How to Save Money on Electricity with Energy Efficient Lighting

energy efficient lighting

Consumers who are looking for ways to save electricity have plenty of options. Among the fastest, safest, easiest, and least-costly ways is to change the kind of lights you use in your home or office to energy efficient lighting. Consider some of the many available energy conservation techniques in lighting and power.

For the average homeowner, lighting takes up a major part of the month’s utility bills. Simply finding a more efficient way of bringing light into your living areas can mean hundreds of dollars of savings each year. To obtain that level of savings, though, you need to focus on exactly how and where you can cut your lighting bill.

Basically, there are three ways to reduce the amount of money you spend on lights. The best, and most obvious, is to use high-efficiency light bulbs all-around your home. The second way is to use special controls on your lights, like dimmers, timers, and motion detectors. Finally, you can cut your electric bill by switching out some of your low-efficiency fixtures. Look at all the lighting fixtures, in your home. Many fixtures have paper, fabric, or glass shades that can obscure or blot out up to 75 percent of the light that comes from the bulb.

Installing better light bulbs, lighting controls, and more light-efficient fixtures can cut your electricity bill in half.

Bulbs

Both compact fluorescent lamp(CFL)bulbs and incandescent bulbs pale in comparison to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Among the many benefits of LED lighting are lower cost, longer life, increased energy efficiency, high-quality beams that are ophthalmologist approved, lower monthly utility bills, and a much safer means of lighting your living space. Many people ask if LED lights are safe—the answer is yes. In fact, LEDs are much safer than any other kind of light bulb because of their low heat output. You can leave an LED bulb on for several hours and touch it without feeling much more than a tiny bit of warmth on the surface of the bulb.

Many people also ask about how LED lights save energy. LED lights save energy in a variety of ways, but mainly by using a semiconductor to transform electricity into usable light for homes, offices, and other spaces. The following lists some main points about LED lights that can help explain why so many homeowners are opting for this energy-smart way of lighting their homes:

  • LEDs convert about 95 percent of their electricity into usable light, compared with incandescent bulbs, which convert only about 5percent into light.
  • LEDslast up to 20 times longer than traditional bulbs and are cost-efficient in the long run.
  • LEDsdistribute light evenly and are much healthier for human eyes. Not only do LEDs bring bright light to your work space, but they won’t cause headaches and blurry vision as some fluorescent bulbs are known to do.
  • LEDs are much cheaper to operate because of their high efficiency. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, they can save a typical homeowner several hundred dollars per year in energy costs.
  • LEDs are much safer than either incandescent or fluorescent bulbs for several reasons, the most obvious being that LEDs don’t get hot, thus reducing the hazard of fire. LED bulbs also contain no dangerous chemicals or gases, as do both incandescent and fluorescent lights.

Safer light sources, more evenly-distributed beams, much longer bulb life, lower electricity bills, and better energy efficiency all work together to make LEDs the smart choice for homes and offices.

Controls

Lighting controls, all by themselves, can help you cut your energy bill. Combined with the use of LED bulbs, smart controls can significantly contribute to your savings. Light timers set to go on and off at specific, pre-programmed hours of the day are just one example of a smart control. Another is a photo-sensitive bulb that comes on when the sun goes down. These types of controls are common in street lights and city lighting systems. Security spotlights that switch on when they sense motion are yet another type of lighting control that saves money.

Note that all types of lighting controls work toward more efficient use of electricity. When lights only come on exactly when (and for only as long as) they are needed, then the controls are doing their job.

Fixtures

Lamp shades, light covers, and various glass fixtures often fail to magnify beams enough. In fact, some of these fixtures serve not to soften or properly spread out the beam but simply obscure it. Think about some of the older style lamps you’ve seen that have heavy shades and super-bright, hot-to-the-touch incandescent bulbs. Not only are these shades a fire hazard, but they waste a huge portion of the bulb’s light.

If you opt for efficient lighting fixtures, you can help your lamps and other light sources deliver safe, well-distributed beams of light wherever you need them.

Putting Everything Together

It’s possible to conserve energy with energy efficient lighting, better fixtures, and various lighting controls in your home. Always keep in mind that the central piece of the energy-savings puzzle is the bulb itself. No matter how “smart” your controls are or how great your fixtures are at directing beams, you won’t save very much on your energy bill if you continue to use inefficient bulbs, like incandescent and fluorescent models.

If you really want to chop off a big chunk of your monthly utility expenses, use the above three-way strategy: opt for LED bulbs, efficient fixtures, and smart lighting controls. That way, you’ll be doing everything in your power to minimize the amount of money you spend on lighting your home.

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