment to energy efficiency in order to help address the challenges of climate change.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2007

Cat. no. M144-48/2007
ISBN 978-0-662-49945-9