Sometimes, lowering your electric bill can be as easy as screwing in a light bulb. About 11% of your energy bill is used to light your home, but you can cut that amount by 75% simply by replacing your incandescent light bulbs with energy star qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs. These bulbs will not only save you energy but they also last six to ten times longer than old fashion bulbs. In fact, even though they may cost more initially, a single compact fluorescent bulb can save you $25 or more over its life. Compact fluorescents use less energy to produce the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs and they create less heat. They now also come in warm light tones and many styles.
You will however want to be careful when handling or disposing of these bulbs since they contain a small amount of mercury. The proper way to throw out a compact fluorescent light bulb is to put it in double plastic bag, seal both bags, and then put it in your trash. Unless your community has other requirements. You can find more information on compact florescent bulbs including the safest way to clean up broken bulbs on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website at www.epa.gov. Or by contacting your local electric utility or extension office.
In addition to compact fluorescent light bulbs, you may have heard about a new even more efficient type of light bulb called an LED, or Light Emitting Diode. You can find LEDs right now in traffic lights and some small consumer products such as flashlights and nightlights. Some LED nightlights even have a light sensor so they only turn on when they’re needed.
As we’ve seen, many new lighting products can make your home more efficient, but no matter what type of lighting you have, you can save money by turning lights off when you don’t need them. During the day open curtains to make the most of natural daylight. At night avoid lighting large areas, instead try to light only the task you’re doing. When it comes to lighting, you can save quite a bit if you just remember to “Cut the juice when not in use.”