For families looking to cut their expenses and increase their savings, one of the first places to start is electricity usage, particularly lighting, which accounts for an average of 15% of a household’s electric usage. In addition, 90% of the energy emitted from traditional incandescent light bulbs is heat, not light. By simply switching out your light bulbs for more energy efficient options, you can save hundreds of dollars and keep your home just as bright. Here is an overview of some lighting options to consider.
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL’s):
Many home owners have been enjoying savings from CFL’s, which provide the efficiency of fluorescent light in a smaller form that can be screwed into a lamp or light outlet. CFL’s provide 70-75% efficiency and can pay for themselves in about nine months. Most tend to last about 10 times longer than an incandescent light bulb.
CFL’s are ideal for lighting applications where there is a cover or a shade over the bulb, as the light of most CFL’s can be a little harsh on its own. In addition, CFL’s use a small amount of mercury which is perfectly safe when the bulb is intact, but which must be cleaned up and disposed of properly should a bulb shatter.
LED Light Bulbs:
Although you may know LED lighting from flashlights, key chains, or even traffic signals that use these efficient, bright lights, LED light is now available in a bulb form that you can use in your home. The tiny LED bulbs that you’re used to seeing in your flashlight or strung out for Christmas lights are clustered together inside of a bulb in order to create a bright light that is 80% more efficient, making them superior to even Compact Fluorescent bulbs. In addition, they tend to last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
Whether in your garage, den, or unfinished basement, you can enjoy significant energy savings while providing all of the light you could ever need by installing fluorescent lights. The receptacles are quite cheap to purchase and the light tubes aren’t too costly either for the amount of light they put out. While you wouldn’t use this lighting set up for your living room, this is an ideal way to cut costs without losing light.
Energy-Saving Incandescent Bulbs:
If your lamp shades still require a traditional incandescent light bulb that they can latch onto or your living room uses a dimmer for some of your light sources, all is not lost in your pursuit of energy efficiency. There are energy-saving incandescent bulbs available that still provide 25 % more efficiency. In addition, these bulbs are designed to last 3 years longer than a traditional incandescent light bulb, making them a sound investment for energy efficiency.
The possible ways to save on electricity through light bulbs have only increased with the introduction of LED’s and energy-saving incandescent bulbs. CFL’s remain a practical choice for many homeowners, but with the advances made in LED light bulb technology, it’s hard to see how anyone could overlook an LED bulb that is safer, more efficient, and more long-lasting than anything else on the market.
(Stats Source: U.S. Department of Energy).
This article was written by Rhonda Campbell.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/creative_tools/4315378855/