A Bright Idea for Saving Energy *
|Areas of Science||
Energy & Power
|Time Required||Short (2-5 days)|
|Material Availability||Readily available|
|Cost||Very Low (under $20)|
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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Last edit date: 2017-07-28
- Kiger, P. (2013, December 31). U.S. Phase-Out of Incandescent Light Bulbs Continues in 2014 with 40-, 60-Watt Varieties. National Geographic. Retrieved July 24, 2014, from http://energyblog.nationalgeographic.com/2013/12/31/u-s-phase-out-of-incandescent-light-bulbs-continues-in-2014-with-40-60-watt-varieties/
- U.S. Department of Energy. (2012, July 29). How Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Compare with Traditional Incandescents. Retrieved July 24, 2014, from http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/how-energy-efficient-light-bulbs-compare-traditional-incandescents
- U.S. Department of Energy. (2013, November 11). Lighting Choices to Save You Money. Retrieved July 24, 2014, from http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/lighting-choices-save-you-money
- U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2014, May 23). How much electricity is used for lighting in the United States?. Retrieved July 24, 2014, from http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=99&t=3
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