How to Save on Your Monthly Electric Bill by Installing Energy Efficient Lighting

How to Save on Your Monthly Electric Bill by Installing Energy Efficient Lighting

Installing energy efficient lighting is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your monthly electric bill. By replacing outdated incandescent and halogen bulbs with LEDs and CFLs, you can dramatically cut your lighting energy use and costs. Here's a comprehensive guide on how I went about upgrading my home's lighting and the savings I achieved.

Assess Your Current Lighting Situation

The first step is taking stock of all the lighting in your home.

Once you have cataloged all the lighting, you can calculate how much you are currently spending to light your home. Refer to your electricity bill to find the rate that you are being charged per kilowatt hour (kWh). Then multiply the wattage of the bulbs by the average number of hours they are on per day, and by 30 days to get the monthly kWh usage. Finally, multiply the kWh usage by the electricity rate to get your monthly cost.

This will establish a lighting energy usage baseline that you can compare to after making lighting upgrades.

Choose the Right Bulbs for Each Fixture

When selecting new energy efficient bulbs, the two main options are CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and LEDs (light emitting diodes). Here is a comparison:

When choosing replacement bulbs, match the light color, brightness (lumens) and spread of your old bulbs as closely as possible. Pay attention to the bulb shape - different fixtures take A19, candle, globe or specialty shaped bulbs.

Here are some recommendations on energy efficient lighting for common fixture types:

Install the New Bulbs Correctly

Follow these tips when installing the new CFL and LED bulbs:

Enjoy Your Lighting Savings!

Once all your new energy efficient bulbs are installed, take another look around your home. Things may appear slightly different but the light quality should still be good.

Now go back and re-calculate your lighting electricity usage, just like you did initially. You should see a dramatic reduction in kWh consumption and cost. For most homes that upgrade lighting, the monthly savings range from $10-30. But with electricity rates rising, your long term savings will be even higher.

The modest upfront investment in LED and CFL bulbs is paid back quickly through your energy bill savings. And with the long lifespans of these bulbs, you won't have to change them often. Just by upgrading your lighting, I was able to reduce my home's lighting energy use by 80%. I hope I have convinced you to take this important energy saving step too! The bulbs may cost a bit more but they will literally pay for themselves many times over.