Changing out inefficient light bulbs is an easy and cost-effective way to cut your energy bills. Replacing a 60 Watt incandescent bulb with a 13 Watt compact fluorescent (CFL) one can save you almost $60 over the life of the CFL – a payback period of about five and a half months.
Look for the ENERGY STAR label when purchasing CFLs. Bulbs that qualify for the label meet certain requirements for performance, quality and low mercury content.
And speaking of mercury, make sure you dispose of broken, burned-out or faulty CFLs properly – don't simply throw them in the trash, as mercury is toxic. Instead, take them to a collection point for CFLs, which can be found at almost any hardware store.