Save Money by Turning off the Lights

Turning Off Lights

When it comes to keeping energy dollars in your pocket, it’s the simple things that can really make a difference – like turning off the lights when you leave a room. Not sure if it’s worth the effort?

What Flipping a Switch Can Save You

Not all bulbs are created equal. The amount of electricity you save by flipping that switch will vary widely depending on the types of bulbs in your lighting fixtures. According to Department of Energy (DOE) Estimates, each of these 60-watt bulb equivalents consumes…

  • Incandescent
    One 60-watt incandescent bulb utilizes 0.06 kWh of electricity per hour. At $0.11 per kWh and 1,000 hours of operation, that single bulb consumes $6.60 in electricity per year.
  • Halogen
    One 43-watt halogen utilizes about 25 percent less electricity than an incandescent, each bulb costing on average about $4.73 per 1,000 hours of use.
  • Compact Fluorescent
    One 15-watt CFL uses about 75 percent less energy than an incandescent, costing only around $1.65 per bulb for each 1,000 hours of use.
  • LED
    Eighty percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs, a single 12-watt LED costs only $1.32 to operate per 1,000 hours of use.

That Doesn’t Sound Like Much….

For a single bulb, this may not seem like significant savings. However the average home hosts 40 light bulbs on average – which together account for 20 percent of your electric bill. Looking a little closer at the numbers, that’s…

  • $24 each year for 10 incandescents left alight a single hour per day.
  • $17 annually for 10 halogens left running an hour daily.
  • $6 annually per 10 CFLs left alight an hour daily.
  • $5 annually per 10 LEDs left running a single hour a day.

Though building better habits (like flipping the switch when you leave a room) takes time, turning off lighting saves energy and money. These seemingly small savings can make a huge impact when multiplied by the number of households and businesses across the U.S., and when combined with other energy-conscious decisions, safeguard not only your pocketbook, but the environment.  

Someone Told Me it was More Efficient to Leave Lights On?

All bulbs consume less energy if turned off each time they’re not in-use. The confusion here stems from CFLs, which do not consume additional energy when they startup – but wear out faster when turned on and off repeatedly. Thus the savings here is not in kilowatt-hours, but in the need for replacement/bulb lifespan. According to the DOE, to preserve your bulb investment, a good rule of thumb is to turn off CFLs if you’ll be gone 15 minutes or more.

Feel Like You Already Have Enough on Your Mind?

If you’re tired of getting up and down to deal with the lights you (or your family members) left on, you may want to consider options such as dimmers, timers, and motion detectors:

  • Dimmers
    Inexpensive to install, dimmers offer variable illumination, likewise reducing wattage and output.
  • Timers
    Used indoors or out, manual and programmable timers can be used to operate lights based on specific daily needs.
  • Motion Detectors
    These small devices detect infrared (heat) waves from moving objects, automatically shutting off when movements subside. Photocells are typically also incorporate so that lights do not function provided sufficient daylight.

Looking for energy saving opportunities in your home or business? Let us help you light the way to a more affordable, sustainable future. Contact Mr. Electric today.

Need a service professional? Visit to find the solution to your home repair needs.

This blog is made available by Mr. Electric for educational purposes only to give the reader general information and a general understanding on the specific subject above. The blog should not be used as a substitute for a licensed electrical professional in your state or region. Check with city and state laws before performing any household project.