Lighting design is only one piece of the puzzle that is your home. So many elements go into designing and running your home efficiently. After installing the perfect lighting with your Littleton electrician, we encourage you to look into the various ways you can conserve energy throughout your home. 

5 Tips for Saving Energy in the Family Room

Reduce your electricity bills by systematically purging your family room of wasteful energy practices.

1. Select Energy Star-rated electronics

The three biggest energy hogs in the family room are the plasma television, DVR/TiVo box, and digital cable box, says the nonprofit American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, which promotes energy efficiency to consumers and government policymakers.

A typical plasma TV (less than 40 inches) consumes 441 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. That translates into about $50 (based on 11.3 cents per kilowatt hour). Next up are TiVo devices at $41 annually, followed by digital cable boxes at $27. Both devices are always on because they constantly receive and download data. Opting for an LCD (liquid crystal display) TV, which costs $8 per year to operate, saves you about $42/year.

And if you use an Energy Star-rated digital cable box (ask your provider if any are available for free), you could pay 30% less for energy—an annual savings of about $8.50. Energy Star hasn’t yet published data on swapping out a DVR or TiVo device.

3. Become computer efficient

Your computer eats energy, too. To reduce consumption:

  • Turn off monitors when not in use.
  • Put your computer in sleep mode when you sleep.
  • Use LCD flat screen monitors, rather than CRT monitors.
  • Switch from a desktop to a battery-powered laptop, which uses less energy.

5. Replace bulbs with CFLs or LEDs

Replacing an incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) once was merely a good idea; now, it’s the law. The U.S. has banned the sale of incandescent bulbs after 2012, making energy-saving CFLs and LEDs the bulbs of choice—for the time being. 

CFLs lower energy costs by up to 75% and burn about 10 times longer than incandescents, although they contain mercury, which makes disposal a bear. In addition, some consumers claim CFLs don’t last as long as claimed. 

LEDs, on the other hand, burn almost 50 times longer than incandescents and up to 6 times longer than CFLs, contain no mercury, and produce one-tenth the carbon dioxide emissions that CFLs produce. They also turn on instantly, where CFLs take time to heat up.


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