How to Save on Your Lighting Bill

Sure, we all want to save money around the house, but many of us just don’t know where to start. An average North American home has over 30 fixtures and typically consumes anywhere from $150 to $400 per year in power. Cutting your would seem like a good place to start.

Here are some tips on how you can cut your lighting bill and start saving your money.


Step 1
Start with the simplest and most effective way to save on power: turn off the lights when you leave a room. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, turning the light off will definitely use less power than leaving it on and will save you money. As an added benefit, keep in mind regular incandescent light bulbs are very inefficient at producing light and only about 15 percent of the power consumed by an incandescent bulb actually produces light; the rest goes to producing heat. So leaving an incandescent light burning is wasting energy while adding heat to your home. Unfortunately, not enough to make a difference in winter, but definitely not a good idea in summer.

Step 2
Consider, fluorescent lights are more efficient in creating light than incandescents, but even here the EPA suggests it would always be cheaper to turn off a fluorescent bulb if you’re out of the room for 15 minutes, and depending on how much power costs in your area, in some areas you’d save money after just 5 minutes.

Step 3
Use dimmer switches that allow you to adjust the amount of power a light fixture uses. With a dimmer switch you can decide how much light you need in a room and easily adjust the light level by turning the switch up or down at any time.

Step 4
Install programmable switches to turn lights off at a preset time and you’ll never need to worry about someone going to bed or going to work and leaving the lights on all night or all day. As an added bonus, you can also use a programmable switch to turn some lights on at a preset time, so you’ll never need to come home to a dark house.

Step 5
Place floor and table lamps in a corner so light will reflect off two walls and out into the room, effectively brightening it.

Step 6
Consider using task lighting to supplement background light in areas where your read or write. Task lighting will allow you to concentrate the light exactly where it’s needed rather than using overhead (background) lights to brighten the entire room.

Step 7
Replace regular incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s (compact fluorescent lights) that use 70 to 80 percent less power and last 8 to 10 times longer.

Step 8
Regularly dust your light bulbs and fixtures to allow them to generate the most light possible.

Save on Your Outdoor Lighting Bill
Step 1
Install motion-activated sensor lights that turn on when there is movement in the area as opposed to regular outdoor flood lights that are constantly consuming power and adding to your bill.

Step 2
Consider using low voltage lights or even solar lights to provide outdoor accent lighting. Low voltage lights use substantially less power than regular incandescents, while solar lights get their power from the sun and won’t add anything to your power bill. Modern solar lights stay lit for hours, and since they have no wires connecting them, they’re very adaptable for any landscape or layout.

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