Last Updated on January 27, 2019
Energy efficient light bulbs can cut your energy use — and your power bill! Save money and pollution with this simple swap: Change out your lightbulbs to long-lasting, money-saving ENERGY STAR certified LEDs.
You’ve probably swapped out a number of your bulbs already and have been enjoying the benefits of energy efficient lighting for some time. But if you haven’t replaced all of them, or you’re not thrilled with goofy-looking CFLs, or you haven’t been entirely satisfied with the LEDs you have, it’s time to look into some quality LEDs.
Because it turns out not all LEDs are created equal.
Thanks to Big Green Purse for sponsoring this post!
If you’re not using ENERGY STAR certified LEDs in your home, you’re throwing away money. You’re also wasting energy, which causes pollution.
Why would you want to pay more to pollute??
Easy fix: Get ENERGY STAR certified LEDs to start saving with energy efficient light bulbs.
Why ENERGY STAR Energy Efficient Light Bulbs?
ENERGY STAR is a government-backed third-party verification that the bulb will perform as promised, emitting the amount of light for the number of hours it’s rated for. When you see the blue and white ENERGY STAR label, you know the bulb you’re buying is as long-lasting and energy efficient as stated. Without it, you don’t have a guarantee that the bulb will last as long or use as little energy as it says on the box.
Buyer beware! There are a lot of cheap bulbs out there, and while their price tag may seem enticing at first, they won’t save you money in the long run, as they’ll likely conk out sooner and haven’t been verified for energy use.
When we first started switching over to LEDs, I didn’t know to look for the ENERGY STAR symbol and bought a bunch of LED bulbs on sale that kept irking me by burning out in a year or two, not the ten years I’d been (mis)LED to expect. They were a name brand, and I had no reason to suspect they were lesser quality. In fact, you might find bulbs on the shelf by the same maker, with and without the ENERGY STAR logo.
While I thought I was saving money buying the less expensive bulb, a bulb guaranteed to work for 13,000 hours would have saved me lots more in the long run — and reduced waste. Plus my valuable time changing light bulbs!
Live and learn. I’m not going to make that mistake again!
Some ENERGY STAR bulbs are barely more expensive than their uncertified counterparts anyway. At only a few dollars per bulb, they will quickly pay for themselves in energy savings — and not needing to buy more bulbs. This 6-pack from Amazon is only $15.99!
Keep an eye open for sales at your local hardware stores and home improvement centers as well, just be sure you’re getting energy efficient light bulbs with the blue ENERGY STAR seal.
How much can energy efficient light bulbs save you?
If you’re still using incandescents, A LOT. LEDs are up to 90% more energy efficient than incandescents, plus they produce far less heat, helps lower your cooling bill. AND they last 30-50 times longer than incandescents!
Over their lifetime, each energy efficient LED bulb you put in could save you more than $50. Multiply that by the 70 or so lightbulbs you probably have in your house, and you’re talking about thousands of dollars you can spend on other things, like healthy food or money- and energy-saving solar panels!
If you made the switch awhile ago to CFLs, you’ll still see savings by switching to LEDs, which last 2-5 times longer and use about 20% less electricity for the same light output.
We’ve been replacing all our CFLs with energy-efficient LEDs for several reasons:
- They use even less energy
- They last 10x longer than CFLs — 40x longer than incandescents!
- There’s no mercury to worry about if one breaks
- They look better
- They come on immediately
What’s not to love? Over the course of their lifetimes, quality LED bulbs will pay for themselves many times over in saved energy. They come in lots of color and sizes, and specialty bulbs (like candelabra style) are becoming easier to find.
Related: How to Save Energy on Heat
Where should you put in energy efficient light bulbs?
Replace as many of your less efficent light bulbs as you can afford to right now, or you’re wasting money everytime you flip a light switch. For the biggest impact, start by replacing the bulbs you use most, like your kitchen, bathroom and living room lights, and so on. Even if you only replace a few right now, you’re putting your home on the path to energy savings, always a good thing!
I took the Energy Star Pledge to change out more of my light bulbs to ENERGY STAR LEDs, one of many ways you can make your home more energy efficient and save money on your electric bill.
Related: Go Green: How Eco-Friendly Habits Save Money and the PlanetIf we all did, we’d not only have a lot more money in our bank accounts years down the road, we’d be preventing millions of tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere. It’s a win-win! Please join me and take the pledge yourself.
ENERGY STAR encourages you to #lightthemoment and save energy with certified LED bulbs!
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Photo credits: PIRO4D, geralt, mattwalker69
Susannah is a proud garden geek and energy nerd who loves healthy food and natural remedies. Her work has appeared in Mother Earth Living, Ensia, Northern Gardener, Sierra, and on numerous websites. Her first book, Everything Elderberry, released in September 2020 and has been a #1 new release in holistic medicine, naturopathy, herb gardening, and other categories. Find out more and grab your copy here.