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Guide to Buying Energy Efficient Light Bulbs as Daylight Savings Time Ends

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An uptick in energy consumption is inevitable with the the end of Daylight Savings Time coming this Sunday.

The majority of the U.S. will gain an extra hour Nov. 3 when our digital clocks move back an hour at 2 a.m. As fall and winter carry on, the days will get shorter and require more lighting in our homes. Emphasizing the importance of efficiency, the Natural Resources Defense Council released a light buying guide this week to encourage U.S. residents to consider the most efficient options—and the savings that come with them—when they stock up on bulbs.

Graphic credit: Natural Resources Defense Council

“This time of year offers an excellent opportunity to review our lighting and switch to the new and improved light bulbs that have recently entered the market," said Noah Horowitz, senior scientist and director of NRDC's Center for Energy Efficiency.

“Just because it's the end of Daylight Savings Time, it doesn't mean our electric bill savings also need to end. With more than 4 billion screw-based light bulb sockets in the United States, getting an efficient bulb into each socket also is really important for our environment because the energy savings would be massive."

The NRDC's goal is inspire more people to buy compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) lights. The agency estimates that consumers would save $13 billion on their electric bills if a CFL or LED is screwed into every socket. Altogether, the nation would annually avoid the equivalent of paying for the electricity of 30 large coal-burning power plants.

Graphic credit: Natural Resources Defense Council

Light bulb packaging is required to help consumers make efficiency choices as a result of the six-year-old Energy Independence and Security Act, signed into law by then-President Bush. The law also required manufacturers to improve efficiency, even for standard incandescent bulbs that look the same as but operate more efficiently.

CFL and LED lights use 75 percent less energy and last 10 and 25 times longer, respectively, than incandescent bulbs, according to the NRDC.

Graphic credit: Natural Resources Defense Council
"As you're preparing to move the clock hands back an hour, consider that the end of Daylight Savings Time doesn't mean your savings have to end," the NRDC's Noah Horowitz wrote in a blog. "Today's lighting options offer numerous ways to save energy and money, too."

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