Shedding new light: 8 surprising facts that will have you rethinking your lighting

Posted: October 16, 2017 | Word Count: 613
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You step into a dark room, turn on the light switch and go about your day without giving it another thought.

But here's the thing — you should.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American home has approximately 50 light sockets, and most of those still contain inefficient light bulbs. These bulbs spend 90 percent of the energy they use creating heat around the bulb and only the remaining 10 percent providing any real, actual light. This is just one surprising fact about your lighting you may never have considered. To get you thinking about your lights in a whole new way, here are eight more surprising lighting facts.

* Small costs, big savings for you. An ENERGY STAR-certified LED light bulb will cost you about $2 in most parts of the country. In some areas it may be possible to buy such a bulb for $1, thanks to utility rebates. Yet over the course of its lifetime, a 15,000-hour bulb will save you around $80 compared to the cost of using a 43-watt halogen-incandescent bulb over the same time.

* Big savings for the country as a whole. If every American replaced their existing bulbs with energy-efficient solutions, the country would save $6 billion per year in lighting expenses.

* Same options in an energy-efficient offering. LED bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR look and act just like the conventional bulbs you are used to. They turn on instantly and provide quality light all around. Most are also designed to dim, and some even get warmer as they do so. There are even LED solutions designed to match the look of trendy vintage-style bulbs so you can have the look you want without wasted energy expenses.

* Look for the ENERGY STAR seal. The government-backed ENERGY STAR label is a “seal of approval” ensuring that the certified product saves energy, delivers on brightness and meets myriad other requirements proven by extensive testing and third-party certification. Select products bearing this seal and you'll attain your lighting and energy efficiency goals.

* A shifting trend. Since 2016, many major light bulb manufacturers and retailers have pledged to phase out CFL bulbs and utilize only LED lighting offerings. Now is the time to be ahead of the trend.

* Adoption across the map. LED adoption is happening at different rates across the U.S., but in most states, LED bulbs made up about 20 percent of sales in 2015-2016. In 2016, the following cities were leading in LED bulb sales: Minneapolis, Seattle, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, St. Louis, Richmond, Orlando, Hartford, New Haven, Milwaukee, Nashville and Phoenix.

* Finding the right solution for your home. Like conventional bulbs, there are specific LED solutions for every socket in your home. To find the right bulb for your space, remember the ABCs: Application, Brightness and Color. ENERGY STAR offers a guide that can help you choose the right bulb for your needs by analyzing each of these categories. You can find the guide at www.energystar.gov/choosealight.

* An ever-evolving market. Today LED lighting solutions are available in many options, but the potential for the future is nearly limitless. For example, many manufacturers are integrating microchips into LED bulbs, enabling them to be controlled remotely, to turn on and off, dim or operate based on a schedule or the occupancy of space. All of which will provide ease of use, reduced energy expense and the lighting consumers need.

Turning the lights on and off in a room is a simple decision, but one that has great implications you may not be aware of. Make the change in your home today to more energy-efficient LED bulbs and you'll feel better about your decision with every flick of the switch. To learn more, visit www.energystar.gov/bulbrevolution.

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