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Cost Savers

Energy Tip: Light Your Home More Efficiently

Saving energy on lighting is good for your budget and the environment. Learn how you can easily reduce your energy use and your electric bill by following these tips.
Light Bulbs Save Money on Energy Bill

Photo by: iStock

Want to save about $50 a year?
Upgrade 15 of your inefficient incandescent light bulbs. According to Energy.gov, the changes in lighting standards made effective in 2012 helped create more money-saving options like energy-saving incandescent, CFL and LED light bulbs. To find bulbs with the greatest energy savings, look for the ENERGY STAR® rating.

An ENERGY STAR CFL bulb typically lasts up to ten times longer and an ENERGY STAR-qualified LED bulb lasts as much as 25 times longer than a traditional incandescent bulb with the same light output. A traditional 60-watt incandescent bulb costs about $4.80 per year to operate, while an ENERGY STAR LED bulb costs about $1.00 per year to operate.

Look for Lumens
For decades, we’ve been shopping for light bulbs according to how much energy they consume (watts) instead of the light they give us (lumens). Eartheasy.com defines a lumen as a unit of standard measurement that is used to describe the amount of light in an area perceived by the human eye. Lumens help you determine the amount of light you want. The more lumens, the brighter the light. Using lumens allows you to compare the brightness of any bulb, regardless of its type.

Rule of thumb: Replace a 100W incandescent bulb with an energy-saving bulb that provides about 1600 lumens.

Use Controls
Reduce your family’s lighting usage with sensors, dimmers, and timers, all of which help you save money by reducing the amount of time your lights are on. Dimmer switches let ceiling and wall-mounted lights operate at lower power levels and help your bulbs last longer. Motion sensing light switches do the work for you when you forget to turn off a light. If they don’t sense any motion, they automatically turn off the lights to save energy.

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