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  • Home > Ways to Save > At Home > Lighting > Energy-Efficient Lighting

    Energy-Efficient Lighting

    An image of three common types of light bulbs: incandescent, CFL and LED.If every American swapped just one lightbulb for an ENERGY STAR labeled CFL or LED bulb, it would collectively save more than $8 billion in energy costs and remove 2 million cars worth of greenhouse gas emissions from our atmosphere.

    What Are CFLs and LEDs?

    CFLs are compact fluorescent lamps. They use a lot less energy than incandescent bulbs and they last longer, too.  CFLs contain a small amount of mercury so they must be disposed of properly.

    LEDs are Light Emitting Diodes.  LEDs also use much less energy than incandescent bulbs and they can last for decades.  LEDs don't contain any mercury, which makes disposal easy, but they are a relatively new technology and are still a lot more expensive. 

    Why Switch

    CFLs & LEDs save money - The less energy it takes to light your house, the lower your electric bill will be. That's why it's a good idea to replace the lights you use most often with CFLs.

    CFLs & LEDs last a long time - CFLs and LEDs last far longer than standard bulbs. That makes them an excellent choice for lighting in hard-to-reach areas.

    CFLs & LEDs produce good light - Lighting technology has improved dramatically in recent years. In a recent test by Popular Mechanics, CFL bulbs outperformed standard bulbs in tests for color, brightness and quality of light.

    CFLs & LEDs help fight global warming - CFLs & LEDs use at least 2/3 less energy than standard bulbs to produce the same amount of light. When you use less energy, that means less energy must be generated by coal or natural gas-fired power plants, which create pollution that leads to global warming.

    Learn About Lumens - The new way to choose light bulbs.

    Disposing of CFLs

    Like batteries, CFLs should be recycled at a hazardous waste facility rather than thrown into the trash. 

    Columbia County Transfer Station: In Columbia County, you can take them to the Columbia County Transfer Station in St. Helens on the last Saturday of each month.  Call Columbia County at (503) 397-7218 for more information.

    Home Depot: Used CFLs can be returned to any Home Depot store for recycling.

    Learn More

    Concerned about the mercury in CFLs? Click here for more information.

    To learn more about CFLs, visit the ENERGY STAR website.