Last year at Greenbuild in Atlanta, President Barack Obama had a conversation with USGBC/GBCI CEO Mahesh Ramanujam about a wide range of sustainability topics. In the discussion, President Obama discussed how his daughters are always talking to him about plastic water bottles when he is working out and he mentioned that he is always going around the house turning off lights that the girls have left on. As a proud dad of two daughters that are always pushing our family to be even more mindful of our impacts, I too find myself turning off lights behind Sophia and Isabella. With both of them at home since March, I have found myself acting like the lighting police.
We are all likely spending much more time at home, so I have decided to dive into the ecomedes product database and do some research on the best light bulbs we can put into our fixtures at home, that will save money, last longer and be better for the planet. I have chosen Energy Star as the certification and will be looking at the best performance based on luminaire efficacy. Luminaire efficacy is the ratio of light output emitted by the luminaire to the light output emitted by its lamps.
I dove into the database by selecting the product category (lighting) > product subcategory (light bulbs) > base Type (E26) > bulb type (A19)> wattage Equivalency (watts). Here is a direct link to those search results. I also looked for bulbs that had dimming functions. We don't have dimmers on every fixture, but I think I will be adding some soon to lights that could be reduced during the evening. Also keep in mind the color temperature of the bulb. Many of these bulbs on in a wide variety of temperate from Warm and Soft to Daylight.
Lighting is typically the lowest hanging fruit to energy efficiency in one's home and the price of this technology has rapidly become more and more affordable. Working with local sustainability groups in SWFL we calculated that if every household in our region replaced just 10 lightbulbs with LEDs on this list, the region would save 300 million kWh of electricity annually and families would save $45 million on their utility bills.
If we run the impact analysis out to cover the entire US and our 128,500,000 households and we replaced 10 light bulbs for each family, we could save 134 billion kWh of electricity annually and households would have $20 billion more in their bank accounts every year.
The question I always try to ask my clients, "what would you spend those savings on?"