Saving Energy by Turning Off Lights: Facts & Benefits

Saving Energy

When you get in the habit of turning off the lights in your home, whenever they are not needed, you can be saving energy as well as money.  You can determine just how much energy you conserve for each hour that a light bulb is burning. First, look for the wattage rating that is printed at the top of the bulb. If you are using a 75-watt bulb and switch it off for an hour, you will save 0.75 kilowatt-hours of energy use.

By viewing your last electric bill, you can locate the rate that you are charged per kilowatt-hour and multiply the cost by the number of kilowatt-hours. This figure can vary according to where you live and, sometimes, the time of day or season of the year to which your electric bill refers. If your electric usage charge rate is equals to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour, you are enjoying a cost-savings of 1.2 cents for each hour that one bulb is not in use. You will no longer need to ask, “How much energy does turn off lights save”?

Basic Ways to Practice and Encourage Energy Efficiency

In general, to improve the energy-efficiency of your home, you can take simple measures such as turn off the lights in a room if you are leaving it for at least 15 minutes. If you plan to return to the room in less than this amount of time, just leave the lights burning. Some ways of getting other people to join in starting a trend toward saving energy and power costs include the following tips:

  • Involve Your Neighbors and Co-Workers:  Encourage energy-efficiency among your neighbors and co-workers. By raising awareness in your neighborhood and workplace about the importance of using lights only when they are needed, your community and business office can benefit. Your neighbors and the other company staff members where you work will all see reductions in their electric bills. This way, they will also be helping to conserve energy use as participants in the local and worldwide efforts to preserve the environment and our natural resources.
  • Support the Efforts of College Students in Saving Energy:  Many colleges and universities in the U.S. and other countries today have started active movements for reducing power usage on campus. At Cornell University, the “Lights Off Cornell”¹ movement is working well as a successful community effort to reduce electricity consumption and a sustainability plan. This movement began at Cornell in 2010 and was continued after the university discovered that by turning off unnecessary lights regularly, the school could save as much as $60,000 annually.
  • Promote the Use of Lighting Controls:  One way to help ensure the observance of energy conservation in your home and workplace is to install lighting controls. When you use dimmers, timers or motion detectors at home or in the office, store, showroom or factory, you can actually save impressive amounts of energy.
  • Dimmers decrease the wattage output of light bulbs and are not expensive to purchase and install. Motion sensors turn lights on in rooms, entryways and halls only when they detect motion in the immediate area. When motion is no longer detected, they turn the lights off. Timers can turn lights on and off at specified times of day or night. They are available in manual and auto-programming designs to meet different needs and are quite useful for saving energy.

 Major Benefits of Turning Lights Off When Not in Use

Some obvious benefits of turning off the lights when they are not in use include cutting back on your electricity consumption and saving money on your monthly electric bills. You will also increase the lifetime of your light bulbs and need to buy new ones less frequently. More benefits of switching off lights when they are not needed for saving energy at home include the following:

  • Reducing Energy Wastage and Overuse: Turning off and dimming lights when they are not needed will help cut back on the general wasting of energy. This eco-friendly practice will reduce wastage and overuse in homes, offices, stores, schools, hotels, restaurants, transportation centers, community buildings and recreation facilities. Significant amounts of electric power and money can be saved by this practical reduction of energy consumption.
  • Reducing Carbon Emissions: By turning off lights, equipment and appliances in homes and commercial buildings when they are not in use, you can also reduce carbon emissions and other unhealthy greenhouse gases. Just by forming and heeding this simple habit, you and others can protect the natural environment.
  • Allocating Funds to Cover Other Expenses: When you cut back on electricity usage in your home or commercial setting, you can use the resulting cost-savings for other purposes. Once you can calculate how much you can save on your electric bill each month, you can allocate the amount saved for covering other home or business expenses.

Light Bulbs Are Not All Created to Be Equal

Different types of light bulbs offer different levels of energy efficiency and cost-savings. The oldest variety, the incandescent bulb, is the least efficient and most costly to use. The cost and energy usage of commonly bought light bulbs today include the following:

  • 60W Incandescent Bulb: This incandescent bulb uses 0.06 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electric power per hour. After 1,000 hours of burning, it will have consumed 60 kWh of electricity. If you pay $0.11 per kWh, the cost will be $6.60.
  • 43W Halogen Light: This type of light is somewhat more energy-efficient than an incandescent bulb. Halogen lights require approximately 25 percent less electricity to generate the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs. The cost of burning a halogen light for 1,000 hours is about $4.73.
  • 15W CFL: This kind of light is approximately 75 percent more energy-efficient than an incandescent bulb. Burning one of these fluorescent lights for 1,000 hours will cost only about $1.65.
  • 12W LED: This very efficient light design operates with light-emitting diodes that are as much as 80 percent more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. Operating an LED for 1,000 hours will cost just $1.32.

Characteristics of Different Lighting Types that Affect Their Energy-Efficiency

Incandescent light bulbs are generally the least energy-efficient varieties of light. They frequently create heat as their first electrical conversion prior to generating light. Ninety percent of their energy is radiated as heat, and only ten percent lights your room. Switching off your incandescent lights can definitely aid your efforts to save energy. If you turn off halogen lights when they are not needed, this can also be of help in cutting your energy costs as one of the ways to save energy at home. This is because they operate with the use of the same technology as your incandescent bulbs.

When burning Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs), if you leave the room but plan to return within 15 minutes, just leave the lights on. However, if you will be gone for a longer time period, turn them off to conserve energy use. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are an excellent choice for energy conservation. They can be left on without any concerns about wasting energy and increasing your electric power bill.

When you choose Prepaid Lights with main offices in Dallas, TX, as your electricity provider for your residence in a deregulated area of Texas, you will gain valuable customer benefits. Your household will receive reliable, energy-efficient and cost-effective electric power. You can open your account without paying a deposit and with no credit check, no ID or Social Security number and no long-term commitment.

In addition, you will benefit from highly competitive electricity rates, flexible payment terms and use of the company’s mobile app. You will also be provided with a convenient Smart Meter for monitoring your electricity usage. You can contact the Prepaid Lights experts by phone, by email or on the company website at

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