Of the energy used by incandescent light bulbs, 95% go into heat and only a very small part goes actually into lighting. Low-energy light bulbs are much more efficient. A 20 watt low-energy light bulb produces the same light as a 100 watt conventional one. The table below compares incandescent light bulbs and low-energy ones.

  Electrical power Price Lifetime
Low-energy light bulb 11 W between € 3 and € 10 10,000 hours
Incandescent light bulb 60 W about € 1 1,000 hours

Different types of low-energy light bulbs

The alternatives to incandescent light bulbs include halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps and LED lamps. All of these are more efficient than the conventional bulbs and offer a wide variety of features.

How to choose your lamp

Decide which room you want to light: Compact fluorescent lamps with warm or extra warm light are good for rooms where you spend your free time. This is the same warm, soft colour that you would get from an incandescent light bulb. LED lamps can also produce this tone. If you choose white or daylight lamps, the room will take on a more neutral, factual quality; this is well-suited for offices and desks.

Choose the right wattage: low-energy light bulbs need much less power to produce the same light as traditional bulbs. The table below shows how these relate to each other.

Incandescent light bulb Low-energy light bulb
25 W 5-7 W
40 W 7-9 W
60 W 11-15 W
75 W 15-18 W
100 W 20-23 W
more than 100 W 23 W and more

Get the most out of longer bulb lifetimes: low-energy light bulbs are more expensive to buy but have much longer lifetimes than incandescent light bulbs.


European Commission memo

For more information, visit the website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management.