Plan How to Improve Your Home's Lighting Efficiency
If your home yields high electric bills, GreenHomes recommends improving the efficiency of your home’s lighting system as soon as possible. It’s easy to do and immediately helps homeowners start saving money on your electric bills. For example, the more lightbulbs you upgrade, the more you save each month on your electric bills.
Tips to Save on Your Lighting Project
To save money on the cost to light your home, develop a plan that includes these recommendations:
- Switching lights off when they are not needed. It is easy to do and costs nothing. Turning off unneeded lighting saves on electricity immediately without the need to buy or install anything.
- Think about which lights are on the most each day in your home and which lightbulbs contain the highest wattage. Typically, older, incandescent lightbulbs consume the most electricity. Replace these bulbs first with LED lightbulbs that provide the proper lumens (brightness) and desired color temperature.
- When replacing older, inefficient lighting in your home, the industry sells LED bulbs as 40-watt or 60-watt replacements. This does not mean the LED lights use 40 or 60 watts. It means the LED lightbulbs produce the same amount of light (or lumens) as an old 40-watt or 60-watt incandescent lightbulb. For example, an LED lightbulb sold today that is a 60-watt replacement, uses 9 to 11 watts of electricity.
- Replace CFL or compact fluorescent lightbulbs with LED lighting after replacing the incandescent lights in your home. LED lighting remains more efficient, dimmable and produces full brightness faster than CFL lightbulbs.
- When upgrading to LED lightbulbs, don’t just select the cheapest bulb that is on sale. It is critically important to think about the brightness that will be needed. Reading lamps for example, may need a higher brightness than a simple 60 or 40-watt replacement LED. Make sure the LED replacement is bright enough (the same or more lumens than was produced with the old lightbulb) and is the preferred color temperature for the task and location of the lightbulb.
- Make sure you double-check if the lights to be upgraded are on dimmer controls. Some dimmer controls work better with high-efficiency lighting than others.
- Consider using newer, automatic controls to turn lights off when not needed (such as in basements, spare bedrooms, outside, etc.). Automatic lighting controls can help you save electricity each month.
- Always be extremely careful when on ladders, step stools, etc. when changing lightbulbs. Get help from other family members, friends or neighbors to make sure lights are upgraded as safely as possible.
Impact of High Efficiency Lightbulbs on Your Electric Bills
To emphasize the energy saving potential of upgrading lightbulbs, let’s look at a simple example. A traditional 60-watt incandescent or halogen lightbulb used for 3 hours a day would cost about $7.23 a year at an electric cost of 11 cents per kWh. Replacing that light bulb with a 9-watt LED lightbulb would cost about $1.08 per year to use. The savings would be $6.15 per year per lightbulb. Since LED lightbulbs last for 20 years, the savings over the next 20 years on your electric bill would be $120 FOR EACH LIGHTBULB in your home.
The time to upgrade your lightbulbs is now!