With the arrival of fall, the days become shorter and that means Connecticut residents will use their lights more often and for more hours. What most don’t realize is that lighting accounts for nearly 20 percent of the average home’s electric bill, and keeping the lights on longer will inevitably increase these costs.
As a result, it’s time to debunk common lighting myths and encourage residents to become ‘energy smart’ when selecting bulbs that are the most energy-efficient, money-saving option.
Myth #1: “CFLs are always that ‘spiral’ design.”
This all too common myth is not true. There are many different styles of CFLs, and more specifically, the “covered A-shape” model looks exactly like a standard incandescent bulb. This chart can help residents to see the different ENERGY STAR® certified light bulbs. CFL products have become smaller and come in a variety of styles and specialty applications, including standard shapes, chandelier, globes, indoor, outdoor floodlights and more. There is a CFL available to support just about any residential lighting application.
Myth #2: “LEDs and CFLs are too harsh.”
CFLs in particular are offered with different color blends designed to look more like natural light, and LEDs can light rooms like a common bulb. In addition, these bulbs come in a wide variety of lighting output. When it comes to the brightness of a bulb, look for lumens, not watts. Simply put – more lumens means more light. With coloration of the bulb, look for the Kelvin (K) rating on the label because considering coloration for your lighting needs is just as vital as brightness. For instance, you may want a different light coloration for your kitchen than you would for a bedside lamp.
Also, did you know that there are dimmable CFLs and LEDs available on the market? All consumers have to do is look for an ENERGY STAR certified bulb that is marked as “dimmable” on its package because not all are.
Myth #3: “Energy efficient lighting costs too much.”
When it comes to upfront cost, this may appear so, but there are many significant considerations to keep in mind as you search the aisles of your local big box store. The average incandescent bulb costs 50 cents, when compared to the average price of $2 to $5 for most CFLs, depending on the brand and incentives provided by Energize Connecticut. Although the upfront cost for a CFL is more of an investment, CFLs use 75 percent less energy than common bulbs and can last up to 7 to 11 years. LEDs, on the other hand, use 80 percent less energy than common bulbs and can last up to 15 or 25 years making them the longest lasting bulb on the market.
“Overall, switching from traditional lighting to ENERGY STAR certified lighting is a smart move with proper education and a clear understanding of labels,” said Jamie Howland, First Vice Chairperson, Energy Efficiency Board. “With energy savings of 75 percent or more, coupled with Energize Connecticut incentives at the time of purchase for a variety of bulbs, you can save money upfront and in the long-run. That’s especially important as the sun sets earlier in the fall and winter.”