With increasing public awareness of the Green Energy Movement, many people already know that it wastes money and resources to leave the lights on unnecessarily. But even those with the best habits, accidentally exit a room without turning the lights off from time to time. If you’re wondering exactly how much it costs when you leave the lights on, read on to learn more.
The cost depending on your bulbs
Not every light bulb has the same level of efficiency or energy output. To get a better idea of what your light bulbs may be costing you, here’s a basic breakdown of the different bulb types that have a brightness equal to a 60-watt incandescent bulb:
- 60W Incandescent: In 1,000 hours, this bulb uses 60kWh of electricity. The average cost of the energy used over those hours is about $6.00.
- 43W Halogen: Slightly less expensive than incandescent lighting, 1,000 hours of halogen still amounts to a pretty hefty fee of nearly $5.00.
- 15W CFL: Compact fluorescent lighting is pretty affordable and costs about $1.70 for 1,000 hours of use.
- 12W LED: An LED used for 1,000 hours (only a small portion of the bulb’s lifetime), only costs a little over a dollar to operate.
When adding new light fixtures to your home, it’s easy to forget these numbers and get caught up in aesthetics. Rob Lewbel of Moonshine Lamp Co. is an expert in customizing designs for maximum style and efficiency.
He notes that, “Lighting is everything, but vintage-style incandescent bulbs often run at 40 or 60 watts. At 60 watts per bulb, a chandelier with 8 bulbs uses up nearly 20% of the available amperage for that one circuit. Vintage-style LED bulbs run at 4 to 7 watts and will use only 56 watts of energy, making them much more efficient.”
With a similar look and only slightly more expensive startup costs, LED bulbs end up saving you money while ensuring you love your lighting design!
Other costs that add up
The cost of keeping the lights on is one thing, but how much does it cost to replace each type of bulb? To answer this, we have to consider both the lifetime of the light bulb and the price of each unit. Using the same four bulb types previously listed, you can see which lights will burn out faster if you accidentally leave them on.
Comparing the cost per hour of lighting you get out of each bulb; the LED bulb provides the most bang for its buck. Even though it’s nearly double the price of an incandescent bulb, you get 17 times more lighting — which is definitely worth it.
It’s estimated that the average home contains about 40 light bulbs. You can calculate the cost of your average energy consumption at home with a custom calculator to get a personalized look at what lighting costs you.
How to lower your costs
Even if you’re using the most efficient light bulbs, your energy bill may continue to rise if you’re forgetting to turn them off when you leave the house. If you have a difficult time remembering to flip the switch when you leave a room or head off to work, you might want to consider an automated system that allows you to double-check your lights are off even if you aren’t home.
Micah Anderson, CEO of Security Shark, says, "Many of our customers are pleasantly surprised by the cost-savings and convenience of automating their home. The capabilities to adjust lighting, temperature, and even arm your security system from your smartphone on the schedule you choose are making homes safer and more efficient."
You're not alone in forgetting to turn the lights off, but there are options available to help you remember — or simply provide some peace of mind.
Keeping your home green
Maintaining an energy-efficient home is about more than just your lighting. Everything from your windows and appliances to landscaping and plumbing could cut costs and save energy. Consider ultra-insulated windows to lower heating and cooling costs, low-flow plumbing for toilets and sinks, and solar power on your roof to run your electricity. With all of these working in conjunction, you’ll save much more than you ever imagined. Get started today.