Cost saving techniques for your home

Everyone looks for ways to cut spending. Lighting can be one of the easiest cost saving techniques for your home. New package labels will soon show consumers exactly what they're getting when they turn on a light.

Replacing a light bulb is not difficult. Choosing the right one is a different story.

"Many times people just don't understand lighting," said Marsha Alexander. She's a University of Missouri extension housing and environmental design specialist.

Alexander recommends compact fluorescents that have the energy star label.

"It may be indeed a surprise that not all compact fluorescents and other fluorescent products have the energy star label, but no they do not."

In mid-2011, labels on light bulb packaging will end some confusion. Much like nutrition labels seen on food products listing ingredients, the packages will list information on lumens, estimated yearly costs, and wattage usage.

"These new labels are going to provide some wonderful information, and it is going to be easily assessable for the consumer."

Though compact fluorescents cost more at the store, they last six to 12 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. Alexander says these bulbs measure up to traditional incandescents in both light brightness and quality.

"To really look for an energy efficient lamp, what you want to do is maximize the lumens and minimize the wattage."

A floor lamp that uses an incandescent bulb will cost around 15 dollars in one year. Over the next 5 years... More than $70. But a similar floor lamp using a compact fluorescent is much cheaper to operate without sacrificing brightness or quality of light.

"If you would put one compact fluorescent in each room of your house just think about the savings."

Reported by Kent Faddis from the University of Missouri.