Going green, or making choices that help our environment, is easy to defend from an ethical standpoint. However, when green options are more expensive than conventional methods consumers may struggle to pay the additional cost, which makes them harder to implement. This is not the case with green light bulbs. Energy-efficient light bulbs are not only beneficial for the environment, they are also an easy way to save money on your electricity bill.
Green Light Bulb Savings
Only light bulbs that meet the guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency are considered energy-efficient and worthy of the Energy Star designation. Energy Star light bulbs save around $6 a year in electricity bills when compared with regular incandescent bulbs, which can mean more than $40 in savings throughout the bulb's lifetime. These savings occur because green light bulbs use 75 percent less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs.
A traditional incandescent light bulb lasts around 11 months, while a green light bulb can last over seven years. That means a single Energy Star light bulb will last as long as eight incandescent light bulbs. According to estimates by the EPA, a single green light bulb costs less than $15 and eight traditional light bulbs will cost as much as $50. This provides a saving of around $35 for each bulb based solely on its average lifetime.
Lighting is a huge cost for American households. According to the EPA, 20 percent of a typical household's electricity bills is used to pay for lighting. An average household in the United States has over 40 sockets for light bulbs. If you replaced an incandescent bulb with a green bulb in 40 sockets, you would save around $240 a year just on your electricity bill.
Old-fashioned bulbs are extremely inefficient. They use up to 98 percent of the energy they consume generating heat -- not light. Besides saving on electricity bills, green light bulbs also generate 75 percent less heat than conventional bulbs. This creates additional energy savings related to home cooling. The environmental savings of switching to green light bulbs are even larger. According to a 2009 report by CBS News, if every household in the United States replaced just one incandescent light bulb with a green light bulb, it would prevent the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions of 800,000 cars from hitting the atmosphere.
Andrew Latham has worked as a professional copywriter since 2005 and is the owner of LanguageVox, a Spanish and English language services provider. His work has been published in "Property News" and on the San Francisco Chronicle's website, SFGate. Latham holds a Bachelor of Science in English and a diploma in linguistics from Open University.