Gail Corcoran
CENTURY 21 Curran & Oberski

A New Generation Of Efficient Lighting

You are not alone if you feel overwhelmed when shopping for energy efficient light bulbs.  The choices are immense, it is hard to stop thinking in terms of watts.  It can also be tough to find the color and quality of light that you like.  As you re-light your home with more efficient bulbs, just keep these five (5) things in mind:


Though the upfront cost for LEDs (light emitting diodes) is higher than for old incandescent bulbs, the payback comes through longer life and lower energy costs.  LEDs with the ENERGY STAR label use at least 75% less energy and last 25% times longer than a 60W incandescent bulb.  With operating costs of an LED at about $1.00 per year, switching to such bulbs can slash your electricity costs.

Calculate your potential savings at


LEDs come in various shapes and sizes and can replace decorative lights, halogens, recessed fixtures, and tube bulbs.  In addition, there are dimmable options.

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LEDs are measured in lumens - the amount of light a bulb put out - not in watts.  Read product labels to pick bulbs with the lumens that fit your needs.

For example:

  • Replace a 40-watt incandescent with a CFL or LED bulb that provides 450 lumens.
  • Replace a 75-watt incandescent bulb with a CFL or LED bulb that provides 1,100 lumens.


Light color is measured on a temperature scale called Kelvin (K).  Lower Kelvin numbers provide warmer yellow light and higher ones are associated with cool, bluer or whiter lights.


  • 2200K to 3000K for soft or warm light that is similar to incandescent bulbs.
  • 3500K to 4100K for neutral or cool white, appropriate for kitchen and work spaces.
  • 5000K to 6500K for the look of daylight that works well for reading.


The Color Rendering Index (CRI) is a scale that ranges from 0 to 100 and indicates how the color of objects and skin will look under a given bulb.  Bulbs with a higher CRI help things look closest to their true colors.

Learn more at


REALTORS® who have earned the National Association of REALTORS® Green Designation ( can refer you to local experts who can assess your home's performance.