Use of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) is one of the easiest ways that we can made a dramatic difference in energy usage. CFLs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and they last 6000 hours or more-at least 7-10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, according to the energy Federation Incorporated.. They also produce less heat than incandescent bulbs. Look for the Energy Star label on bulb packaging. According to Con Edison, CFLs last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and savings amounts to $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulbs lifetime. Energy Star recommends installing qualified CFLs in fixtures that are used at least 15 minutes at a time or several hours a day.

I have had to visit many different stores to understand the options and availability of compact fluorescent bulbs. The first one we tried was orange and I could never find my keys at by its light at the entry door, and I finally replaced it back to an incandescent.

Later we tried the typical CFL swirly bulbs in our traditional Restoration Hardware standing lamps. The swirls showed through the shade in garish stripes. What I learned is that swirly and color bulbs are not the only options to incandescent.


Light Emitting diodes (LEDs) produce less heat than conventional bulbs and should be able to last for ten years. They have only recently become available for uses in various residential situations for the home. Like CFLs, they are a considerable energy savers.LEDs use four times less energy than conventional bulbs. They have a considerable advantage to CFLs in that they do not contain mercury and therefore do not require special disposal requirements.

Global Keepers Picks

There is a category of standard CFL bulbs called “Capsules” by the Energy Federation. I found such a bulb in my search at Walmart. I purchased two Philips Soft White Plus EL/SWP 14W 120V 60Hz bulbs for $9.97. I think they are great and they do not take too long to brighten. They and other capsule varieties can be viewed on the Energy Federation Incorporated website at Another more attractive version of CFLs is the globe light which can also be viewed on the site.