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A Bright Idea for Saving Energy

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Areas of Science
Time Required
Short (2-5 days)
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Readily available
Very Low (under $20)
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*Note: For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

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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?


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General citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.

MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "A Bright Idea for Saving Energy." Science Buddies, 23 June 2020, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Energy_p005/energy-power/a-bright-idea-for-saving-energy. Accessed 28 May 2023.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2020, June 23). A Bright Idea for Saving Energy. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Energy_p005/energy-power/a-bright-idea-for-saving-energy

Last edit date: 2020-06-23
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