If you've been to a home improvement store lately, you've probably noticed more and more energy-saving light bulbs available on the shelves. Traditional incandescent light bulbs give off about 90% of the energy they use in the form of heat, and only 10% as light, making them a major money-waster compared to better lighting options that are currently available. Lighting homes and businesses with more efficient products is one of the easiest ways to reduce America's reliance on fossil fuels and save money.

Those savings can really add up: You may be paying $6 each year to light a space in your home with one traditional bulb. You would pay about $1.50 to light the same space with a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) or light emitting diode (LED). That's $4.50 in savings each year per bulb. Over their lifetime, energy-saving bulbs are typically less expensive than traditional bulbs, even with a higher purchase price added in.

The Lighting Choices pages [1] on DOE's Energy Savers website [2] can help you select the most efficient lighting products for your home or business, including energy-saving halogen incandescents, CFLs, and LEDs. These energy-efficient light bulbs are available in stores now and are already helping American families and businesses save money by saving energy.

The Lighting Choices pages can also help you better understand how to buy light bulbs based on lumens [3] instead of watts, and learn more about the new "Lighting Facts" label [4], which compares brightness, lifetime, color, and other useful product features.

By choosing the energy-efficient lighting options that are right for you, you can take a bite out of your summer energy bills starting today.

Eric Barendsen is a communications specialist and former Presidential Management Fellow with EERE's Communications and Outreach office in Washington, D.C.