Green Lighting Options that will Save you Money
Reduce your hydro bills with these money-saving lighting tips
Lighting your home or condo accounts for about 20-30% of your hydro bill. That means switching to more efficient ways of lighting your home will save you money. You can switch out your incandescent lights for more energy-efficient options or make fundamental changes to the way your home is lit by relying on task lighting. Either way, your home will be more sustainable and kinder to the earth.
Tip 1: Replace Incandescent Bulbs
Almost 90% of the energy created by incandescent bulbs is the heat they give off, which is wasteful. You can save money by replacing these incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient varieties like LEDs. LEDs do cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, but because they are not subjected to the same temperatures, they have vastly longer lifespans which means you save in the long run.
LEDs use only about 20-25% of the energy that incandescent bulbs do and they last twenty-five times longer. An incandescent bulb lasts for about 1000 hours, while an LED lasts for around 25,000 hours. LEDs emit light in a small range of wavelengths which makes them more energy efficient. Unlike CFLs, LEDs don’t contain mercury, but should still be disposed of responsibly.
Replacing all your lightbulbs with energy-efficient options can be pricy at first, but you will save money in the long-run. If you can’t afford to do the whole house at once, just pick the five lights you use the most. Switching the five most frequently used lights will help you to save $75 a year.
Tip 2: Use Dimmer Switches
Dimmers utilize a TRIAC switch to turn the electricity on and off 120 times a second. When used with LEDs, this reduces energy consumption. If you dim your lights to 50%, you should be saving 50% of the energy. Be sure to check that your bulbs are compatible with dimmers—using ones which aren’t can pose a fire hazard.
Tip 3: Task Lighting
Use single task lights to help you focus on what you’re doing and forego the use of overhead lighting and pot lights. For example, use a desk lamp when working on your computer or a hanging light over your kitchen island rather than overhead lighting with multiple fittings.
Tip 4: Turn the lights off
Always turn lights off when you are not in the room. If your family struggles with this, use motion-activated lighting which switches itself off when you leave the room.
Use timers to turn outside lights on and off only when they are needed.
Tip 5: Keep your lights clean
Regularly dusting your lamps and light fixtures will ensure that you get all the light you can from each bulb.
Tip 6: Use solar outdoor lights
When lighting paths and garden features, opt for solar-powered outdoor lights that won’t be a drain on your hydro bill.
Use our home energy savings calculator to see where you can save the most on your energy-efficiency upgrades.
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