How to Determine the Wattage You Need from an Energy Saving Light Bulb

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How to Determine the Wattage You Need from an Energy Saving Light Bulb

The green movement has become so popular that it is basically mainstream. However, it is important to remind yourself what this movement really means. Being 'green' is all about ordinary people and large corporations alike becoming more environmentally conscious through making simple changes and substitutions, which collectively pay big dividends.

One of the hallmarks of the green movement comes from the use of energy saving light bulbs designed to not only save the earth, but your budget as well. As a simple substitution, learning how to determine the wattage you need from an energy saving light bulb is a simple way to 'go green'. Furthermore, making this change and learning where to buy energy saving light bulbs helps even more by saving money as well.

Definition of an Energy Saving Light Bulb

An energy saving light bulb is a familiar reference to what is known as compact fluorescent lamps or compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). These bulbs are designed to replace traditional incandescent bulbs that are used in homes and businesses for basic lighting needs. There are two distinct types of CFL lamps, each of which operates in the same basic chemical-electric manner.

Types of Energy Saving Light Bulbs

There are two distinct types of CFLs known as integrated and non-integrated models. The former of the two combine a light's tube and its ballast into a single unit which screws into a lamp in the same way as incandescent bulbs. These are the twisty-looking bulbs most commonly used in home environments.

In contrast, non-integrated lamps have a permanently mounted ballast and only require the bulb tubes to be switched out once burned. These types of CFLs are more commonly found in business and industrial settings, particularly as part of overhead track lighting usually just called 'fluorescent lights'.

How Energy Saving Light Bulbs Work

Rather than the electrical current used in incandescent bulbs and made famous by Thomas Edison back in 1879, the light emitted from CFLs is created using gas. More specifically, energy saving light bulbs use argon, or more often, mercury vapours to produce light. Incandescent bulbs use electrical current and a wire filament.

The lighting in CFLs is accomplished through the use of an electronic ballast which heats up the metal in the tube. This process emits the gas which causes the light. Different colours are also created using CFLs that use different phosphor combinations within the bulbs; these are known as saturated colour CFLs. The highest quality and most popular CFLs, however, emit 'white' light.

The Benefits of Using Energy Saving Light Bulbs

The benefits of using CFLs stem from the fact that their differing electronic structure allows them to emit the same amount of light at a lower wattage, or energy consumption, than incandescent bulbs. The result is the energy saving light bulbs last longer and use less electricity than their incandescent counterparts. This results in two important savings: energy savings and cost savings.

Energy Savings

The initial fuel that lit the fire of CFL use in homes came from the early champions of the green movement who saw these lighting choices as a far more energy-efficient alternative to traditional incandescent light bulbs. Indeed, CFLs use up to 90 per cent less energy which, if they were to be implemented across the board in homes and businesses, could have a significant global impact on energy consumption.

What is more, even small changes, such as switching one incandescent bulb for a CFL, makes an impact. The effect of that simple switch, according to the U.S.-based Energy Star, could lower greenhouse gas emissions by 9 billion pounds annually. That is the same thing as taking upward of 80,000 cars off the road forever.

Cost Savings

The real boon for most people when it comes to energy saving light bulbs is not the butterfly effect of greenhouse gases though. Rather, many individuals choose to switch over to energy saving light bulbs because of the very real cost savings they provide immediately. Despite a slightly higher initial cost, CFL bulbs, if switched out throughout the home, lowers energy costs by about $40 annually. In addition, cooling bills lower since the heat emitted by CFLs as compared to incandescent bulbs is also 90 per cent less.

Additional cost savings through the use of energy saving light bulbs are generated because of their longer lifespan. While incandescent bulbs burn on average of 750 to 1,000 hours, the lifespan of CFLs is anywhere from 6,000 to 15,000 hours, depending on the quality of bulbs and outside conditions. Therefore, over time, the longer-lasting CFLs save users hundreds of dollars on energy costs as well as time and headaches spent changing out light bulbs.

How to Convert Incandescent Bulbs to Energy Saving Bulbs

Clearly, the benefits of using energy saving light bulbs are hard to deny. However, some consumers may still be hesitant when they see the packaging on CFLs since they differ so distinctly from the incandescent bulbs they are used to. The good news is that determining the wattage you need from energy saving light bulbs is as easy as comparing the wattage currently used in lamps or overhead lights and comparing it with the corresponding energy saving light bulb wattage in the table below.

Incandescent Bulb Wattage

Energy Saving Bulb Wattage

25 watts

5 watts

40 watts

7 watts

60 watts

11 watts

75 watts

15 watts

100 watts

20 watts

120 watts

23 watts

150 watts

30 watts

Understanding the inner function of energy saving light bulbs should make the conversions in the table above easy to understand. It is from this stark contrast that consumers derive all the benefits of CFLs. Using the chart and the light bulbs already in use in your home is a simple switch to save the planet and your own bank account from more damage.

Buying Energy Saving Light Bulbs on eBay

In order to save even more money when making the conversion to energy saving light bulbs, many buyers choose to use the eBay website to purchase the energy saving light bulbs they need. A worldwide marketplace, eBay offers daily deals, registering for an account is quick, and the site offers buyers an easy search system from every one of its pages.

Buying CFLs or energy saving light bulbs on eBay should be done according to wattage. Therefore, make sure to enter the proper wattage needed in the search field, for example, "30W energy saving light bulb". Buyers save even more money by looking for bundled deals which may combine different wattage bulbs in one package. Also, limiting searches to local sellers often reveals offers for free and discount post or even in-person pickups.


The popularity of the green movement has led many people across the world to rethink the simple choices they make. Whether this includes using reusable bags while shopping or switching out old incandescent light bulbs for new energy saving light bulbs, little changes add up to big results.

It is easy to learn how to determine the wattage you need from an energy saving light bulb, just use a conversion table and your old incandescent bulb for reference. In addition, the cost savings of making the switch to CFLs extend even more through the use of eBay, where buyers combine their knowledge of green technology with simple buying strategies to save not only the planet, but their wallets as well.

Energy Saving Light Bulb|Incandescent Light Bulb|Compact Fluorescent Light|CFL|Lamp

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