DC Sustainable Energy Utility
Your Guide to Green

Energy Efficient Lighting 

Not all bulbs are created equal. For high-quality products with the greatest energy savings, choose bulbs with the ENERGY STAR®. Find LEDs as low as $0.95 per bulb in participating District retailers.

The DCSEU is partnering with local retailers throughout the District to offer discount energy-efficient LEDs for as low as $0.95, making it easy and affordable to choose the bulb that meets your needs.

Energy Details

Comparison of light bulbs you would use in a table lamp with 1100 Lumens (a 75 Watt equivalent)

Bulb Type

Yearly Cost*

Ten Year Cost*













DCSEU Is Your Guiding Light

There’s an abundance of energy efficient choices in the lighting aisle these days. Whether you choose based on the color temperature of the light, the type of fixture, or brightness, you can use DCSEU's Lighting Guide to help you find the right bulb for every fixture in your home.

CFLs and LEDs can help lighten your electric bills

  • ENERGY STAR-qualified CFLs use about 75% less energy, and ENERGY STAR qualified LEDs use about 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
  • You can save more than $65-$100 per year in energy costs just by replacing the bulbs in your home's five most frequently-used light fixtures with ENERGY STAR models.
  • ENERGY STAR-qualified lighting also produces less heat when operating, so it can help you save on air conditioning costs during the hot months in the District.

Lumen Output: Incandescent light bulbs versus CFLs and LEDs

With traditional incandescent bulbs, we’re used to looking at the wattage of a bulb to determine how bright it would be. But wattage is really a measure of energy used, not brightness.

When replacing a traditional incandescent bulb with a CFL or LED, look for "brightness" on the Energy Facts label, listed in lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb.

Bulb Comparison Chart

Lumens (Brightness)

Incandescent Watts

CFL Watts

LED Watts

















Top 5 things to know about CFLs and LEDs

  1. ENERGY STAR qualified LED bulbs can have a useful life of 25,000 hours or more, 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs and 2.5 times longer than CFLs.
    An ENERGY STAR qualified LED will last on average 25 years. Much longer than other bulbs.
  2. CFLs are very versatile and can fit a wide range of fixtures – just about anywhere you used to use a traditional incandescent bulb. 
  3. LEDs offer crisp, natural-looking light, perfect for reading areas, kitchens, and anywhere that light quality is especially important.
  4. CFLs are more widely available at retail outlets and are still more affordable than LEDs.
  5. LED bulbs use both light and energy more efficiently by producing light only where it is needed.

The facts about energy efficient lighting


ENERGY STAR LEDs are your best bet. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label, awarded to select LED products that meet strict efficiency, quality, and lifetime criteria. While LEDs are already beginning to surpass the quality and efficiency of existing lighting technologies, testing by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has shown wide variability in performance of LED products. Only well-designed products used in the proper applications will provide the energy savings, lighting quality, and long-life benefits of LEDs.


CFLs have come a long way. Compact fluorescent lighting has not always been the best solution for many homeowners, despite the potential for high energy savings. Many early buyers were dissatisfied with things like flickering, humming, and the harsh quality of light.

CFL technology has come a long way. The CFLs you find on the shelf today:

  • provide high-quality light in a range of colors that rival the array of incandescent options;
  • no longer flicker or hum;
  • come in an assortment of shapes to suit nearly every lighting need. There are even covered versions for those who prefer the traditional look of incandescent bulbs; 
  • and last as long as 10 years.

How to recycle and dispose of energy efficient light bulbs


Non-working bulbs

Recycle it!

CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, which is essential in conducting electricity in CFL bulbs. Mercury can be hazardous to the environment, so it is important to recycle your used CFL bulbs rather than throw them away.

Home Depot, Ace Hardware and True Value Hardware will recycle used CFL bulbs. You can also contact your local bulb retailer to find out if they recycle bulbs as well.


Dispose of properly.

If a CFL bulb breaks, it can release some of its mercury as vapor. Therefore, you must follow specific cleanup steps to avoid coming into contact with the mercury, the DCSEU recommends following the EPA guidelines for cleanup of broken CFLs.

You can dispose broken CFLs at Fort Totten Transfer Station.


Recycle it!

If CFLs and the need for proper disposal is an issue for you, LEDs may be a great lighting choice. More than 95% of an LED bulb is recyclable; call your local waste management company and visit the Department of Public works website for information on collecting and recycling LEDs.

The DCSEU is working with local retailers to make sure that only top quality ENERGY STAR bulbs qualify for on-the-shelf discounted pricing. Look for reduced prices on LEDs available at participating retailers. Limit of 12 bulbs per DC residential electric utility account.

Find a Store

Giant Food #383 Map It
4303 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 364-8250

Walmart #3035 - Riggs Road NE Map It
310 Riggs Road NE
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 756-4418

Lowes Washington DC Map It
2438 Market Street Northeast
Washington, DC 20018
(202) 378-2500

Lowes - Washington, DC Map It
2438 Market St NE
Washington, DC 20018
(202) 378-2500

Walmart #5968 - Georgia Ave Map It
5929 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 719-3770

Annie's Ace - Brookland Map It
3405 8th Street NE
Washington, DC 20017
(202) 529-2658

Home Depot - Washington DC Map It
901 Rhode Island Ave NE
Washington, DC 20018
(202) 526-8760

Giant Food #375 Map It
1050 Brentwood Road NE
Washington, DC 20018
(202) 281-3900

Yes! Organic Market - Petworth Map It
4100 Georgia Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 291-5790

Annie's Ace - Petworth Map It
1240 Upshur Street NW
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 726-2658

W.S. Jenks & Son Map It
910 Bladensburg Rd NE
Washington, DC 20020
(202) 529-6020

Giant Food #378 Map It
1345 Park Road NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 777-1077

Target #2259 Columbia Heights Map It
3100 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 777-3773

Old School Hardware Map It
3219 Mount Pleasant Street NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 462-1431

Best World (Bestway) Supermarket Map It
3178 Mount Pleasant Street NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 265-3768

Giant Food #2381 Map It
300 H Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 548-5100

Brookville Super Market Map It
3427 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 244-9114

Giant Food #2376 Map It
1400 7th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 238-0180

TechniArt.com Map It
Washington, DC 20003

Walmart #5941 - H Street Map It
99 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 719-2110

True Value Hardware - 17th ST NW Map It
1623 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 462-3146

True Value Hardware - District Hardware and The Bike Shop Map It
730 Maine Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 659-8686

Giant Food #384 Map It
1535 Alabama Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20032
(202) 610-6464

King's Discount Map It
2747 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20032
(202) 562-3100

Costco - 2441 Market Street NE Map It
2441 Market Street NE
Washington, DC 20018

Home Energy Walk-Through

Discover ways to save energy in your home.

DC Saves Energy

See how the DCSEU is helping residents save money and energy.

How to Buy a Bulb

A guide to efficient lighting for your home.

DC Sustainable Energy Utility
80 M Street SE, Suite 310, Washington, DC 20003 E info@dcseu.com
P 202-479-2222 F 202-450-1552 Toll-Free: 855-MY-DCSEU (855-693-2738)
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