Energy Savings Tips: Lighting

Switch to efficient light bulbs Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use one quarter the energy of regular light bulbs and last 5 to 10 times longer. Depending on the bulb’s wattage and your local electric rate, a single CFL can save you up to $20 per year, and nearly $100 over its lifetime. See our Light Bulb Savings Calculator for details. A warm glow: Many people worry that fluorescent lighting will be cold and harsh. Solution: CFLs with a color temperature of 2700K produce soft, warm light just like incandescent bulbs. Fact: Lighting is one of the easiest places to start saving energy. If every American home replaced their 5 most frequently used light bulbs with efficient Energy Star rated bulbs, we would save close to $5 billion each year in energy costs, and prevent the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 5 million cars from the roads. View compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) in Verde's Energy Saving Store.

What others have saved: up to $20 per year per bulb

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) LEDs last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use even less energy than CFLs. At present, LEDs are expensive, but prices are expected to come down. For now, you might want to consider LEDs for hard-to-reach spots where changing bulbs is difficult. View LED lighting in Verde's Energy Saving Store. There are just two problems with LEDs. The first, as noted above, is price. The second problem is brightness: Some LEDs advertised as replacements for 60W incandescent bulbs only emit half as much light. How to compare The only way to compare the brightness of bulbs is by lumens – a standard measure of how much light is being produced. Most regular 60W incandescent bulbs emit 820 lumens of light. Truly comparable LEDs use 12 watts to produce that much light – not much less than comparable CFLs, which use 13 to 15 watts. New labeling standards that make it easier to compare will phased in shortly. Depending on your local electricity rate, a single CFL can save you up to $16 per year, and nearly $350 over its lifetime.

What others have saved: up to $18 per year

Use occupancy sensing switches. Most of us occasionally forget to turn off lights when we leave a room. This can really run up your electric bill. Switches that automatically shut off lights in vacant rooms can cut energy costs. There are two kinds to choose from:Occupancy sensors turn lights on when you enter a space, and turn them off when you leave. These are best for areas where you need lighting even during the day. In areas with good natural light, there is no need for lights to automatically come on during the day. For those areas, you want a vacancy sensor; you switch the lights on manually when you need them, and the sensor will shut them off after you leave. View lighting controls and switches in Verde's Energy Saving Store.

What others have saved: $10 to $15 per year per bulb

Place lamps near corners of rooms. Locating lamps in the corners of a room will provide more light for every dollar you spend on electricity because the adjacent walls will reflect more light into the room. This works especially well if you have light colored walls.

What others have saved: Varies

Optimize daylighting Increasing the amount of natural daylight that enters the house reduces the need for artificial lighting. Here are a few ways to save money by letting the sun shine in.

  • Choose light colors for walls, floors, and ceilings. Lighter surfaces reflect more daylight.
  • Avoid heavy draperies
  • Cut back shrubbery or prune trees to admit more sunlight

What others have saved: $50 to $150 per year

Improve the efficiency of outdoor lighting. Outdoor lights often stay on for many hours per day. It’s easy to install a motion sensor or a photocell that turns the light on only when someone is present or on at night and off in the morning. View timers for outdoor lighting in Verde's Energy Saving Store.

What others have saved: $40 per year per location

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