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Replacing Incandescent Bulbs With Halogen, CFL or LED (Reviews/Ratings)

February 12th, 2014 | 2 min. read

By Roger Pontes

Due to new energy efficient standards most incandescent bulbs can no longer be produced. With this new law how do you decide which bulb is best for your home?

So why are light bulbs changing?

In 2007 Congress passed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act. This meant that many products including light bulbs had to improve in order to be more energy efficient. You can still buy light bulbs that look similar to your old incandescent bulbs but they are more efficient now. All new bulbs must have labels to help you choose the most efficient ones.

Watts vs Lumens

First, see how bright you need the bulb to be. Light bulbs are now measured in lumens instead of watts. Lumens are the amount of light detectable by the human eye. Watts are simply a measure of energy consumption.

I placed a chart of the most common incandescent along with the new equivalent bulbs. The new halogen is better, but it is still a filament style incandescent. Incandescents heat to 300 degree and have shorter lifespan.

Kelvin Scale

Lastly, you would choose the color temperature and its life span. Energy star bulbs will have the lifespan, color temp, and estimated savings per year on the box itself. You want a lower Kelvin for a warmer temperature. Although incandescent is an inefficient bulb, the color is excellent especially in kitchens with warm tones. Look for a bulb between 2500-3200 Kelvins.

We will be comparing the standard incandescent to LEDs, CFLs, and the New Halogen Incandescent bulbs. These are direct replacement to the incandescent bulbs in your chandeliers, recessed lights, floor and table lamps, flushed mount fixtures, plus more.

Below are examples of energy star labels on light bulb boxes:


Below is a comparison of the different light bulb options to help you choose the right one for your application.These are all standard medium base light bulbs. Lumens measures the light output and the higher the Lumens the brighter the light is. Watts are only a measurement of the energy required to light the product. Standard incandescent is 90% heat and 10% light.


As you can see some bulbs last for 1 year while others last for 10 years or more. Standard incandescent bulbs are cheaper to buy but the overall cost to purchase and operating are much higher than the LED’s or CFLs.Incandescent bulbs average 750-1000 hours life and are only 10% efficient.The other 90% is heat emission adding more HVAC costs.

LED Bulbs

If you are thinking of replacing your light bulbs, I would recommend LEDs over the others. First, LEDs are much better quality now than when it was first introduced. Most LEDs are now dimmable, warranted for 3-5 years, and rated to last between 25,000-50,000 hours of life. Used 3-4 hours per day and LED can last well over 20 years.

Unlike incandescent, LED is 90% efficient, does not emit heat and uses a fraction of the energy.

I had halogen light bulbs in my recessed lighting at home and I was changing it out every 6 months. It was pretty annoying when I had 10 light bulbs all going out at different times and had to replace each one. I finally decided to replace them with LEDs and I have not changed any my bulbs in 2 years. My electric bill went down and I can finally stand in my living room without feeling the heat from the halogen bulbs beaming down on my head. It’s worth the investment.

Recommended Reads
Read our Kitchen Lighting Buying Guide

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Roger Pontes

Roger Pontes has been with Yale Appliance for over 10 years. He’s worked in both the lighting and appliance department over the years. Roger truly enjoys helping people. He’s a married father of 2 kids, a boy and a girl. On his spare time Roger enjoys spending time with his family and playing sports.

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