Friday, October 21, 2016

Low-hanging Fruit #2: Let there be (more efficient) Light!

Okay, so you've sealed up and insulated your house and you are hungry to taste that next piece of low-hanging fruit. Well, look your light fixtures.

[Alternative title: How to get paid $23.24 for installing 6 free light bulbs in your home!]

First and foremost: Turn off your lights!

Turn off your lights when you leave the room. It's that simple. If you are not in the room and the light is on, you are wasting energy, spending extra money, and damaging the planet. I know - it's harsh, but it's true. (My wife and I are working on doing a better job at this too.)

Second and pretty darned huge: Go buy some LED bulbs already!!!

JG and I ran by Lowes at lunchtime today. (She still has a bunch of incandescent bulbs in her house.) We found this deal on LED bulbs:

That's $1.66 per bulb!

So let's say, hypothetically speaking, that she bought this 6-pack of LED bulbs. (She did indeed buy a 6-pack of LED bulbs, but she bought the daylight bulbs which ran closer to $1.85 per bulb, but I did not take a pic of those.) She plans to install them this weekend.

Back in blogger world, I googled incandescent vs. LED and this was the first graphic that popped up:

Find the original here 

Now, here is where it gets even better - very few modern homes have less than 24 bulbs in the house. And it's not rare to find homes with closer to 60 bulbs. So, if your home is still running old school light bulbs, you could be saving big money just by swapping for LEDs. And that doesn't even factor in bulb life. Most incandescents are rated for 750-950 hours of life. LEDs tend to range between 10,000 and 50,000 hours. I have been replacing bulbs in our home for a few years now and have not had a single LED burn out yet.

Okay, Okay. Enough about money. Let's look at what's really important here: saving the planet!

Check it out - a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions!

Imagine the impact if we all just switched to LED bulbs overnight. And this one is easy. It's easy on the budget, it's not labor intensive, and it saves you money. This one's a no-brainer. Just do it already!

A few more things about LEDs
  • Various formats, shapes, colors, sizes and features (some are even controlled by smartphone apps!)
  • Instant light (unlike CFL)
  • No mercury hazard (unlike CFL bulbs - the twisty ones)
  • They generate very little heat
  • They are more rugged than incandescent or CFL
  • They make you eco-sexy
  • Don't forget that 90% reduction in CO2 emissions!
So, here are six radical ideas for you to pursue after you get your own bulbs swapped out - start giving LED bulbs gifts!
  1. Have bulb swapping parties!
  2. Have LED interventions!
  3. Give them out for Halloween - save the planet while reducing cavities!
  4. Don't go to Jarred - go to Lowes or Home Depot or wherever to show them that you really love them!
  5. Coffee, tea, or LED?
  6. They make great stocking stuffers!
Okay, that's about it for low-hanging fruit #2.

May you save money and save the planet! And, may you now have a lot more gift ideas!

PS. LEDs make great Christmas lights too.