Does Turning Off The Lights Really Save You Money?
When you drive up to your home, are the lights blazing? Do you leave every light on in your home, no matter what room you settle in? Do you forget to turn out a light before you head out for the evening?
It’s a big deal.
Not all light bulbs are created equal. The more inefficient a light bulb is, the more expensive it is to operate. That holds true for the single lightbulb you have shining in the light on your desk, all the way up to large lighting structures that flood light across your commercial parking structure.
According to the Department of Energy, there are many options compared to traditional incandescents that are more energy efficient and will save you money over time.
A 60W traditional incandescent bulb will give you about 1000 hours of life, with an annual energy cost of around $4.80 per bulb.
A 43W energy-saving incandescent is about 25 percent more efficient, will give you 1000 to 3000 hours of life, with an annual energy cost of around $3.50 per bulb.
A 15W compact fluorescent light are up to 75 percent more efficient, will give you about 10,000 hours of life, with an annual energy cost of around $1.20 per bulb.
A 12W light emitting diodes are up to 80 percent more efficient, will give you about 25,000 hours of life, with an annual energy cost of around $1.00 per bulb.
Seeing the small cost of running each bulb may seem like no big deal, but it all depends on how many lights you run each day and how long you keep them on.
According to Energy Star, the average US household has around 40 light fixtures in their home, accounting for about 20 percent of the annual costs on your household’s electricity bill, or approximately $200 per year.
So where can you maximize your savings?
For traditional and energy-saving incandescents, you should turn them off whenever they aren’t in use to maximize savings.
For a compact fluorescent, it’s a little more complex. A general rule is to turn them off if they won’t be in use for at least 15 minutes. CFLs have an inrush of current when they are turned on and off. And while this consumption isn’t enough to matter, it’s the on/off switch that can wear out a CFL faster, making you replace it more frequently.
For LED, always turn them off whenever you leave the room.
What other questions do you have for saving electricity with your light source?