How To's & Quick Tips

How To: Save Money and Electricity with Fluorescent Light

Give Fluorescent Lighting Another Chance
We all know that switching to fluorescent lighting saves energy and money. But if it's such a good deal, why aren't we all doing it? One reason is the bad rap that fluorescent lighting has gotten from those old-style fixtures we all remember from schools and commercial buildings of decades past. T-12 type standard fixtures are infamous for humming, buzzing, flickering and giving an unflattering cast to everything they illuminate.

Upgrade or Replace Old Fixtures
Those older fixtures can be upgraded with an electronic ballast. They can also be replaced with the new T-8-type fluorescent fixtures that eliminate humming and flickering. T-8 type fixtures last just as long or longer because they weigh less and run cooler, and they save 40 percent on electricity. Installing them on timers or occupancy sensors saves even more energy, and that's very good for business.

Improve Color and Glare
At home, a lighting upgrade is much simpler. Now you can find a compact fluorescent bulb to fit almost any fixture in your home. While they may take a few seconds to warm up, they produce more accurate color and less glare than standard bulbs, which reduces eye strain and headaches.

Save Money with Fluorescent Bulbs
A new generation compact fluorescent bulb will cost more than a regular incandescent bulb - anywhere from $5 to $25. But each one can save you $100 in electricity and last up to 13 times longer. As if that weren't motivation enough, some utilities offer free light bulbs or rebates for homeowners who are willing to make the switch.

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Best of all, upgrading your lighting saves greenhouse gas emissions. Replacing just one 75-watt light bulb with an 18-watt compact fluorescent can keep one ton of carbon dioxide emissions and 20 pounds of sulfur oxide out of the atmosphere.