Light Bulbs

An easy way to save on home electric bills

TerraWise Homes includes energy-efficient light bulbs standard in all its new homes.  Lighting a home with these new bulbs achieves the same amount of light and esthetics with big potential savings on electric bills.  Replace bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR rating.  Changing the five most used bulbs in the typical home can save $75 annually.  New lighting standards took effect in 2012, and several alternatives to the traditional incandescent variety bulbs are available:

Halogen Incandescent

Halogen incandescent bulbs have a capsule inside that holds gas around a filament to increase bulb efficiency. They are available in a wide range of shapes and colors, and they can be used with dimmers.




Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are simply alternate versions of the long tube fluorescent lights you may already have in a kitchen or garage. They use less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs, typically pay for themselves in less than nine months, and save money every month. CFLs use about a fourth the energy and lasts ten times longer than traditional incandescent bulb; they use about a third the energy of a halogen incandescent.

CFL bulbs are available in a range of light colors, including warm (white to yellow) tones that were not as available when first introduced. Some are encased in a cover to further diffuse the light and provide a similar shape to the bulbs you are replacing. If you are looking for a dimmable bulb, check the package to make sure you purchase a CFL with that feature.


The light emitting diode (LED) are a type of solid-state lighting — semiconductors that convert electricity into light. Although once known mainly for indicator and traffic lights, LEDs are one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing technologies. LEDs use only 20%–25% of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs. They use 25%–30% of the energy and last 8 to 25 times longer than halogen incandescent bulbs.

LED bulbs are currently available in many products such as replacements for 40W, 60W, and 75W traditional incandescent bulbs, reflector bulbs often used in recessed fixtures, and small track lights.  LEDs are more expensive at this early stage but they last a long time and have very low energy use.  Prices are expected to come down as more products enter the market.

Contact us to learn more about these products and how to build an energy-efficient new home.