Lighting Ideas – Ways to Save on Your Electric Bill

There are many ways in which homeowners can save energy and money. Changing electrical habits is a good place to start. You can change your electrical habits by paying closer attention to the way you use electricity in your home.

Light Bulbs
Do you still use conventional incandescent bulbs? If you do, then you should consider switching to fluorescent bulbs, such as small CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs. CFL bulbs use less energy and last longer. According to eartheasy.com, “CFL’s use 1/3 the electricity and last up to 10 times as long as incandescent bubs. A single 18 watt CFL bulb used in place of a 75 watt incandescent bul will save about 570 kWh over its lifetime. At 8 cents per kWh, that equates to a $45 savings.” CFL’s cost a few more dollars per bulb than incandescent bulbs. In the long run, you will save more as you won’t need to replace them as frequently as incandescent bulbs.

Dimmers
Dimmers provide an additional way to save energy and money by allowing you to control the strength of the light. The dimmer the light, the less energy used, and the greater savings for you.

Task Lighting
Task lighting focuses on a specific area. Task lights can save money by avoiding the need to light up an entire room. Under-the-cabinet task lighting is great for kitchen cabinets or for basement workshops. Task lighting eliminates shadows and eases eye strain.

Skylights
Skylights have become a popular choice among homeowners throughout the U.S., as their energy savings benefits are substantial. Skylights can eliminate the use of electrical lighting during the day by providing clear, natural daylight. Tubular skylights are another option for natural lighting. These smaller skylights are easy to install and cost less than conventional skylights. Because of their small size, they are more energy efficient, as there is less heat loss in the winter and less heat gain in the summer.

Rearrange Furniture and Window Treatments
Do you have furniture that is blocking a large window? Consider rearranging your furniture so that you can maximize the use of natural daylight. Drapes and other window treatments can also block natural daylight. Rearranging them, or using lighter colored shades and drapes can help maximize daylight in your home. Moving a couch or chair closer to the window will decrease the usage of lamps during the day time.

Use Lighter Color Paints
Daylight reflects more off of lighter colored walls than darker colored walls. If you will be repainting your walls, consider lighter colored paints for maximum energy savings. Ceilings reflect the most light. A white ceiling is the best option for maximum light reflection.

Vampire Power
Vampire power, or standby power, is the power that is used by any electrical device which is plugged into an outlet in your home. Any electrical device, just by being plugged in, wastes a great deal of energy. Unplugging any electrical device in your home, such as stereo, washing machine, or cell phone charger can save you money.

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