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Smarter Living: Making the move to energy efficient light bulbs

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Say goodbye to your old light bulbs. In 2012, manufacturers started phasing out 100-watt incandescent bulbs, followed by 75-watt bulbs in 2013 and 40 and 60-watt bulbs this year.

In today's "Smarter Living," what the lighting changes mean to you.

With incandescent bulbs quickly being phased out, the most common alternatives are compact florescent (CFL) and LED light bulbs.

The new bulbs are far more efficient; CFL bulbs only need one-fifth to one-third the electricity of an incandescent to produce the same amount of light and they last nearly 10 times as long.

Don Dragoo, a light designer, says CFLs are a little different from incandescents and people may need to get used to them.

"They start up initially, but it takes them awhile to warm up. So, to reach those optimum light output it's going to take a couple of minutes."

As for LEDs, those are up to 85 percent more efficient than incandescents and 10 percent more efficient than CFLs.

Just like CFLs, LEDs are a little different than your typical light bulb.

"A lot of the LEDs require a special type of dimmer," Dragoo says. "People who are replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs have to be cognizant of the requirements of replacing that dimmer with a specialty dimmer that works in conjunction with the LEDs."

While energy efficient bulbs last longer, they cost more than incandescents. Lighting is one of the top energy users in the home, so when shopping for light bulbs make sure to check how much energy the bulb uses. That will have an impact on your electric bill.

Sharon Tazewell

Sharon anchors WNCN Today weekday mornings starting at 5! Her background has helped mold her into an outstanding journalist and a perfect fit for our community. Sharon's also a trained pianist and a member of NABJ. More>>

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