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How Many Light Bulbs Are In The Average American Household?
Many homeowners in America today are aware of steps that can be taken to reduce normal household expenses. Everyday things like sealing windows and doors, properly insulating the attic can yield high returns for your investment. However, one of the most overlooked ways to save money is changing light bulbs.
Of course, we’ve all heard for years about switching to compact fluorescent lights and how changing a light bulb can save up to $67.00 in energy. Also, many of us went to a store, bought a few, and started saving energy. We’re proud to get rid of old incandescent bulbs as part of our own efforts to save the planet, but have we done all we can do? Chances are you haven’t even hit the low end of the power-saving scale.
Recently we conducted a survey of over 500 homes in South Florida. Our intention was to find out what is the average household use of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Our results were staggering and surprising to say the least. In our survey of mid-sized homes, we found that only one in four homes (1:4) currently use CFLs. Additionally, we found that no homeowner had replaced all of their incandescent bulbs with CFLs.
In this study, homeowners answered an introductory question. How many light bulbs are there in your house? After counting and averaging the results to the question, the average US homeowner estimate was twenty-one incandescent bulbs per household. As part of our American home survey, each homeowner was walked room by room and around the exterior of the home, counting every light. Not a single person was able to guess or identify the actual average number for their house. The average number of bulbs per household was forty-seven energy-wasting lamps.
According to our estimates, more than 90% of residential electricity consumers do not reach their savings potential. If we calculate the energy savings that can be obtained by changing or replacing traditional incandescent or halogen lamps in a house at a rate of $67.00 each, then the total savings achievable per house would be $3,149.00.
Every home can vary in size, layout and number of appliances or portable lights, but here are the areas most commonly missed in our survey and why you should choose to use them:
- Outside: Motion-activated porch lights and security lights can provide great energy savings when replaced with an energy-saving lamp. Make sure the product you buy is designed for use with switching devices.
- Torchiere lamps: Consider replacing double-ended halogen fixtures with lamps that use a traditional screw base.
- Cupboards: Using CFL bulbs in closets can help color match clothes because they provide better color rendering and make it easier to sort blacks and dark blues.
- Garage: Since CFLs have higher color temperatures such as daylight, it makes it easier to perform tasks in traditionally poorly lit areas. Don’t forget the bulb inside the garage door opener.
- Laundry room: Using fluorescent or compact lights in this area makes better use of direct lighting for pretreating garments and sorting stained items.
- Fridge: Although this light won’t stay on for long, LED bulbs can save up to $30.00 and keep food fresher.
- Corridors: Although many people don’t use them often, replacing bulbs in this area comes in handy when you need them.
- Bathrooms : newer compact fluorescent lamps do not have as long a warm-up time as older lamps. Using them in this area can significantly reduce electricity while providing better quality light for tasks such as makeup and grooming.
Try the home survey for yourself. Make a chart of each type of light bulbs found inside and outside your home or condo. Indicate the wattages and base types required, then search for available energy efficient products and simply add up your savings. Not only will it surprise you, but you might be able to afford that new energy-saving dishwasher you’ve been eyeing!
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