Does turning off the lights save on the electric bill?

It’s an old tale that switching the lights off to a room can save you money. That tale is true but doesn’t save you much depending on which lightbulb you have. But is some light bulbs worth the energy of turning off?

Not all bulbs have the same efficiency. The amount of electricity you save by turning that switch off depends on the light bulb being used in your household. 

  • Incandescent 

One 60-watt incandescent uses 0.06 kWh (kilowatt) of electricity per hour. At $0.11 per kWh an 1,000 hours of use, that bulb consumes $6.60 in electricity per year. 

  • Halogen 

One 43 watt halogen bulb used around 25% less electricity compared to the Incandescent bulb, each bulb costing on average around $4.73 per 1,000-hour use. 

  • Compact Fluorescents 

One 15-watt Compact Fluorescent bulb uses around 75% less energy compared to the Incandescent bulb, costing about $1.65 per bulb for every 1,000 hours of usage. 

  • LED Bulb

The LED bulb is 80% more efficient compared to the Incandescent bulb, a single 12-watt lightbulb costs around $1.32 per 1,000 hours of usage. 

This doesn’t sound like a lot per single bulb. However the average household has around 40 bulbs in use, which accounts for about 20% of your electric bill. Looking at closer numbers, that’s about...

  • 24 each year for 10 Incandescent bulbs left on a single hour per day 
  • $17 a year for 10 Halogen bulbs left running an hour daily 
  • $6 per year for 10 Compact Fluorescents left on for an hour daily 
  • $5 per year for 10 LEDs left on for an hour daily 

 Building better habits (like turning the light off when leaving a room) takes extra time, turning the lights off saves money and energy. This small effort can make a huge impact when multiplied by the number of households and businesses across the U.S., and when combined with these decisions, it not helps your wallet, but the environment. 

If you’re tired of going back and fourth to deal with lights you or your family members left on, you may want to consider options such as dimmers, timers, and motion detectors. Don’t add extra money to your electric bill, keep the lights off and help your wallet and the environment.