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“The consumers I see want to be energy-efficient, but they are also budget-conscious,” Ms. Gombof said. “I always suggest that a good way to be energy-efficient is to add a dimmer switch to all of your standard incandescent bulbs. Not only are the bulbs themselves becoming more energy-efficient, but the dimmer allows you to use the least possible light that you actually need. That saves energy and will save on your electric bill, too.”

Ms. Dickinson suggests purchasing CFL bulbs, since they are only slightly more costly than incandescent bulbs.

“If you are not sensitive to color and light, you can try out the least-expensive CFLs, or use them in utility closets and the laundry room, where the quality of the light matters less,” Ms. Dickinson said.

Mr. Rey-Barreau said consumers should avoid CFLs with Kelvin temperatures above 3,500, because they are designed to work best in offices. He said “daylight bulbs,” at 6,000K, sound as if they are appropriate for home use, but in reality they match the color of the sky and give off a bluish light.

“CFLs are close to the price of incandescent bulbs, but they are about four times more efficient,” Mr. Rey-Barreau said. “So a typical 25-watt CFL would be similar to a 100-watt light bulb. In addition, CFLs last about 10 times longer than the standard light bulb. If you are careful to choose the right quality bulb with the right color, then you can save money and get good lighting.”

Mr. Rey-Barreau said not all CFLs work with dimmer switches, but some are beginning to come on the market. He believes improvements in LED lighting will mean the majority of light bulbs sold in the U.S. within a decade will be LED bulbs.