Help for confused consumers of CFLs (and other bright ideas)

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Confused about light bulbs? There’s a dizzying array on the market, not just at Home Depot and Lowe’s and online at, but at many home supply stores.

For any given lighting job, you may find yourself confronted with several types of bulbs that could work — CFLs (compact fluorescent bulbs), a halogen or two or ten, and some of those ongoing, but supposedly outgoing, incandescents. Conversely, for specific needs, like say the flame-shaped bulbs you need for your chandelier, you might find the choices wanting, perhaps there’s an incandescent available, but not an EnergyStar CFL.