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Living up in Alaska provides a unique challenge for indoor lighting. During the summer, the days are long (in June it never truly gets dark dark) and one would think indoor lighting would be minimal at best. However, we have a rainy season that means overcast skies many days so that some indoor lights need to be on if you want to see well. Then there’s the long winter with very short days (only 5 1/2 hours of daylight at the winter solstice) where you wonder how many lights need to be on to lift your spirits as well as provide light to do anything.
One thing I almost dreaded our first winter here was the electric bill. We might not have electric heat to really bring on a panic attack each winter month, but having multiple rooms lit during the day when we are spread out can still crank up the usage of electricity. I’m always looking for ways to trim a bit off that expense. Turning off lights when we leave a room helps. But, when everyone goes to a different corner of the house it becomes a challenge to implement. Keeping small appliances unplugged when not in use or not allowing the laptops to be plugged in overnight are other little ways we try to trim our energy consumption.
GE Lighting now has several energy efficient options available for bulbs that fit into standard sockets. Now our family is slowly, but surely, making the switch from a traditional incandescent bulb.
The younger boys and I made a trek down to the ‘small’ Sam’s Club to check out the GE Lighting selection. I wasn’t sure what to expect for choices as the ‘small’ club usually limits your options. I was pleased to see a few different choices and came out with a package of 3-way bulbs to fit the floor lamps in our living room, a package of indoor floodlight style bulbs to help replace some burned out ones in our schoolroom, and a few packages of bulbs that look more like the traditional ones for our bedroom light fixtures.
Now, some might think me a Sam’s Club addict as I found myself at the ‘big’ Sam’s Club the next day as there were staples I’d completely neglected to pick up while shopping for light bulbs. Out of curiosity, I took a peek at their lighting options and was blown away. They had twice the selection and even had bulbs that can be used with a dimmer switch. I didn’t pick them up that day as the lines were long and hubby was already checking out when I decided to take that quick peek. But, I’m definitely putting them on my list for my next trip to the big Sam’s Club as our dining area light fixture has a dimmer switch that we use all the time to control the amount of light.
At this particular time, I focused on two areas of the house for replacing bulbs ~ the living room and our master bedroom.
We have two floor lamps in the living room to provide light near the seating area. One of the lamps also doubles as lighting for music when I’m playing the digital piano. Being able to move the light around the room is one upside for freestanding lamps instead of overhead lighting. And, on the energy efficiency side of things, I can use just one lamp for reading light compared to several bulbs burning in an overhead light fixture. The photo on the left is with incandescent bulb and the one on the right has the new CRL ones.
The bedrooms in the house have overhead lighting. With a little one in the house that will pull on lamps, I am glad to have plenty of light available with the flip of a switch and an output that provides ample light on a dark winter day. I am not a huge fan of the fixtures that came with the house, but they get the job done for now. The photo collage below shows the ‘before’ shot in the upper left corner, just seconds after turning the light on with the new CRL bulbs in the upper right corner, just under a minute after turning the light on in the lower left corner and a comparison of the old and new bulbs.
Out of curiosity, I took a peek at GE’s estimate energy savings calculator. Replacing the 2 three-way bulbs and 3 indoor bulbs should provide for a savings of $226.40 over the life of the bulbs with the assumption of them being on 4 hours per day and electricity costing $0.10 per kilowatt hour. You can even put in a different cost per kilowatt hour to get more accurate numbers. I highly recommend checking it out to see what a little upfront investment could net you for savings.
For each coupon printed and redeemed, $1.00 will be donated to the Foundation Fighting Blindness. For more information: http://www.blindness.org/blog/ and you can get involved with the Foundation Fighting Blindness by participating in Vision Walks. To learn more about the walks and their locations, click here: www.VisionWalk.org
If you enjoyed seeing the few photos from my experience, don’t forget to check out the complete lighting story on Google +.
Finally, I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts on how to save money, especially through small changes in your lifestyle. Share your tips in a comment here for all to benefit.
Disclaimer ~ I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and GE. All opinions are my own. #CBias #SocialFabric