Comparing Lighting Types

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Comparing Lighting Types

Choose the right type of lighting

Choosing the most energy efficient type of lighting is a great way to save on your electricity costs. There are many types of lights and some are much more efficient than others.

Compact fluorescent bulbs

Replacing regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) will significantly improve your home's lighting efficiency. Swapping just five regular bulbs for ENERGY STAR™ qualified CFLs can save you about $185 over their lifetime. These bulbs use about 75 per cent less electricity and last about eight times longer than a regular light bulb. They only need to be replaced every five to six years. As a result, they are most-efficient when used in places where lights are on for long periods of time. Replacing a 60-watt incandescent bulb with a 13-watt CFL will save about $37 over the 8,000 hour life of the bulb. Replacing a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 23-watt CFL will save about $62 in electricity over the life of the bulb. CFLs come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Incandescent bulbs

To reduce your energy costs when using incandescent bulbs you can: 

  • Use lower wattage bulbs to save without significantly reducing the amount of light. 
  • Use ellipsoidal reflector lamps as a replacement bulb in a deeply recessed ceiling pot light, where 50 per cent or more of the light can be trapped inside the fixture.


Longer-lived than the conventional light bulb, but only marginally more efficient, halogen lamps are best suited for areas where direct light is needed. Tungsten halogen, or quartz lamps, can save energy.  

Linear fluorescent lamps

These lamps produce more light than many other sources. High-efficiency T-8 lamps on electronic ballasts can reduce lighting energy costs by up to 75 per cent.

The bottom line 

See how the different types of lighting compare:

Lighting Comparison
  Incandescent Halogen Linear Tube CFL
Efficiency Poor Poor Good Good
Light output per watt 8 to 20 lumens 15 to 25 lumens 20 to 90 lumens 36 to 70 lumens
Purchase cost Inexpensive Moderate Moderate Moderate
Lamp Life Poor (750 to 1,500 hours) Moderate (2,000 up to 4,000 hours) Good /Excellent (10,000-20,000 hours) Good (6,000- 15,000 hours)