The 5 Best Energy Efficient Light Bulbs


With the gradual phasing out of incandescent light bulbs, folks looking to illuminate their households need to look toward more energy efficient light bulbs in order to do the job. Fortunately, energy efficient bulbs are not only good for the environment, they're also good for your wallet; the average compact fluorescent light bulb will save you about $6 per year per light bulb. Here to help you choose which bulb to buy is our list of the top five energy efficient light bulbs.

What Is an Energy Efficient Light Bulb?

The most energy efficient light bulbs are compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, and LED bulbs. CFLs use mercury to cause a phosphor coating on the inside of the bulb of fluoresce, thereby producing light, while LED bulbs use light-emitting diodes as their light source. While LEDs last significantly longer than CFLs (up to 20+ years under ideal conditions), their higher cost means that, for the most part, CFLs still maintain the best cost-utility ratio. However, the use of mercury and other chemicals require that CFLs be disposed of separately from other waste, so LED bulbs may very well take over in the future as they become brighter and less costly.

Best 5 Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Utilitech 100W Soft White CFL

Recommended by Consumer Reports, this Utilitech CFL bulb produces the same amount of light as a 100 watt incandescent light bulb, but uses only 23W to do so. Users agree that it produces a great, cool color that mimics natural daylight. Under ideal conditions, this bulb can last up to 10,000 hours, which means it has a longevity of about nine years if you use it for about three hours a day.

Currently $39.99 on Amazon for a pack of 4.

Philips A21 75W Soft White LED Light Bulb

Another bulb recommended by Consumer Reports, the Philips A21 LED light bulb generates the equivalent of 75W on an incandescent bulb using only 17W, making it brighter than the 60W-equivalent bulbs out on the market. Because this is an LED light bulb and not a CFL, it casts the full extent of its light the moment it turns on instead of requiring additional time to fully brighten. Under ideal conditions, this bulb can last up to 23 years when used three hours a day.

Currently $45.46 on Amazon.

EcoSmart 60W Soft White CFL

This EcoSmart CFL is a 60W-equivalent light bulb that uses only 14W. Users state that this bulb produces a warmer light than many other CFLs, which replicate the 5000K natural daylight. Longevity tests also rate this bulb well, with a lifespan of nine years when used three hours a day. And while all CFLs have mercury, this bulb carries less than the acceptable level of mercury in a CFL, making it all the more safe for your home.

Currently $7.19 on Amazon for a pack of 4.

EcoSmart 13-Watt (60W) LED Light Bulb

Another EcoSmart light bulb makes the list, this one recommended by Good Housekeeping. This 60W-equivalent LED light bulb uses 13W of energy to produce a daylight white light. Being an LED makes this light bulb dimmable as well as gives it spectacular longevity. At three hours a day, this bulb will last you approximately 23 years.

GE 13-Watt Energy SmartTM CFL

This CFL bulb from GE is another 60W-equivalent light bulb that uses 13W to produce its light. With a light output of 2,700K, the light produced from these bulbs are a bit warmer than many of the other bulbs on this list and is closest to the traditional incandescent light bulb. This bulb has a lifespan of about 8,000 hours making it the shortest of the bulbs on this list, but still significantly higher than incandescent bulbs.

Currently $10.48 on Amazon for a pack of 8.

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Guest's picture

The best low-cost light bulbs (in terms of the electric bill) are LED's, NOT CFLs, which are hormone disrupters and should not be used near humans. Packs of LED bulbs are usually available at Sam's Club cheaper than elsewhere.