On average, your home’s lighting accounts for about 12% of your energy bill. That means that there is definitely an opportunity to reduce the amount of energy that you’re using to brighten your home. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to make your lighting more energy efficient.
Make These Simple Switches
Rely on sunlight.
Although this is impossible to do during the night, relying on sunlight can easily be done during the day. Instead of reaching for your light switch, pull back the curtains or blinds and let natural light in. South-facing windows typically let the most sun in during the winter, while north-facing windows work year-round. If you’re building a new home, consider adding skylights, which can also help natural light flow into a home. This simple switch can cut back on your use of artificial lighting and greatly reduce your electric bill.
Buy energy efficient light bulbs.
Energy efficient bulbs such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes use between 25-80% less energy than traditional bulbs and last 3-25 times longer, too. Luckily, there is a much wider selection of energy efficient bulbs on the market today than there was years ago. Now, you can choose from a variety of colors or brightness levels, depending on what your preferences are.
Stop These Bad Habits
Turn off the lights.
It’s easy to leave the lights on when you exit a room, but it’s a costly habit that should be stopped to save energy and money on your electric bills. The type of lightbulb that you have will dictate when you should turn off the lights. For example, with incandescent lights, you should flip that switch every time you leave a room. However, with CFL lighting, you only have to turn the lights off if you’ll be gone for at least fifteen minutes. Create a new habit of remembering to turn your lifts off, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the benefits!
Tackle These Projects
You know those days where you want light, but don’t want to feel blinded? With dimmer switches, you can control the amount of light in each room. Not only does this give you more lighting options, but it also helps you save on energy. Dimmers reduce the wattage and output of the light bulb, so you won’t need as much energy to brighten your home. Luckily, installing dimmers is simple as long as you purchase the right kind. Be sure to check the package and make sure that it’s compatible with the light bulbs that you have in your home.
Install photo sensors outside.
It can be easy to forget about turning off outdoor lights, since it’s hard to see that they’re even on during daylight hours. To make it easier, install a photo sensor for your outdoor lights. Photo sensors can tell when the daylight is beginning to fade, and automatically turn on the outdoor lights. When the sun rises in the morning, the photo sensor will turn off the lights on its own. Some outdoor lights have photo sensors built in, so check yours before purchasing one to install.
With these tips, you’ll be ready to shout from the rooftops, “Let there be (energy-efficient!) light!”