How to Find the Best Energy Efficient Light Bulbs for Your Home
As children, we were all reminded to turn lights off when we leave the room, but now there’s something that can make our homes far more efficient: energy-efficient light bulbs. These are bulbs that use less power and are designed to stay on while using less power than traditional lights, so there is less need to switch your lights off and on every time you leave the room.
We’re living in a society that is more conscious of the impact we have on the planet than ever before, and we’re also more empowered to make decisions that will save us money on our energy bills.
Many people think the simplest solution to energy concerns that impact the planet is to simply use less. Although this may have an impact over the long term, the best way to save energy in the home right away is through an unlimited energy plan using earth-friendly renewable energy. This way your usage will not need to change, or can even increase when needed, but monthly utility bills are consistent.
We’re all looking to keep more money in our pockets, so let’s look at how you can save money on your electricity bill, and how to choose light bulbs for the home. We’ll also dive into how you can decide if energy-saving light bulbs really are worth it.
How can I make changes to my electricity bill?
Saving money on your electricity may not be about making one big change, but implementing many small changes that will compound over the week. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Turn off the lights: The average household devotes about 5% of its electricity use to lighting. One effortless habit to form is just to turn off lights when you leave a room. Halogen light bulbs and incandescent lights use a similar amount of energy, and should be turned off whenever you’re going to leave for more than just a couple of minutes. With CFL and LED lights, turn them off if you’re going to be out of the room for more than 15 minutes.
Make sure your dishwasher and washing machine are fully loaded before putting a load on: Running a half-empty dishwasher or washing machine can waste a massive amount of energy and money.
Turn off your plugged-in electronics if they’re not in use: Devices like your TV, phone charger, and laptop charger may continue to drain electricity – even while not in use – if not unplugged or turned off at the wall. They can all be turned back on again as soon as they’re needed, so it’s easy to do. One easy way to turn off all of these devices at once is to connect multiple electronics to a power strip – just be sure not to overload it.
Update your fridge and don’t leave the door open: The home refrigerator is at the top of the list of appliances that use the most energy in an average home, especially if it’s an old model. Try adjusting the setting to be a little warmer, and ensure you don’t leave the door open while you’re cooking unnecessarily.
Look at your plan: what kind of utility plan are you on? Often, the electricity plans we are on is what drives the price up for us. For example, if you joined for a special offer and are now on a normal tariff, you’re likely paying far more than you should be. It’s time to take a look at your plan and if you’re sick of getting bills that change every month, take a look at our unlimited clean energy subscription plans (find out more here).
Renewable energy gives you a reliable and consistent power supply to the home all without burning any fossil fuels. One of the biggest benefits of an unlimited renewable energy subscription compared to a traditional energy plan is you will never be surprised by your bill even if you need to blast the A/C or keep the lights on for an all-nighter.
What are the most energy-efficient light bulbs?
At a glance, CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) may appear to be the most energy-efficient option, as they’re cheap to buy. However, LED lights consume the least energy and have the longest lifespan, which makes them the best option, despite their added cost.
What are the best light bulbs for home use?
The design and development of light bulbs has come a long way in recent years, so it may seem somewhat daunting to have so many different models to choose from. There are three main types of standard home light bulb – halogens, CFLs (this is the standard energy-efficient light bulb), or LED light bulbs.
Here are some things you may want to consider when choosing the right light bulbs for your home:
Make sure you choose a lightbulb with the right fitting. There are lots of fittings to choose from, so make a note of which fitting you’ll need so you don’t waste money or time going to and from the store!
Get the right light bulb brightness and color. Decide what type of light you’d prefer, based on the brightness and the color of the light.
Find the best shape for you. There are numerous different shapes, and the one you choose is really down to the overall aesthetic of the room in which it will go.
Choose the light bulb that offers the best overall value. The annual CFL running cost is about $3, whereas the Halogen light bulb costs about $10 to run and, as the newest of the three, the LED light bulb costs about $2.50 per year.
Consider using smart LED energy-efficient light bulbs. Many of us now have an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or similar device in our homes, and pairing them with LED lightbulbs makes life much easier, and more enjoyable! Even if you don’t have an AI to turn your lights on and off for you, the app these bulbs are paired with can turn off all the lights when you leave the house, or when you pull into your drive.
What is the difference between energy-saving bulbs and LED bulbs?
Technology has developed in both CFL and LED light bulbs, which can make it challenging to choose between the two.
While CFL bulbs are often referred to as energy-saving bulbs, LED light bulbs are actually more energy-efficient in the long run. Because they don’t get hot, LEDs are often safer for use in small spaces such as closets, compact offices and bedrooms. They are also more suitable for use in refrigerators and other appliances. When it comes to lifespan, the typical CFL lasts about 8,000 hours, whereas an average LED light lasts up to 25,000 hours. This difference alone makes the LED light a far better choice.
Are LED lights cheaper to run than energy-saving bulbs?
Yes, in general. LED light bulbs are technically more expensive upfront, but save the most money in the long term, as they can last up to 25 years and cost less than $3 to run annually!
How do energy-efficient light bulbs save energy?
The glass tubes in the bulb are filled with gas, which is mercury vapor. The bulb also contains electronic ballast through which electricity flows when you switch the light on. This, in turn, causes the mercury vapor to give off ultraviolet light, which stimulates the phosphorous coating on the inside the glass tubes to produce visible light.
Lower energy lighting tubes can now be made with all of the standard Edison screw or bayonet fittings to fit almost any light around the home. The lower power usage of low energy light bulbs results in a smaller contribution to the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
How much energy do energy-efficient light bulbs save?
Each low energy light bulb used to replace a traditional bulb saves around 2000 times its own weight in carbon dioxide emissions over the course of its life, which is generally 5-8 years. That’s of incredible benefit to the environment.
How do I know if a light bulb is energy efficient?
These days, the level of a light bulb’s energy efficiency should be stated on its box. From this label, you should be able to gauge the following information:
- Its energy efficiency, in letters of the alphabet: there are seven categories, from A (the most efficient bulbs) to G (the least efficient bulbs)
- Its light output (in lumens): this will tell you how much light the bulb gives off
- Its power (in watts)
- Its lifespan (in hours): it’s worth noting when looking at the lifespan that a bulb is used on average for 1,000 hours per year (or about three hours per day)
Do energy-saving light bulbs make a difference?
Yes, but more so over a longer span of time. A cost-comparison analysis done by Eartheasy.com shows that by switching from incandescent lighting, a house that uses a total of 25 light bulbs and switches to LED, can make a saving of $3,618.75 over 25,000 hours, and $3,275 if the same household switches to CFL light bulbs.
They’re considerably better for the environment than any other option, and if we all make the switch, our carbon emissions could drop considerably.
How long do energy-efficient lightbulbs last?
LEDs can last for up to 25 years in the right conditions – that means you won’t be popping out for more light bulbs any time soon!
Are energy-saving light bulbs worth it?
LED light bulbs are quickly taking over as the light bulb of choice, and have been proven to be so effective in saving energy and money that they have essentially replaced incandescent bulbs. In fact, many countries have instituted mandatory phase-outs of incandescent lighting as there are now far more sensible and ecologically responsible.
It is definitely worth looking into the bulbs you choose for your home before you buy them. Of course, electricity use will vary from home to home, and the cost of electricity differs depending on where in the world you are. Still, overall, it is clear that switching to clean energy at home is hugely beneficial in reducing your carbon footprint.
Fossil fuels aren’t sustainable, and burning them can have severe effects on the planet in the form of carbon emissions. If we don’t cut back on this soon, we’ll change the planet irrevocably.
A simple switch to LEDs or even CFLs will help you do your part and save money in the long run, but to make sure your energy footprint is not negative, consider changing your energy plan to an unlimited renewable energy subscription as it is one of the easiest things you can do to save money right away.
If you’d like to find out about how a flat-rate subscription plan can help you use clean energy and budget for your electricity use each month, check out our plans below to start feeling empowered:
Are you concerned about your energy use at home and thinking about switching to a cleaner energy resource? Inspire is a renewable energy company that combines clean energy with the power of smart technology to make switching easy. We’re here to help you save money and the planet!