Did you know that 20 cents of every dollar that the typical Saskatchewan household spends on power goes to lighting? As our province grows, so does the need for electricity.
By conserving power, you are helping the province while also lowering your electrical use and your bills. Turning the lights off after you leave a room is one of the easiest and best ways to save power and save money.
Another way to save power is by replacing your standard bulbs with CFL or LED. If every household in Saskatchewan replaced just 1 standard 60-watt bulb with the equivalent 13-watt CFL or LED we’d save enough electricity to power over 5,000 homes (or the equivalent size of Yorkton) for 1 year with the savings. This would also cut greenhouse gas emissions by over 30,000 tonnes in that same year.
Benefits of seasonal LEDs
Cost to power 100 feet of seasonal lights for one month
Things you can do to make a difference:
Most ENERGY STAR® fixtures use the GU-24 light bulb technology. The GU-24 light bulb does not have the usual screw base, but instead has two bayonets/prongs protruding from the base. These insert into matching holes in the fixture’s socket, and twist to lock into place. Twist and pull, and the bulbs come right out of the socket. The new GU-24 socket prevents substituting replacement lamps that are not energy efficient, guaranteeing you energy savings every time you turn the lights on.
Many outdoor fixtures come with daylight shut-off or motion sensors for added savings.
When using a CFL bulb outdoors, it should be placed in a fixture with a cover. Covered fixtures will protect the CFL from rain, snow and hail. Some CFLs are designed to work in temperatures as low as -30ºC. When temperatures drop below this point, the life of the bulb may be affected. It may also take longer for the bulb to reach full brightness. Check the package for the “minimum operating temperature.”
Motion and light sensors can assist in reducing power use. However, not all light sensors work well with CFLs. If a CFL bulb is not available to work for a particular fixture, consider installing a motion sensor with an incandescent bulb in that location to reduce electricity use and save money.
Timers can assist in reducing power use. However, CFLs can be used with mechanical timers only. Digital timers may interfere with electronics in the bulb.
Install dimmer switches in your home for additional savings. The more you turn your dimmer switch down, the more you’ll save.
A floor lamp directs the light upward and is then reflected off the ceiling for an indirect lighting effect. Many floor lamps come with halogen bulbs. Halogen bulbs produce extreme heat that wastes energy and can be a fire hazard.
If you have an older style floor lamp that uses halogen bulbs and you would like to start using CFLs, you must replace the entire halogen fixture as halogen bulbs cannot be replaced with CFLs.
Benefits of CFL floor lamps:
• Efficiency – ENERGY STAR® compact fluorescent floor lamps use up to 70% less energy than a halogen floor lamp to produce the same amount of light.
• Longevity – CFLs last up to five times longer than halogen bulbs.
• Safety – Typical halogen floor lamp can operate at extremely high temperatures. A compact fluorescent replacement is much cooler, which makes it a safer lighting option.
• Money – Replace a 300-watt halogen floor lamp with a 55-watt compact fluorescent floor lamp and save almost $90 in electricity costs over the life of the CFL.
The average Saskatchewan home has about 40 light bulbs, which account for about 21% of household electricity use every month. Switching to energy efficient CFLs is one of the brightest investments you can make. CFLs use up to 75% less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. Each CFL saves about $40 over its lifetime. If you replaced 40 bulbs in your house, you would save about $1600!
If every household in Canada replaced just one regular light bulb with a CFL, greenhouse-gas emissions would be cut down by nearly 400,000 tonnes and save $73 million in energy costs!
Incandescent vs. CFL’s
When installing your CFL ensure you screw it in by its base rather than the glass to prevent it from breaking.
To maximize your savings start by using CFLs in the areas where lights are left on for long periods of time. Begin by purchasing one CFL to check for preferred light output and colour.
CFLs are available in a range of colour hues:
CFLs are now available for almost all types of fixtures. When shopping for CFLs, remember that specialty bulbs are required for dimmer switches, tri-lights, motion sensors, photocells, floor lamps and enclosed fixtures.
Using CFLs improperly can make the bulbs too hot, causing the bulbs to burn out early. CFLs are not a fire hazard. In the worst-case scenario, CFLs used improperly may smoke, change colours and char around the base.
Ensure to check the packaging for wattage and lumens to make sure your CFLs will be bright enough. Remember: the higher the lumens, the brighter the light.
|Standard incandescent bulb||ENERGY STAR® CFL|
|(watts)||(approx equivalent watts)|
There are CFLs available that look like standard bulbs. These CFLs are manufactured the same way as twisty CFLs, but they have a plastic covering that hides the spiral design.
The average CFL contains between 3 and 5 milligrams of mercury (significantly less than that contained in a watch battery – 25 milligrams) and no mercury is released when the bulb is intact or in use. Even with these trace amounts of mercury in CFLs, they provide a net benefit to the environment, by reducing the amount of electricity we use at home and work. When Disposing of CFLs because of the mercury content, if a CFL breaks, specific steps must be taken to safely dispose of the bulb:
Even though they last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, CFLs do eventually burn out. Responsible disposal of CFL bulbs are as easy as proper disposal of other common but toxic items such as paint, batteries and thermostats. Rather than tossing them in the garbage (where they will ultimately end up in a landfill), recycling is a much more environmentally responsible way to dispose of your CFL bulbs.
Retailers that accept old CFL bulbs for recycling are:
LED bulbs are the most efficient option, using 75% less electricity and lasting up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. They can last up to 20 years depending on the quality of the diode and the application.
LEDs are more energy efficient, and here are some other reasons to make the switch:
LED bulbs are:
|Energy Efficency||Very Low||Low||High||Very High|
|Light Colour/Temperature||Warm||Warm||Warm to Cool||Warm to Cool|
|Approx. Annual Cost||$6.97||$5.00||$1.74||$1.45|