If you’ve purchased light bulbs recently, then you know that there are more options available now than ever before. Energy efficiency has become a top priority, and you’ll see that reflected in the changes that have been made to light bulb packaging. If you’re unsure about what bulbs are best for your home, we can help shed some light on the subject.

Starting just last month, packaging for energy-saving light bulbs includes new government labels. One major change you will see on these labels is a shift in focus from wattage to lumens. While wattage is the measure of electrical power used by the light bulb, the lumens tell you how much light is produced. And the higher the lumens, the brighter the light. So, instead of shopping for a 60-watt bulb, you may be looking for an 800-lumens bulb. Thankfully, the new packaging shows you which energy-saving bulb can replace your traditional bulbs and give you comparable brightness.

You can also check the packaging for energy-saving light bulbs to see the estimated yearly energy cost, life expectancy, energy used and the light appearance — warmer bulbs are more yellow and cooler bulbs cast a bluer light. Not only do these newer bulbs offer greater efficiency, they also give you more options in appearance, so you can choose the levels of brightness and warmth that work best for each room in your home.

New energy-efficiency requirements will be put into action over the next two years, so that light bulbs must operate on at least 25 percent less energy. While traditional bulbs will still be available, they will need to meet this basic level of efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you could save around $50 a year by replacing just 15 older incandescent bulbs in your home with newer energy-saving bulbs.

So, what are your options when shopping for these energy-efficient light bulbs? The three main types are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Halogen incandescents look like traditional bulbs, but they use about 30 percent less energy and last up to three times as long. Though they don’t quite stack up to CFLs and LEDs in terms of efficiency or lifespan, these bulbs are a good choice if you prefer the same color and brightness as the old bulbs you’re used to. CFLs are the most popular and the most economical choice. In comparison to standard bulbs, they use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times as long. In addition, CFLs produce about 75 percent less heat. LEDs are the most technologically advanced of the newer light bulb options. While LEDs are comparable to CFLs in energy-efficiency, they boast a lifespan of up to 25 years.

Regardless of what light bulbs you might choose, you can count on Blind & Sons to help you design custom plans and install both indoor and outdoor lighting. Contact us today for a lighting consultation, and we’ll show you how to keep your whole home bright and energy-efficient.

Sources: Central Virginia Home, U.S. Department of Energy, LUMEN Coalition