One of the most common questions we are asked at Alternative Energy Applications, (AEA) is, will changing out my light bulbs help reduce my electric bill? The simple answer is Yes! Below are our top 5 tips to help you reduce your lighting costs however, first we need to understand what our lighting options are.
Incandescent are extremely common and typically the least expensive, they also provide warm, appealing light that is complementary to different skin tones. Incandescent bulbs are not that energy efficient when compared to other options. They last between 700-1000 hours.
Halogen bulbs give off the closest light to that of natural daylight. They are a variation of the incandescent light bulbs yet are more energy efficient. Most Halogen bulbs state the lifetime of the bulb is 2,500 hours. However, it is important to remember that number is derived under the best circumstances. When budgeting for Halogen bulbs, we recommend using 1000 hours, and this is because of recent independent testing using everyday lighting situations. It is also essential to make sure you do not use a bare hand to change these light bulbs as the slightest oil from your fingers can cause hot spots on the light which can lead to failure.
Fluorescent lighting, you know: our favorite office light. It throws off a cold, harsh light making everyone in your office look like a zombie. Ok, ok, in their defense they have gotten a lot better, now even offering warm color options. One of the reasons this is such a popular lighting option is because they typically produce more light and are longer lasting than a traditional incandescent light. They also throw off a wide beam of light which is why you see them used in garages, attics, laundry rooms, and basements.
Compact Fluorescent Lighting
Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) are an excellent choice in lighting because they last about 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use about a quarter of the energy. They have color-corrected tones which give off a warm light. They can also be used in any application a traditional incandescent can. One drawback is they do contain mercury which is a harmful substance. This shouldn’t be a reason not to use them as they use a far less amount of mercury than other typical household items, but care should be taken when handling them. This is one of the main reasons they should be recycled.
LED or Light-Emitting-Diode are extremely energy efficient using one-seventh less power and lasting about 10 times longer than a halogen bulb. However, a drawback is they only provide directional light which means more complicated housings to spread the light. They also cost more to produce, for these reasons they tend to have a higher upfront cost yet testing has revealed they pay for themselves over the lifespan of the bulb.
Now as promised AEA’s top 5 cost-saving tips for lighting.
- Change your lights out with LED’s. In some cases, you may use a CFL.
- Reduce your wattage. Try using a 60w rather than a 75w. In many cases, people are wasting a lot of energy on lighting.
- Motion Sensors/Detectors are a great way to ensure lights are only on when needed.
- Dimmers are a great option to dial in the amount of light necessary, and not waste energy. Make sure to use light bulbs that can be dimmed. Otherwise, you risk damaging your bulbs.
- Keep your lights clean. Yes, it really is that simple. When a light becomes dirty with say dust up to 50% of the light can be blocked.
We hope you enjoyed this list and have a little more understanding when it comes to your lighting. If you have any questions please ask. As your energy experts, it is our pledge to help everyone become energy efficient.