How Old Lighting Affects Your Energy Usage

When it comes to being more energy efficient, switching to LED light bulbs can have a significant impact on your electricity usage. However, there are many other contributors that can affect how much electricity you put towards keeping your home or commercial building well lit—like the quality of your electrical work, old fixtures, and lighting controls.

At e3 Power, we offer lighting consulting services to evaluate your lighting system and its electrical demand. With our expertise, we can help you create energy efficient solutions to lower your electricity usage and improve your quality of light. 

How Lighting Affects Your Energy Bill

Every time you turn on the lights, you are using electricity. However, the amount of electricity used and how much of it is spent on actually bringing light into a room can vary depending on the type of light bulb you use, how long your lights are on, and the quality of your electric wiring.

Type of Light Bulbs

Different types of light bulbs use varying amounts of electricity. The most common types of light bulbs used in a home or commercial building are incandescent, fluorescent or CFLs, and LED light bulbs. Each type of bulb has a different operation method and energy usage:

  • Incandescent – These were once the most common type of light bulb, however they have been phased out over the years as they are also the most inefficient. Only about 10% of the energy given off by an incandescent bulb is light while the rest is heat that can add more strain on your HVAC and contribute to significant energy waste.
  • Fluorescent & CFL – Both fluorescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) utilize mercury vapors and gas to generate light. While they do use less electricity once they have warmed up, they require more watts when they are first turned on. This means that fluorescent light bulbs and CFLs are probably not the best choice in areas where the lights are turned off and on frequently. 
  • LED – Light emitting diodes—or LEDs—are, by far, the most efficient light bulb on the market today. Using an electrical current and microchip to produce light as well as absorbing the heat it created, an LED light bulb uses a staggering 90% less energy and lasts about 24% longer than incandescent bulbs

How Long Your Lights Are On

Since you’re charged for electricity based on how many kilowatts per hour (kWh) you use, the length of time your lights are on can impact your energy bills. If you’re one of those people—like so many of us—that always forget to turn off your lights, it might be a good idea to consider getting a lighting timer. There are a wide variety of timers and smart light switches that you can buy, many of which you can access from your phone or tablet for convenience. 

Installing dimmers can also help to control the amount of energy you use for lighting. By decreasing the amount of light from the bulb, you’re also decreasing the amount of watts you’re using. 

Old Fixtures & Wiring Quality

Energy efficient lighting has made immense progress over the last decade—and old wiring and fixtures weren’t made to the same standards we have today. This means that any of the old lighting in your home or commercial building could be greatly contributing to your energy consumption. By switching out your older fixtures to ones that are made for today’s energy-efficient light bulbs and using ENERGY STAR certified products, you can significantly reduce your energy usage for lighting. 

Additionally, if you live in or own an older building, it’s important to also check the quality of its electrical wiring. Faulty wiring can not only increase your electricity usage and energy bills, it can also create dangerous fire hazards and overloaded breakers with the use of modern appliances. 

Get Started with a Lighting Consultation from e3 Power

As independent energy efficient experts and auditors, the team at e3 Power will perform an unbiased assessment of your Denver area home or commercial building’s lighting and energy usage during our consultation. Using a variety of specialized tools, we’ll calculate your existing lighting loads—or the energy used to power electric lights—and provide you with retrofit options to reduce your consumption.

In addition to finding solutions to your energy consumption for lighting, we’ll also measure the quality, color, and spatial distribution of your lighting with a photometric assessment. With this information, we can help you design the ideal lighting solution. 

Once our lighting consultation is complete, we’ll offer guidance for what rebate programs and incentives are available for you to take advantage of during your lighting improvement project!

Ready to get started? Schedule your lighting consultation today. Call 303-292-1233 or contact us online.

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