13 May

How We Saved 38% in Energy Costs for our Home Lighting

light

I wanted to show you how easily you can save money by changing out some of your light bulbs to compact fluorescent or LED.  With a few packages of new bulbs we saved 38% off the total cost of running lights in our house.  Read more to see exactly how we did it.

Here is a detailed look at how we were using energy just on our lighting.  I have every light fixture in the house listed and how many watts it is.  I am also showing the approximate number of hours per day we use that light.  The cost of energy I used in my calculations was .066kWh.  As you can see, before our changes we were spending over $500 a year to just keep the lights on! 

Energy Use Before Changes      
    Watts Hours/Day Cost Per Year
Item        
Red Room Tube Overhead   640 2 $30.84
Veggie Lights   800 2.75 $53.00
Master  Bath Soffit   300 5 $36.14
TV Room Floor Lamp   300 5 $36.14
Fireplace Lights   200 5 $24.09
Hallway Light   180 5 $21.68
Mary’s Overhead   180 5 $21.68
Basement Xmas Lights   50 24 $28.91
Kitchen Tube Fluorescent   120 8 $23.13
Fireplace Floor Lamp   112 5 $13.49
Fireplace Table Lamp   0 0 $0.00
Foyer Light   120 5 $14.45
Front Outside Light   60 14 $20.24
Mary’s Dressing Soffit   120 5 $14.45
Hall Bathroom Lights   540 1 $13.01
Red Room Bar Overhead Lights   200 2 $9.64
Master Chandelier   240 1 $5.78
Master Bath Ceiling   100 5 $12.05
Workbench Shop Lights   216 1 $5.20
Stage Décor Shop Lights   160 2 $7.71
Plant Overwinter Lights   80 6 $11.56
Master Hall Ceiling Light   60 5 $7.23
Master Closet Light   60 5 $7.23
TV Room Window Light   40 5 $4.82
TV Room Table Lamp   60 4 $5.78
Spare Room Ceiling Light   120 0.5 $1.45
Blue Picture Lights   44 5 $5.30
Ikea Lights TV Room   50 5 $6.02
Red Room Bar Fluorescent   80 2 $3.85
Dans Floor Lamp Main   52 4 $5.01
Red Room Rope Lights   150 0.5 $1.81
Workbench String Light   140 1 $3.37
Washer Dryer Lights   174 0.5 $2.10
Basement Stair Lights   50 5 $6.02
Mary’s Hutch Light   10 24 $5.78
Stove Light   10 24 $5.78
Craft Room Ceiling Light   120 1 $2.89
Master Side Lamps   120 1 $2.89
Dan’s Shelf Lights   60 2 $2.89
Craft Room Photo Lights   115 1 $2.77
Basement 70s Lamp   52 2 $2.51
Basement Back Room Lights   200 0.5 $2.41
Mary’s Blue Lamp   11 4 $1.06
Basement Mood Lights   135 0.5 $1.63
Annex Light Fixture   120 0.5 $1.45
Red Room Black Floor Lamp   60 1 $1.45
Red Room Yellow Lamp   52 1 $1.25
Dan’s Floor Lamp Lower   25 2 $1.20
Night Lights   8 24 $4.63
Spare Room Table Lamps   80 0.25 $0.48
Dans Table Lamp   40 0.1 $0.10
Back Patio Porch Light   23 0.1 $0.06
Total Lighting       $504.37

 

Note: if there is a light I only used seasonally, like the veggie lights…I just averaged the time they were on per day over the entire year…

There were several lights we kept on all the time….I guess I am afraid of the dark…those were the first ones to be switched to CFL or LED.

So we decided to make some changes…you can see any number I changed (either by reducing the wattage in the fixture using a CFL or LED bulb or by reducing the amount of time we use the light) shown in red.  I subtracted the cost of the upgrade from the first year’s savings.  So the total savings the first year in energy is actually $190…but I subtracted the cost of the new bulbs ($32.75) and the net savings after that the first year is then $160.58.  The 10 year savings column does not consider the cost of the replacement bulbs…just the total savings over 10 years in energy cost. 

Most of the lights that I replaced I used compact fluorescent bulbs…but two of them I used LED bulbs.  Some of the reduction in the hours per day is achieved by using timers, and the rest is by dutifully turning off lights in the rooms we are not in.  This is the hardest part for us.

 Current Energy Use            
Item Watts Hours/Day Cost Per Year Cost of upgrade  1 year Savings % Savings 10 Year Savings
               
Red Room Tube Overhead 640 1.5 $23.13   $7.71 25.0 $77.09
Veggie Lights 800 2.75 $53.00   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Master  Bath Soffit 52 5 $6.26 $3.00 $26.87 82.7 $295.72
TV Room Floor Lamp 300 2 $14.45   $21.68 60.0 $216.81
Fireplace Lights 200 4 $19.27   $4.82 20.0 $48.18
Hallway Light 39 5 $4.70 $3.00 $13.98 78.3 $166.83
Mary’s Overhead 120 5 $14.45   $7.23 33.3 $72.27
Basement Xmas Lights 1.5 24 $0.87 $6.00 $22.04 97.0 $274.41
Kitchen Tube Fluorescent 120 6 $17.34   $5.78 25.0 $57.82
Fireplace Floor Lamp 44 1.75 $1.85 $3.00 $8.64 86.3 $113.35
Fireplace Table Lamp 13 4 $1.25 $1.00 -$2.25 -2.2 -$13.53
Foyer Light 120 4 $11.56   $2.89 20.0 $28.91
Front Outside Light 1.5 14 $0.51 $5.75 $13.98 97.5 $191.55
Mary’s Dressing Soffit 52 4 $5.01 $3.00 $6.44 65.3 $91.43
Hall Bathroom Lights 540 1 $13.01   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Red Room Bar Overhead Lights 200 1.75 $8.43   $1.20 12.5 $12.05
Master Chandelier 240 1 $5.78   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Master Bath Ceiling 13 4 $1.25 $3.00 $7.79 89.6 $104.92
Workbench Shop Lights 216 1 $5.20   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Stage Décor Shop Lights 160 2 $7.71   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Plant Overwinter Lights 80 6 $11.56   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Master Hall Ceiling Light 13 5 $1.57 $3.00 $2.66 78.3 $53.61
Master Closet Light 13 4 $1.25 $1.00 $4.97 82.7 $58.74
TV Room Window Light 40 5 $4.82   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
TV Room Table Lamp 60 4 $5.78   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Spare Room Ceiling Light 13 0.5 $0.16 $1.00 $0.29 89.2 $11.89
Blue Picture Lights 44 5 $5.30   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Ikea Lights TV Room 50 5 $6.02   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Red Room Bar Fluorescent 80 2 $3.85   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Dans Floor Lamp Main 52 4 $5.01   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Red Room Rope Lights 150 0.5 $1.81   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Workbench String Light 140 1 $3.37   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Washer Dryer Lights 174 0.5 $2.10   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Basement Stair Lights 50 5 $6.02   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Mary’s Hutch Light 10 8 $1.93   $3.85 66.7 $38.54
Stove Light 10 24 $5.78   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Craft Room Ceiling Light 120 1 $2.89   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Master Side Lamps 120 1 $2.89   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Dan’s Shelf Lights 60 2 $2.89   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Craft Room Photo Lights 115 1 $2.77   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Basement 70s Lamp 52 2 $2.51   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Basement Back Room Lights 200 0.5 $2.41   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Mary’s Blue Lamp 11 4 $1.06   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Basement Mood Lights 135 0.5 $1.63   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Annex Light Fixture 120 0.5 $1.45   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Red Room Black Floor Lamp 60 1 $1.45   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Red Room Yellow Lamp 52 1 $1.25   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Dan’s Floor Lamp Lower 25 2 $1.20   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Night Lights 8 24 $4.63   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Spare Room Table Lamps 80 0.25 $0.48   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Dans Table Lamp 40 0.1 $0.10   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Back Patio Porch Light 23 0.1 $0.06   $0.00 0.0 $0.00
Total Lighting     $311.03 $32.75 $160.58 38.3 $1,900.59

I plan on trying to get this number down even a bit more with a few more changes this year.

2 thoughts on “How We Saved 38% in Energy Costs for our Home Lighting

  1. I live in a one bedroom apartment, and last year I saved 18% on my electric bill simply by swapping out my incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs and by using a clothesline instead of an electric clothes dryer during the warm months.

    I was raised to use just the light in the room that you are in, so turning off unused lights is not a new habit to me…just a normal way to live.

    I was surprised to learn that it doesn’t take all that much longer to use a clothesline because no matter how you dry your clothes you have to turn them the right side out, straighten them, fold them, and organize them. With a clothesline you turn them right side out as soon as they come out of the washer. You straighten them in order to hang them. You fold them and organize them as you remove them from the line. So when you walk in the house, everything in your laundry basket is ready to be put away. The extra time it takes is the time to walk to and from the clothesline, and the time it takes to pin the clothes up and unpin them. This adds maybe ten minutes per load.

    I realize that for a family, an extra ten minutes per load can increment quickly. But for one person, or for a family who can get into the Zen of it, it’s actually a pleasurable activity. While I’m at the clothesline, I can visit with my neighbors (or their dogs) who are outside, enjoy the flowers in my own yard, breath real air, and feel the sun on my skin. Hanging clothes puts you into the moment if you remember not to bring your phone with you.

    This year I hope to make another dent in my electrical consumption by using power strips to cut the power to anything that has a display on it or a transformer associated with the power cord, with the exception of my cordless phone. I have a power strip on my microwave, my U-verse TV set-top box and TV, and each of my computers and my printer. This will eliminate phantom power loads that accumulate and drive up your usage.

    • Maud, you have such great and informational comments. Thanks so much for visiting the site and taking the time to share your insights. I really love reading about what you are doing. The only problem for me with the clothesline is my terrible allergies…Unfortunately when I hang clothes they seem to be pollen collectors. I sure do envy people who don’t have allergies! But I do hang tablecloths and dish towels sometimes.

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