Lighting – Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)

CFLs have improved tremendously since they were first introduced in the 1980’s. ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs produce the same light output as regular incandescent light bulbs, but they use less energy.

Replacing just five bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified CFL bulbs, in areas that require more than three hours of light a day, saves approximately $30 a year.

ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs:

  • fit in most fixtures – indoors and out
  • come in a variety of shapes and sizes
  • offer warm (cozy) or cold (task) lighting ambiance
  • use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs
  • last for at least five years (based on 3 hours of use per day)
  • provide excellent light
  • recover their costs through energy savings

Watts and Lumens
When purchasing light bulbs, it is important to know that the wattage rating listed on the bulb and its packaging is not a measure of how much light is produced (light output), but a measure of the energy the bulb uses.

The table below is provided as a guide only. Check the product packaging to determine the equivalent wattage.

Bulb (watts)
Qualified CFL
equivalent watts)
Light Output
40 10 450
60 15 800
75 20 1100
100 29 1600
150 38 2600

For more information:

CFLs - Reference card | PDF 190 KB

CFLs pamphlet (Switch and Save) | PDF 443 KB

Mercury in CFLs | PDF 55 KB

Mercury Lamp Recycling Information for CanadiansThis link opens a new window.

Basic Facts About Residential Lighting | PDF 1.7 MB