Many homeowners in today’s America, are aware of steps that can be taken to reduce the normal household expenses. Everyday things like sealing windows and doors, to insulating attic spaces properly can yield high returns for ones investment dollar. However one of the most over-looked ways to save money is by changing light bulbs.
Sure, we have all heard for years about switching to compact fluorescent lamps, and how changing one bulb can save up to $67.00 in energy. Further, many of us have gone to a store, purchased a few and started to save energy. We have prided ourselves on getting rid of the old incandescent light bulbs as part of our own person efforts to save the planet, but have we done all we can do? Chances are you have not even touched the tip of the energy-saving ladder.
Recently we conducted a home survey of over 500 homes in the southern Florida. Our intent was to find out what the average home usage of Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL’s) is. Our results were staggering and to say the least surprising. In our survey of mid size homes we found that only one in four (1:4) homes was currently using CFL’s. Further we found that not a single homeowner had changed all of their incandescent bulbs to CFL light bulbs.
In this study, home owners were asked an introductory question. How many light bulbs are in your home? Upon tallying and averaging the results to the question, the average American home owner guess was twenty-one incandescents per household. As part of our survey for the American home, each home owner was walked room by room, and around the outside of the home, counting each light. Not one person was able to guess or identify the true average number for their home. The average number of light bulbs per household was a whopping forty-seven, energy wasting lamps.
By our estimates, over 90% of residential consumers of electricity are not reaching their potential savings. If we calculate the energy savings obtainable by switching or replacing traditional incandescent or halogen’s in a home at a rate of $67.00 each, then the total achievable savings per home would be $3149.00.
Each home may vary in size, layout and number of fixtures or portable lamps, but here are the most commonly missed areas found in our survey and why you should chose to use them:
- Outdoors: Porch lights and motion activated security lights can give great energy savings when changed to an energy saving lamp. Make sure the product you purchase is rated for use with switching devices.
- Torchiere Lamps: Consider replacing double ended halogen fixtures with lamps that use a traditional screw base.
- Closets: Using CFL bulbs in closets can aid in matching clothing colors because they provide higher color rendering and make sorting of blacks and dark blues easier.
- Garage: Because CFL’s have higher color temperatures such as daylight, this makes it easier to perform tasks in traditionally poorly lit areas. Don’t forget the bulb inside the garage door opener.
- Laundry Room: Using fluorescent or compacts in this area makes better use of task lighting for pre-treating clothing and sorting of stained items.
- Refrigerator: Though this light doesn’t stay on long, LED bulbs may save up to $30.00 and keep food fresher.
- Hallways: Though many people do not use them often, replacing bulbs in this area comes in handy when you need them.
- Bathrooms: newer compact fluorescent lamps do not have long warm up times as older lamps. Using them in this area can drastically reduce electricity while providing better quality of light for tasks such as makeup and grooming.
Try the home survey for yourself. Make a chart of each type of light bulbs found in and out of your house or condominium. Denote which wattages and base types are required, and then find the energy-saving products that are available and simply add up your savings. Not only will it surprise you but you might just be able to afford that new energy-saving dishwasher you had your eye on!