Hopefully, saving some energy by replacing incandescent bulbs with CFLs or LEDs is on everyone’s list of new year’s resolutions this year. And even if it’s not on your list, it was on the Bush administration’s (surprise!) because Bush signed an energy bill on December 19 requiring the light bulb to become more energy efficient beginning 2012.
So why haven’t we already made the switch? Well, maybe you’ve tried CFLs, and have found their glaring quality a bit of a turn off. Though here at jungle [8], we use CFLs and there haven’t been any complaints. Or perhaps you’ve found that LED lights aren’t bright enough? We know CFLs and LEDs save energy, but unfortunately incandescent lighting remains popular because most people believe they are the most aesthetically pleasing of the three.

And CFLs actually contain mercury, which causes some concern over whether they are safe for household use. According to an article at TreeHugger, the minimal amounts of mercury used in CFL light bulbs make them safe, but you won’t be able to dispose of them with the rest of your regular household trash, you’ll have to bring them to a hazardous waste site. The upside is that CFLs last much longer, so you won’t have to dispose of them very often.
So what about LEDs, you ask? Well, no mercury at least. But they are pricier than both incandescent and CFLS upfront. And unlike CFLs and incandescent lighting, they are directional, meaning they won’t give that spread of light we’ve all become so used to.

The verdict? CFLs will probably save you the most, incandescent will (arguably) offer the most pleasant lighting, and watch out for LED technology, because should it become more powerful, it will likely be your lamp’s best friend.


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