The Energy Source

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Earth Day DIY Project: Switch to LED Bulbs

How better to celebrate Earth Day than saving energy in your home? Join us as we count down to Earth Day—each week we will bring you a new Do-It-Yourself (DIY) home project that you can complete in time for Earth Day. In each post, our EPA experts will walk you through step-by-step instructions for making your home more energy efficient. Whether you’re new to being green, or you’re an energy-saving savant, we’ve got the projects for you. Now, let’s get started!

Replace Your Bulbs with ENERGY STAR Certified LED Bulbs

LED light bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR have an impressive track record of using less energy and helping cut electricity bills. Did you know that ENERGY STAR LED bulbs use about 70 to 90 percent less energy than standard bulbs and last 10 to 15 times longer? That’s good for the environment, and it helps you save money. By replacing your home's five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $45 each year! Here’s how to get started:

Collage image of bulb types, brightness, and color

Step 1:Take inventory of your light bulbs. Make a list of the number of bulbs you need, of which type, brightness, color and the fixture type.  ENERGY STAR LED light bulbs come in a variety of shapes, sizes and light hues for any application—including recessed cans, track lighting, table lamps, and more! Check out the ENERGY STAR Lighting Made Easy guide for options.

Step 2: Choose the brightness. Brightness is a description of light output, which is measured in lumens (not watts). Light bulb manufacturers include this information and the equivalent standard wattage right on the packaging. Common terms are "soft white 60," "warm light 60," and "60 watt replacement." See the chart below to determine the lumens you’ll need, based on the current wattage of your incandescent bulb. 

Step 3: Decide on the color. The color for ENERGY STAR certified light bulbs ranges between 2700 and 6500 Kelvin, a sample of those colors appears in the chart below. Choose the color of light you want your LED bulb to produce based on the room and purpose of lighting, and your personal preference!

Step 4: Determine if you need dimmability. If you are replacing a bulb paired with a dimmer, than make sure the LED bulbs you choose are also dimmable. Most ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs are dimmable, but check out the package to be sure. For more information, view ENERGY STAR’s guide to dimmable LED bulbs.

Step 5: Find out if your local utility offers ENERGY STAR lighting rebates with the ENERGY STAR rebate finder. Many bulbs are already marked down at the store courtesy of your local utility.

Step 6: Go to your local retail store or online to purchase the ENERGY STAR LED light bulbs you need. Remember to look at the label to identify the features you need, as well as information on financial savings and lifespan.

Take it a Step Further

Save Even More: For the experienced home energy savers, here are some additional steps you can take to save energy in your home.

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