With the price of crude oil forecasted to rise in the coming years, you can expect power rates to follow suit. Paying more for your electricity bill can wreak havoc on your tight household budget. Luckily, there are ways to help cushion the impact of higher living costs. You can implement measures to lessen power consumption, thereby saving money. One of these is to save energy on your home lighting.
Steps to more cost-effective home lighting
Do you know that about a quarter of your electricity bill comes from lighting? Minimising consumption doesn’t suggest you have to live in the dark. Lights do account for a significant portion of your power use, but thanks to technological advances and some practical steps that you can apply right away, it is possible to consume less power. Besides, conserving energy means you’re also doing your part in preserving the environment.
Here are some tips on greener and more economical living without compromising the illumination of your home;
- Always switch off the lights in rooms that are not being used or occupied. You may need some time to develop this habit if this isn’t your usual practice. If you think you won’t ever remember switching off the lights, consider installing timers or motion-sensor switches instead. These special-purpose devices will do the job automatically for you.
- Make use of low-wattage bulbs in areas that need to be illuminated for longer times, such as the porch or a dark hallway that need to be lit overnight. If you replace a 75-watt bulb with one that is rated at only 15 watts, energy usage is cut by as much as 80%.
- Mount task lights in spots where you do most of your productive work. These can be near the kitchen counter, crafts table, reading chair, bedroom dresser, or bathroom vanity. This way, you don’t have to turn on the high-output ceiling light when performing specific tasks.
- Your lighting needs vary throughout the day, depending on how bright or dark it is outside. Setting up dimmer controls in your home lighting system will allow you to adjust interior lighting in accordance with natural light fluctuations.
- If possible, have a one-to-one pairing between switches and bulbs, so you don’t turn on multiple lights with a single switch.
- Make sure that the fittings you pick allow maximum illumination. Some lighting accessories, especially those that feature coloured fabric or glass, can diminish light by as much as 50%.
- Sometimes, it’s just a matter of being diligent with household maintenance. Regularly cleaning glass windows and dusting off bulbs and their fixtures will allow more light rays to shine through.
- Shift to lighting that’s energy-efficient. Light fixtures that utilise energy efficiently have the same brightness as regular bulbs but have lower wattage; thus, they consume less power when switched on. So, the next time a light bulb in your house gets busted, consider replacing it with a low-energy alternative.
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and light emitting diodes (LED) cost more than the conventional ones. However, CFLs and LEDs are worth investing in since they last much longer and utilise a mere 10% to 20% of the energy consumed by standard incandescent lights. Ultimately, you will recoup what you paid for via less frequent light replacements and savings on your electricity bill.
You can learn more about the advantages of energy-efficient lights here.
Exploit natural light so you can minimize the use of artificial lights during the daytime. Natural light is supplied free of charge, and you can use as much as you want. Here are some creative ways to make the most out of the natural light that enters your home:
- Incorporate more reflective surfaces in your décor like mirrors, metal fittings, glossy floor tiles, and chandeliers.
- Don’t position large furniture pieces beside windows. They will block or reflect the light back outside.
- Window treatments make a big difference. Instead of thick, dark-coloured curtains that block out the sun, drape your windows with fabrics in lighter hues. The curtains will allow light to enter while still maintaining enough privacy.
- Skylights are excellent options of brightening up a gloomy and dark space in your home. If the area is not directly under the rooftop, a solar tube is a suitable alternative. Solar tubes employ pipes with reflective surfaces to bring external light inside the house.
You don’t have to be nervous every time the power company delivers your monthly bill. With the above steps in place, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that you still have some extra cash left in your pocket after your household expenses have all been paid for.
Talk to us about upgrading your existing lights to LED downlights when building your addition.