Financially savvy homeowners know there are ways to conserve energy and save money on home utilities. According to Energy.gov, an average household dedicates about 5% of its energy budget to lighting. So, is the solution shutting off all the lights and sitting in one room during these dark winter nights? We suppose that is one way to do it, but what if we told you that there are ways to use the same amount of light for less money?
Reducing lighting that is not being used is one solution but switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest and easiest ways to cut your energy bills. By replacing your most frequently used light fixtures with more energy efficient bulbs (especially with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR rating), you can save $75 each year. Lighting choices are varied according to your personal taste, shape, colors and desired lighting effects (such as dimmers). Here are three of the most common energy efficient lighting choices that can save you some money this year.
- Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) are simply curly versions of the long tube fluorescent lights you may already have in your home. An ENERGY STAR-qualified CFL uses about 1/4 the energy and lasts 10 times longer than a comparable traditional incandescent bulb that puts out the same amount of light. A typical CFL can pay for itself in energy savings in less than 9 months.
- Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are a type of solid-state lighting — semiconductors that convert electricity into light. ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20%–25% of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs they replace.
- Halogen Incandescents have a capsule inside that holds gas around a filament to increase bulb efficiency. They are available in a wide range of shapes and colors, and they can be used with dimmers.
Try replacing your light bulbs gradually when each of your older bulbs burn out or replace several at a time to see greater savings. Whatever method or bulb you choose, know that it can be money in your pocket. Happy savings!