Money Saving Tips on Lighting your Home for Less

Incandescent lighting has transformed our way of living since its creation by Thomas Edison in 1879. However, in Australia numerous people are now campaigning to save money on electricity bills by stopping the circulation of the incandescent bulb. Brian Douglas, CEO of the Lighting Council Australia and Ian Johnson, head of the NECA EcoSmart program have been working on ways to phase out the sale of them.

Lighting on average accounts for 10-15% of a households total electricity bill with some incandescent bulbs costing up to $30* per year to run. If you had 10 of those bulbs you’re looking at over $300 per year just on those lights alone. Save money on electricity bills in Australia by knowing how to pay less with smarter lighting techniques and also buying your bulbs in the summer at discounted prices.


Light Bulb Comparison

When replacing your old inefficient light bulbs with new energy and money saving alternatives, try to find bulbs that omit the same lumens to match the light you’re removing. Lumens are what we use to measure the output of a light bulb. Below is a table showing the comparison of these light types:




Output (Lumens)  

Power (Watts)

($ per Yr)*

Power (Watts)

($ per Yr)*

Power (Watts)

Cost ($ per Yr)*







$1.50 - $1.80







$2.10 – $2.80







$3.40 - $4.00







$4.00 - $4.60







$5.50 - $7.10

* Calculated on the use of 3 hours per day and electricity tariff of 0.28¢ / kWh.


The wattages mentioned in the above table for the halogens, CFL and LED bulbs are the typical values usually assigned to each class of bulb. Certain manufacturers actual wattage may differ, so be sure to check the packaging before buying.



Types of Lighting

If you don’t know what types of bulbs you are currently running, have a quick check around the house this weekend and make a note. You could just end up saving yourself a small fortune over the next few years by simply swapping out your existing incandescents for LED's.


CFL Bulbs

CFL Light Bulb TypesThese are about 80% more efficient than incandescent globes and are designed to last between 8-15 times longer too. The initial cost for purchasing these bulbs is certainly higher to begin with, but over the course of two years (depending on how many hours you use your lights for) you could easily make your money back, compared to running an incandescent bulb for the same period.

LED Lighting

LED light bulb typesLED technological advancements have enabled modern lighting companies to use lower wattages per bulb, but still put out the same amount of light (lumens). Due to the LED’s small size they can also be found in all shapes and sizes, making it easy to find an LED alternative. The quality of the light can also match that of the incandescent globes. Using these around the house can save you up to 84% in comparison.

Halogen Lights

Halogen Light bulb typeHalogen is the most popular form of lighting in Australia to date; they last between 1,000 to 5,000 hours per bulb although they cost considerably more to run compared to their energy efficient cousins above. Besides their greater energy consumption, they also give off a large amount of heat with each bulb reaching up to 370’C. A room lit with these can certainly add to your air-conditioning bill. Additionally, if you are planning on changing the Halogen lights in your house, in order to maximise efficiency it is good practice to also change the fitting to ensure optimum money saving.

Tubular Lighting

Tubular light bulbsIf your household uses fluorescent ‘T’ lights for under bathroom or kitchen units it’s worth checking to see if it’s a T8 or T5 bulb. Certain fittings will allow you to insert a more energy efficient T5 tube, which is thinner, gives off a higher luminescence and lasts longer. However, it’s always advisable to upgrade the fittings for optimum energy efficiency or consider an LED equivalent.




Energy and Lighting Usage

The energy that you use to power your light bulbs and subsequently your home depends on three contributing factors:


Light Fittings

Down light fittings found in the ceilingIf you are planning on renovating or have already installed down lights, rather than using pendants, oyster or fluorescent fittings, then you will have to install more lights to achieve the same light levels. The process of installing more down lights not only adds to the installation costs, but also pushes up the running costs significantly too. How efficiently you position your lights can drastically reduce your electricity bill.

Types of Lighting

The running costs associated to a light bulb are a direct result of its wattage (also known as input power). The higher the wattage the greater the running cost, so look out for this when buying your bulbs. This is the reason CFLs and LEDs are the best when it comes to money saving.

Running Time

It goes without saying the longer your lights are omitting light, the more your electricity bill increases. If there is natural light available then use it, if you are leaving a room turn the lights off and if you only need one light, turn all the others off.


Remember, sunlight is free so use it whenever possible. Placing mirrors opposite windows helps reflect light around the room more efficiently. Keeping windows clean and clear of shading increase the travel of light into that room and finally a skylight window can welcome 3 times more light into your building than a vertical window. Hopefully these money saving tips on reducing your electricity bill give you something to think about towards the end of the summer.

The History of the Light bulb since before its creation

TOPICS:   Money   Home and Garden

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