Some say pictures are worth a thousand words and since I don’t want to type out a thousand words (I’ll still type out some), I am going to provide you with a handful of pictures from my home to help you learn some ways you can green up your lighting by using less electricity and ultimately save money on your electric bill.
Replace Incandescent Lights with CFL Lights
The give off the same amount of light, but at a lower wattage. A lower wattage means less electricity is being used. Many utility companies are still giving rebates for the purchase of CFLs or they may provide them to you free of charge in their office. Check with your utility company to see if they offer a program. Otherwise you can often see these sold for $1/bulb.
LED lights are available and are even lower wattage, but they are currently quite expensive.
Install a Dimmer Switch
Turn lights down when you can, you’re wattage use will be decreased.
Turn Off Lights Not in Use
Some time I feel like the lighting police as I walk through the house turning off lights behind my family. I am also very aware if lights are in use that are incandescent (no, we haven’t switched over all of them, but most!) like in this dining room chandelier that requires a smaller-type of bulb and are still a little pricey in the CFL version (plus I want to use us what I have.)
Open Shade & Blinds to Let in the Natural Light
As an added bonus in the winter you can help warm that room with the sunlight. If you have poorer quality or older windows, you might want to keep them covered with an insulated panel if you think it let in cold air, which would increase your heating costs and offset the electrical savings.
Plan to Do Activities that Require High Light in the Daytime in a Sunny Location
Things that you enjoy doing or need to do that require a high level of light should be done during the day. This does take some planning ahead . Save activities that can be done with a low level of light for the evening and control the amount of light with the dimmer switch.
This will ensure that exterior lights are only on when they are needed and are not left on all day/night. Just be sure to not have a flag waving near it or have tree branches swaying near, otherwise it might set the sensor off frequently.
I didn’t take a picture of it from our home, but wanted to give you another time for exterior lights. Use solar landscape lights in place of electrical ones. They often come on sale at Menards and Fleet Farm during the warmer months.
Don’t forget about those Christmas lights or any other holidays or special occasion lights you may put up. They can be greened up too by using a timer or switching to LED lights.