It’s been calculated that the average American household devotes about 5% of their energy budget to lighting alone. When you think of how much you spend on powering your house each year, 5% can be a sizable amount of money.
Prior to legislation passed in 2012, most households were filled with traditional incandescent light bulbs. The problem with incandescent lighting is that 90% of the energy they used was emitted as heat, not light. So in actuality, while they provided light, almost all of your money was going towards heating the light bulb.
Switching from traditional incandescent lighting to more energy efficient alternatives, while pricier up front, will ultimately save you money and energy. Plus, since energy efficient options can last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs, you’ll produce less environmental waste as well.
From an environmental perspective, energy efficient lighting options like compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) and Light Emitting Diodes (LED) use less energy. In fact, CFL sources use about 70% less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs. And they can last up to ten times longer so there’s reduced waste overall. LED light bulbs use even less energy than CFL sources, about 80% less than traditional incandescent bulbs. Halogen bulbs are also an energy efficient option, saving up to 72% more energy than an incandescent bulbs.
As for saving money, energy efficient light bulbs definitely save you money in the long run. The energy cost for more efficient options like CFLs and LEDs is about 60%-80% less. In fact, Energy.gov reports that if you upgraded your five most used light fixtures to use Energy Star approved light bulbs, you could save approximately $45 a year. And each bulb itself can save you up to $4 a year in annual energy costs.
So the answer is clear. Energy efficient lighting options, whether you choose a compact fluorescent, halogen bulb or a LED, will save you energy and money. Plus, since they last longer, you’ll use less which is an added environmental benefit.