Other decision factors include light quality, brightness and burnout rates, but these features are not as clear-cut as price comparisons. Brightness of energy-saving bulbs is measured in lumens and color measured in Kelvin. Package labels can be confusing, and choosing a good bulb is no guarantee of getting good payback, particularly if a bulb is placed in the wrong fixture.
“Making the switch is worth it, though, when saving money is the main goal. Replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with CFL or LEDs can save consumers $60 to $130 in annual energy bills,” said Adam Borut, president of Eco Hatchery, a sustainability consulting and technology firm.
So how can a consumer get the right bulbs and the best payback without spending an entire weekend immersed in the lighting aisle of the local hardware store? It isn’t socket science, according to Consumer Reports which has just released a full report with lightbulb ratings in its October issue, now available on newsstands. The Energy Star website and Lighting Guide also are useful for learning more about energy-efficient lighting: http://www.energystar.gov/
For those who want fast and reliable answers specific to their own household, the free Light Bulb Finder mobile app provides instant recommendations for energy-saving bulbs that have the best payback, the right fit for the right fixtures, and the warm light quality that consumers expect. The EPA selected Light Bulb Finder as “Best Overall App” in its Apps for the Environment Challenge.
Based on simple inputs about current incandescent bulb types and fixtures, the app displays a recommended energy-saving CFL or LED with the price, savings, and environment impact information. Users can immediately calculate the dollar savings of replacing one bulb or an entire household of bulbs.
Consumers can buy recommended energy-saving bulbs through the app or refer to the customized shopping list on their mobile device when shopping at local retailers. All bulb recommendations include an image of the bulb and the standard package label to make it easy to find a match on store shelves.
In many markets across the county – from Madison and Hesperia to Massachusetts and Rhode Island -- Light Bulb Finder users also can access bulb discounts and regional energy efficiency information through the app. Eco Hatchery, the developer of Light Bulb Finder, collaborates with utilities and municipalities to help residents make the switch to energy-efficient bulbs a rewarding experience in terms of time, money and impact.
The Light Bulb Finder mobile app is available as a free download on iPhone, iPad iPod touch, and Android smartphones and tablets. Visit the app store on search for “Light Bulb Finder.”
Eco Hatchery, LLC is a sustainability technology and services firm specializing in energy efficiency software and mobile applications. For more information on the Light Bulb Finder app and mobile marketing and education programs, please visit http://www.ecohatchery.com and http://www.lightbulbfinder.net. Connect with Light Bulb Finder on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/