7 Bright Ideas for Saving Money on Light Bulbs

by Andrea Norris-McKnight

Save Money on Lightbulbs photo

Have you ever counted how many light bulbs you have to buy for your home? It could be a few hundred dollars worth. These ideas can help you save.

You probably already use LED or CFL light bulbs to reduce electricity costs.

If you don’t, you soon will. The US Department of Energy approved the phase-out of incandescent bulbs in 2022. As of August 2023, incandescent bulbs can no longer be manufactured or sold. (source: USAToday.com

According to GreenAmerica.org, CFL bulbs are about four times more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs and last about 10 times longer. And they don’t cost too much more.

LED bulbs are the most energy-efficient of the bunch and last two to four times longer than CFLs. They also are the most expensive.

But buying longer-lasting lighting options isn’t the only way to save money on bulbs. Read on for seven more ideas for saving money on light bulbs and extending bulb life.

1. Compare prices.

Light bulbs may be one of those things you grab at Walmart or the grocery store when you run out. However, if you shop around and compare prices at different stores or online retailers, you may be surprised at the difference in pricing, especially if you can find bulbs on sale.

Don’t wait until you need bulbs. Watch for sales, discounts, and bulk purchase deals for the best prices.

2. Choose the right wattage

Make sure you’re using the correct wattage for each light fixture. You will find the maximum wattage ratings printed on bulb sockets of most lamps or light fixtures.

Using a higher wattage than necessary wastes energy and may shorten your bulbs’ lifespans. It can also ruin your lamps.

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3. Use dimmer switches.

Dimmer switches allow you to adjust the brightness of your lights as needed, which can help extend the life of your bulbs and save energy.

4. Take advantage of natural light.

Reduce the need for artificial lighting. Make the most of natural light by opening blinds and curtains during the day.

5. Turn off lights when not in use.

Perhaps you’re having a flashback from childhood and hearing Mom or Dad yelling for you to turn off the lights as you read this.

Even though CFL and LED bulbs last much longer and use far less energy than the bulbs you grew up with, it does not mean you should start wasting energy. According to ImperialLighting.com, leaving LEDs on for long periods can reduce the bulbs’ lifespans, so now you have two reasons to turn off those lights if you use LEDs.

6. Use motion sensors or timers.

You may now have your own kids or grandkids who leave the lights on. Install motion sensors or timers to control your lighting, especially in areas where lights are often left on unnecessarily.

7. Maintain light fixtures.

Clean your light fixtures regularly to ensure they are functioning efficiently. Dust and dirt can accumulate on bulbs and fixtures, reducing light output and bulb lifespan.

LED Bulbs Cost More But Can Save You the Most

Energy.gov states that the average household saves about $225 by switching from incandescent bulbs to LEDs. So, even though LEDs cost more, you’ll still save money now that incandescent bulbs are no longer available. But by using some of these tips, you can save even more.

Reviewed October 2023

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