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Energy Efficient Lighting

It’s a BRIGHT idea!

Energy prices and energy efficiency are hot topics and they’re still heating up. When running a household – powering up, cooling down, running appliances, lighting rooms – we’re using energy we are being warned to conserve. So how do we do it?

ENERGY STAR stamped their label, verifying that these goods qualify as part of the solution, on over 60 product categories and thousands of models. These items produce the same or better results than their traditional counterparts while saving energy and money. And it may be more than just cash saved on a power bill. Some electrical companies offer rebates and incentives to encourage consumers to buy and use ENERGY STAR products. And ENERGY STAR offers a user-friendly assessment tool to evaluate the energy efficiency of your home or business.

In the average U.S. household, lighting is responsible for 20 percent of the electric bill. That means it’s a bright idea to swap energy-sapping light bulbs with more resourceful ones. CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Specialty buys include spirals, reflectors and globes. The best news is the bulb will pay for itself in six months, use 75 percent less energy, and last 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb. LEDs (light emitting diodes) are small light sources packed with energy-saving capabilities. The electricity needed to light up one seven-watt incandescent bulb can power 140 LEDs. When the holidays roll around and you’re thinking, “Recycle that tree,” make sure you are also thinking, “Replace those lights with LEDs.”

And lighting savings is not just about bulbs. Fluorescent lighting fixtures and LEDs are also ENERGY STAR-rated and use about one-fourth the energy drained by conventional lighting. The symbol can be found on table and floor lamps, pendant lighting, recessed cans, sconces, outdoor lighting and ceiling fans. Reach for the “STARs” and change out the five most frequently used fixtures in your home.

If each homeowner would step up to the challenge and swap out just one incandescent bulb for an ENERGY STAR light, it would be the same as taking 800,000 cars off the highways, lighting more than three million homes annually, and saving over $600 million in energy costs.

Unless you want friends saying you’re not the brightest bulb in the box, it’s time to make that change.

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