Are Your Lightbulbs Wasting Energy?
Did you know that your lightbulbs may be wasting energy, even those that were created to be energy efficient? It’s not enough to only switch to energy efficient bulbs, it’s also important that you maintain them. Dirt and dust paired with aging bulbs can reduce the total illumination by 50 percent or more while drawing full power.
The Department of Energy’s Energy Saving website recommends the following maintenance tips to ensure that your light bulbs operate at optimum energy.
- Clean fixtures, lightbulbs and lenses every six months to two years, depending how dusty your house is, by wiping off the dirt. Of course, never clean an incandescent bulb while it is turned on. The water’s cooling effect will shatter the hot bulb.
- Replace lenses if they appear yellow.
- Many lighting experts recommend replacing all the bulbs in a lighting system at once. Common bulbs, especially incandescent and fluorescent lamps, lose 20 to 30 percent of their light output over their service life. Replacing all the bulbs in your track lighting or ceiling fan saves labor, keeps illumination high, and avoids stressing any ballasts with dying bulbs.
- Clean or repaint small rooms every year and larger rooms every two to three years. Dirt collects on surfaces, which reduces the amount of light they reflect.