Top 10 Best Eco-Friendly Lightbulbs to Buy Online 2019

Top 10 Best Eco-Friendly Lightbulbs to Buy Online 2019

One of the easiest ways to slowly care more for the environment is by replacing your lightbulbs with more eco-friendly options as they go out. When compared to more modern options, traditional incandescent lightbulbs are short-lived and very energy inefficient, so it makes sense to switch over not just for the environment but also for your wallet.

There are a few different options when it comes to eco-friendly lightbulbs, and if you don’t know where to start, it may feel a little intimidating. In this guide, we’ll go over the things you should look for when choosing the right lightbulb for you. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started.

Table of Contents

How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Lightbulb – Buying Guide

Finding the right eco-friendly lightbulb involves considering the quality of the bulb as well as the kind of lighting you need. So don’t forget to keep your own preferences in mind.

For the Longest-Lived, Most Energy Efficient Lights, Look for an Energy Star Certification

For the Longest-Lived, Most Energy Efficient Lights, Look for an Energy Star Certification

Energy Star is a joint program between the EPA and the Department of Energy that assesses electric appliances for quality, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

When it comes to lightbulbs, an Energy Star certification means that compared to standard incandescent lightbulbs, certified lights are just as bright, use up to 90% less energy, last 15-25 times longer, and can save up to $80 per lightbulb over its lifespan. Both LEDs and compact fluorescents can be Energy Star certified.

When Choosing Between LEDs and CFLs, Consider Price and Disposal

For a while, CFLs were the gold standard in energy efficient lighting, but recently LEDs have started to take over. However, both are still good options when switching from incandescents.

CFLs are Cheaper but Contain Harmful Chemicals and Must Be Handled with Care

CFLs are Cheaper but Contain Harmful Chemicals and Must Be Handled with Care

When it comes to upfront price, compact fluorescents are the clear winner as they can cost less than half as much as LEDs. However, they have a shorter lifespan by a factor of 2-3 and are 20-30% less efficient (though still up to 80% more efficient than incandescent lights), so CFLs might only be a good choice if you’re unable to foot the upfront cost of LEDs.

Additionally, CFLs also contain mercury, which is an extremely toxic substance, and cannot be thrown away. In fact, some states have even made it illegal to dispose of CFLs in the trash. So when you’re ready to get rid of an old CFL, you will have to find a processor that can dispose of it safely.

LEDs Are Fully Recyclable but Cost More Upfront

LEDs Are Fully Recyclable but Cost More Upfront

LED lights last longer and are more energy efficient than CFLs. Plus, they’re nontoxic and can be thrown away if you want. But they’re also full of recyclable parts—just be sure to find a recycler that can take them and don’t include them with your normal recycling.

However, LEDs are the new kid on the block and are thus going to cost a bit more upfront. But when one lightbulb may last you an entire lifetime, it makes sense to splurge a little.

For More Control Over Energy Flow, Look for Dimmable or Motion-Activated Lights

For More Control Over Energy Flow, Look for Dimmable or Motion-Activated Lights

If you’re the type to forget to turn lights off or prefer to not have bright lights during certain parts of the day, you could save even more energy by getting dimmable or motion-activated lights.

A dimmable light will allow you to change energy flow to the light, thereby making it brighter or dimmer. A motion-activated light will turn on and off depending on whether there’s any movement within its sight range.

Think About Your Lighting Needs When Considering Brightness and Color

Think About Your Lighting Needs When Considering Brightness and Color

Of course, it doesn’t make sense to buy a light only to realize that you hate the color or that it’s too bright. So to prevent from wasting any time, money, or resources, it’s best to go in knowing exactly what you’re looking for.

Energy efficient lightbulbs measure brightness in lumens. A bright light comparable to a 100-watt incandescent bulb is about 1600 lumens. A standard 80-watt equivalent is about 800 lumens. For an even dimmer, 40-watt equivalent, look for 450 lumens. Of course, dimmable lights will give you a range of possible brightness.

When it comes to light color, the box will normally tell you whether to expect warm, white, or cool lighting. But if you’re looking for more specifics, the warmest light you’ll find would be around 2200 K, a cool daylight is around 5000 K, and a soft white would be around 3000 K. Some LEDs also allow you to adjust the color via an app.

Top 10 Best Eco-Friendly Lightbulbs to Buy Online

So now that you know what to look for, if you haven’t had a lightbulb moment yet, here are 10 of our favorites for a little inspiration.

10. Seaside Village Vintage LED Edison Bulbs (4 Pack)

Seaside Village Vintage LED Edison Bulbs

Visit Amazon for more details

Price: $29.99

Modern LED with Old Fashioned Shape

Despite their appearance, these lightbulbs are actually LEDs and are perfect for those looking for a warm, classic vibe. They’re bright, dimmable, and don’t flicker.

However, they are a bit larger than most Edison bulbs, so keep that in mind if you’re planning on putting them in a tight fixture. And while they aren’t Energy Star certified, they do have a significant lifespan.

Energy Star Certification No
Type of Light LED
Lifespan 20,000 hours
Brightness 600 lumens
Color 2700 K (Soft white)
Extra Features Dimmable

9. Aukora Motion Sensor Light Bulbs (2 Pack)

Aukora Motion Sensor Light Bulbs (2 Pack)

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Price: $17.98

Motion and Light Sensors for Extra Energy Savings

This light features both motion sensors as well as daylight sensors so that it automatically only turns on when motion is detected in a dark setting. It can be used in any downward facing fixture as long as it’s no more than 13 feet above the ground.

However, some reviewers note reliability issues out of the box. But if that’s a problem for you, the manufacturer offers a 30-day money back guarantee as well as a 12-month warranty.

Energy Star Certification No
Type of Light LED
Lifespan
Brightness 1600 lumens
Color 6000 K (Cool white)
Extra Features Motion sensor, daylight sensor

8. Philips Energy Saver 23-Watt 100W Soft White CFL Light Bulb (4 Pack)

Philips Energy Saver 23-Watt 100W Soft White CFL Light Bulb (4 Pack)

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Price: $9.34

Bright, Reliable CFL

This compact fluorescent lightbulb costs just over $2 each and will last you about 7 years of regular use. Its warm light is ideal for almost any setting and requires basically zero warm up time.

However, some reviewers note receiving packages with a broken bulb. And while the company does offer a limited warranty, a broken CFL can be dangerous due to the mercury content.

Energy Star Certification Yes
Type of Light Compact fluorescent
Lifespan 12,000 hours
Brightness 1600 lumens
Color 2700 K (Soft white)
Extra Features

7. Sunco Dimmable, Indoor/Outdoor Flood Light (6 Pack)

Dimmable, Indoor/Outdoor Flood Light

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Price: $22.99

True White Downward-Facing Lights

These LEDs are bright, stable, and reliable. They have a 110-degree beam angle perfect for any downward-facing light fixture with a wide range of dimmers, and the color runs very close to true white.

Some reviewers note that there may be a brief popping sound after turning the light on but that it just happens once. If you find that they stop working within the first 5 years, they will qualify for a warranty.

Energy Star Certification Yes
Type of Light LED
Lifespan 25,000 hours
Brightness 850 lumens
Color 3000 K (Soft white)
Extra Features Dimmable

6. Torchstar Globe LED Dimmable Bulb (6 Pack)

Torchstar Globe LED Dimmable Bulb

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Price: $28.50

Bright Daylight in All Directions

These globe lights shine bright in all directions, making them perfect for any more exposed fixtures like lamps or vanity mirrors. Plus, they aren’t too bright, which makes them good for use in multiples.

However, some reviewers have reported flickering in some units. But in case that happens to you, the manufacturer is extremely responsive, and each bulb is under a 3-year warranty.

Energy Star Certification Yes
Type of Light LED
Lifespan
Brightness 500 lumens
Color 5000 K (Daylight)
Extra Features Dimmable

5. Fluxtronics LED Light Bulb (4 Pack)

Fluxtronics LED Light Bulb

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Price: $17.99

True 100-Watt Equivalent Brightness

These LEDs are 100-watt equivalent and just as bright as they claim to be. They are reliable and give off a cool white light, plus they don’t buzz, flicker, or get hot.

On top of that, in case there are any problems with your bulbs, they come with a 3-year warranty, and the manufacturer is quick to respond.

Energy Star Certification Yes
Type of Light LED
Lifespan 15,000 hours
Brightness 1600 lumens
Color 5000 K (Daylight)
Extra Features

4. Philips LED Non-Dimmable Frosted Light Bulb (16 Pack)

Philips LED Non-Dimmable Frosted Light Bulb (16 Pack)

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Price: $28.35

Reliable, Affordable LEDs

These LEDs give off a bright, warm light and are flicker-free. These bulbs are slightly shorter than an average lightbulb, which might make them a better fit for some smaller fixtures.

While they aren’t Energy Star certified, Philips is known for its quality, and with 16 bulbs for less than $2 each, it will likely still be cost-effective despite the slightly lower lifespan.

Energy Star Certification No
Type of Light LED
Lifespan 11,000 hours
Brightness 800 lumens
Color 2700 K (Soft white)
Extra Features

3. EcoSmart Spiral CFL Light Bulb (4 Pack)

EcoSmart Spiral CFL Light Bulb (4 Pack)

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Price: $12.99

CFL with Less Mercury

These compact fluorescent bulbs are probably the most eco-friendly CFLs you’ll find as they contain 70% less mercury than a standard CFL. They give off a bright, cool white light that will make your room feel like it has an extra window.

These bulbs are reliable, long-lasting, and brighter than you might expect, but if you do have problems, they also come with a 9-year limited warranty.

Energy Star Certification Yes
Type of Light Compact fluorescent
Lifespan 10,000 hours
Brightness 800 lumens
Color 5000 K (Daylight)
Extra Features

2. Hyperikon Dimmable LED Bulb Dimmable (4 Pack)

Hyperikon Dimmable LED Bulb Dimmable

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Price: $32.45

Brighter, Crisper Colors

These lights are designed to give nearly identical light conditions to true sunlight and are especially effective at making colors more crisp and vibrant.

They are dimmable down to 20% and are compatible with most dimmers, but if you have a problem with them, they also come with a 5-year warranty.

Energy Star Certification Yes
Type of Light LED
Lifespan 25,000
Brightness 920 lumens
Color 5000 K (Daylight)
Extra Features Dimmable

1. TCP 9W LED Light Bulbs (6 Pack)

TCP 9W LED Light Bulbs

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Price: $15.99

Affordable with Consistent Color and Quality

These bulbs are bright, true to color, and consistent. If you’re still slowly changing out old CFLs or incandescents, these will match the color perfectly.

At just over $2 per light, these are some of the most affordable LEDs you can find, and they are rated to last for up to 13 years of regular use.

Energy Star Certification Yes
Type of Light LED
Lifespan 15,000
Brightness 800 lumens
Color 2700 K (Soft white)
Extra Features

Are Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs Dangerous?

Are Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs Dangerous?

You may have heard somewhere that CFLs leak radiation or that LEDs contain environmentally harmful heavy metals. As with all new technology, there are naturally some concerns over the safety of new energy-efficient lightbulbs. But rest assured, using them in your home is completely safe.

It’s true that CFLs contain mercury, but the amount of mercury is actually one-hundredth of the amount in older thermometers, and you’d have to leave a broken bulb unattended for weeks for enough mercury to get into the environment to cause any sort of effect.

As for the radiation, so long as you’re about a foot away from the light, they give off no more radiation than an incandescent.

LEDs, on the other hand, do contain trace amounts of metals like nickel and copper, but they’re in such small amounts that they’re even considered safe for landfill. Plus, that’s more of a reason to remember to recycle!

Summary

So there you have it–a quick guide to choosing an eco-friendly lightbulb. Hopefully this guide was able to shine a little bit of light on eco-friendly lightbulbs for you and illuminate some good options for your home.

By Jacqueline Oshiro

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