Quick Tips!

Turning Off Lights Really Saves


Have you been curious to whether turning off lights really do save electricity? Common sense says it does, but if you consider the cost of replacing a burnt out bulb and other factors, it may not be such a simple decision.  What about the mercury contained in Compact Florescent light bulbs?  Is it really better for the environment when people just toss used light bulbs in the garbage?  By the way, you are not supposed to toss that CFL bulb in the garbage due to the mercury contained in these bulbs.  Some state and local governments allow disposal with trash, but make sure you put it in several bags to keep it from breaking and hurting anyone who handles it.  Find out how CFLs work and how to dispose of CFLs (PDF file).

Save Money - The Proof

Enter the mythbusters to help us determine the cost of turning off lights in a "scientific manner". I watched this video on Sustain Lane called Mythbusters take on lightbulb energy myths and it put my concerns to rest.  You see, I've heard about health concerns for florescent bulbs and still use regular incandescent bulbs in some places.  Incandescent bulbs cost the least, from the startup perspective.  It uses the least energy to start, but keeping them on tend to be more expensive than CFLs and the newer LED bulbs.

Florescent tubes on the other hand, use the most amount of electricity to "start up".  As you learn from the video, even with this "start up" cost taken into account, it is still more cost effective for you to turn off that light when leaving a room.  Just watch the video and you will see for yourself.

The Conclusion

It's cheaper to turn off the lights when you leave a room.  Even if it is for one single minute!  Knowing this will definitely change my habits.  I can now definitely tell and "show" those who tell me otherwise.  What about you?

Did this video put any concerns to rest for you?  Did you end up with more questions than answers than lighting?  Did you get a look at that LED bulb or that bulb that's been burning for over 100 years!?  Share your comments.

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Craig said...

You are right it can save a little and is a waste to leave them on. I actually have utilities included in my apt so I tend to waste more than I need though.

FrugalNYC said...

Hi Craig,

you said it. I'm in the same situation as well. We have utilities included in our apt. We would use less if we had to pay separately.

Sometimes I turn off the light a bit too often and the Mrs. will mention it's more comfortable with lights on.

Nazim said...

Thanks for this post! Very enlightening. I've actually started using my balcony more! I love the fresh air and I also love that it saves $ and the world heh!

FrugalNYC said...

Hi Nazim,

Glad you found this interesting as well. I'm glad to hear you are doing your part to save the planet! :) Natural light is the best. I tend to open my window blinds during most day light hours, I love the natural light. I don't have a balcony, if I did, I'd be there reading and enjoying the fresh air like you!

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