Home Store Project Ideas Project Guide Ask An Expert Blog Careers Teachers Parents Students

A Bright Idea for Saving Energy *

Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.


In the United States, lighting for homes accounts for about 14% of all residential electricity usage (EIA, 2014). That's billions of dollars worth of electricity per year. The U.S. has passed legislation to phase out older, more inefficient incandescent light bulbs, and they are being replaced with newer, more-efficient bulb types like compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). How much energy (measured in kilowatt-hours [kWh]) and how much money could be saved by switching home lighting from incandescent bulbs to more-efficient lights?

Conduct a survey to find out what types of lights are used in homes in your area. Come up with an estimate for how many light fixtures (floor lamps, table lamps, ceiling lights, etc.) are used in an average home, and what types of light bulbs they use. Do background research to find out the relative efficiencies of different types of lighting. How much energy could be saved by replacing incandescent lights with more-efficient alternatives; or, if people in your area have already made the switch to more-efficient options, how much energy did they save? Based on the cost of electricity in your area (ask an adult to look at their electric bill), how much money could be saved?

Cite This Page

MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "A Bright Idea for Saving Energy" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 26 Sep. 2014. Web. 31 Oct. 2014 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Energy_p005.shtml>

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2014, September 26). A Bright Idea for Saving Energy. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Energy_p005.shtml

Share your story with Science Buddies!

I did this project I Did This Project! Please log in and let us know how things went.

Last edit date: 2014-09-26


Share your story with Science Buddies!

I did this project I Did This Project! Please log in and let us know how things went.

Ask an Expert

The Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.

Ask an Expert

Related Links

If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:

Energy efficiency engineer testing pumps

Energy Engineer

How much energy do you think all the houses and buildings in the United States consume? It turns out they eat up 40% of all the energy that the U.S. uses in a year. The figure is high because all those houses and buildings need to be heated, cooled, lit, ventilated, and supplied with heated water and electricity to run all sorts of electrical devices, appliances, and computers. Energy efficiency engineers help reduce the energy that houses and buildings use. This saves families and businesses money, and lowers the emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Read more


Every country has resources—people, land, raw materials, capital, and machinery—and economists study how those resources are distributed to create the goods that people buy, and the services people need or want. In their studies, economists monitor economic trends and collect data on things like energy costs, inflation, interest rates, exchange rates, business cycles, taxes, and employment levels. Based on their analysis of this data, they develop forecasts of economic activity so that businesses and governments can better plan for the future. Read more
woman examining graphs

Sustainability Specialist

Are you passionate about the environment? Do you like developing and implementing new ideas? Do you enjoy talking with people about how humans impact nature? If these things are true about you, then you may be the ideal candidate for a job as a sustainability specialist. Sustainability specialists work in large and small corporations and universities to design and execute energy and resource conservation programs that reduce their employers' impact on the environment. This is a great career for people who enjoy working on teams, are socially responsible, and like to get things done! Read more

Looking for more science fun?

Try one of our science activities for quick, anytime science explorations. The perfect thing to liven up a rainy day, school vacation, or moment of boredom.

Find an Activity