The average family spends over $2,000 annually on utilities, the largest portion goes to air conditioning, with heating coming in second, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Surprisingly, the average American family consumes similar amounts of electricity to cool their home (17%), run their water heater (14%), power their lights (10%), and run appliances such as the refrigerator, washer/dryer, and dishwasher (12%). This is surprising because there are many affordable ways to make lighting more efficient and reduce your electric utility bill. Here are three ways to make your light fixtures more efficient:
Look for Energy Star Light Bulbs and Light Fixtures
Most people have seen Energy Star certified appliances, but how many have noticed Energy Star also certifies light bulbs and light fixtures? Energy Star, a voluntary certification program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, works with testing laboratories to certify products that meet certain energy efficiency requirements. The theory is consumers will gravitate toward Energy Star-certified products to save money using the product. Many hoped the certification program would lead to broader effects including overall energy conservation and reduction of greenhouse gasses. This has proven true, with Energy Star’s surveys showing that over 70% of consumers report that the Energy Star label influenced their purchasing decisions.
Energy Star certifies two types of light bulbs, light emitting diode (or LED) and compact fluorescent (or CFL). Energy Star also certifies light fixtures. Energy Star certified light fixtures use 90% less energy and generate 70-90% less heat than traditional light fixtures while distributing light more effectively than traditional light fixtures.
Replace Incandescent Light Bulbs in Existing Light Fixtures With CFL or LED Bulbs
An easy and inexpensive tip to lower electric bills is to replace all incandescent bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs. According to the U.S. EPA, the average house has 70 light bulbs but only 40% of those have been replaced with LED or CFL bulbs. This means that the average house still has 42 incandescent light bulbs. Since LED and CFL bulbs last 10 to 25 times longer and use 70-90% less electricity, each bulb saves about $30-80 over its lifetime. For the average house, replacing those 42 incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs can save anywhere from $1,260 to $3,360 over the lifetime of those bulbs.
Replace Traditional Light Fixtures
To take advantage of all the benefits lighting technology has to offer your home, lighting retrofits may be performed on some or all of a home’s light fixtures. Energy Star certified light fixtures are much more efficient than traditional fixtures and bulbs and are available in a variety of styles to match your home’s decor. Replacing light fixtures may be more involved, since many homeowners wish to hire an electrical contractor to ensure that the light fixtures are properly installed.
Lighting retrofits can also give the homeowner control over the look of the home. Energy Star lighting fixtures come in a wide variety of decorative styles. Discover beautiful fixtures and get ideas for your home’s lighting at the Amos Electric lighting showroom.
Making a home lighting system more efficient can be as simple as replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs or as complex as replacing traditional fixtures with newer Energy Star fixtures. In either case, the added efficiency can pay off with real cost savings.