This sustainability idea is a super easy one. However, the initial financial output may be more than you’d like to take on. We’re talking about switching all of your home’s light bulbs to LED bulbs.
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According to the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, if every household in the United States replaced just one standard incandescent light bulb with an energy-efficient one, the nation would save about $600 million in annual energy costs. That’s enough to power three million homes for a year.
You might also be surprised to learn that lighting your home typically accounts for about 20-30 percent of your electric bill. If you have a $50 monthly electric bill, that’s a savings of about $150 annually.
But Aren’t LED Bulbs Expensive?
The truth is that when compared to a 99-cent incandescent light bulb, a $25 bulb may seem outrageous. However, here’s the thing. That $25 bulb will last twenty years or more, which brings it down to about a dollar a bulb annually.
And that incandescent bulb that you buy will probably need to be replaced in four to six months. So you’re actually spending a bit more annually on incandescent bulbs than on LED, but it’s negligible. The real savings is in the annual energy savings.
A Strategic Approach
If you’re not excited about spending a thousand dollars or more replacing every single light bulb in your home, then you might enjoy this frugal strategy.
Step #1: Identify your priority lights
What lights do you use the most? Chances are they’re in your kitchen and living room. This is where you spend the most time each day and where the lights are on more than any other room. Replace these lights first.
Step #2: Buy in bulk
In many cases, you’ll be able to save a bit on LED bulbs if you buy them in multipacks. Make sure you’re buying the right size bulb for your fixture. Make the appropriate lumens to watts conversion (there’s usually a conversion printed on the packaging).
Look also for the appropriate size base. For example, some lights have pins at the base and others have screw bottoms. Also, choose the right size and shape bulb. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting a bulb home and realizing it peeks out above your light shade. It’s unattractive and irritating.
Step #3: Keep an eye out for sales and coupons
Make a list of the next priority room and keep an eye out for sales and coupons. More and more stores, including your local supermarket, carry LED bulbs so you should be able to find some savings.
LED bulbs are a simple way to live a more sustainable life. Add them to your home in a way that makes the most financial sense for you.
For the last idea, we’ll shift away from light and talk a bit about saving more water.