LIGHTING CHOICES TO SAVE YOU MONEY
Whether you are faced with a remodel of a room or are decorating a brand new home, making smart lighting choices is critical to the overall look you are aiming for. When you go to the lighting store, you’ll be faced with a myriad of choices in lighting options.
Light your home using the same amount of light for less money. An average household dedicates about 5% of its energy budget to lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $75 each year. New lighting standards took effect in 2012, and money-saving options such as halogen incandescent, CFL, and LED lightbulbs are available today. For high-quality products with the greatest energy savings, choose bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR.
NEW LIGHTBULBS: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Traditional incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy to produce light and are no longer manufactured.
- 90% of the energy is given off as heat
- That lost energy is money we are throwing away
Newer energy-saving lightbulbs provide the choices in colors and light levels you’ve come to expect. The new lights are also much more efficient — so they save you money.
WHAT ARE MY LIGHTING CHOICES?
You have many choices in energy-efficient lighting. The most popular light bulbs available are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although they can initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, during their lifetime they save you money, because they use less energy. You can find these in most hardware and home improvement stores.
Controls such as timers and photocells save electricity by turning lights off when not in use. Dimmers save electricity when used to lower light levels. Be sure to select products that are compatible with the energy-efficient bulbs you want to use.
If you have outdoor lighting that is left on for a long time, using CFLs or LEDs in these fixtures will save a lot of energy. Most bare spiral CFLs can be used in enclosed fixtures that protect them from the weather. CFLs and LEDs are available as flood lights. These models have been tested to withstand the rain and snow so they can be used in exposed fixtures. Also look for ENERGY STAR-qualified fixtures that are …