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Upgrading the lighting in your home is one of the easiest ways to change how your home looks and feels. Next time you’re cozying up by the fire on a cool winter night with a cup of hot cocoa, imagine being able to sit peacefully in a dimly lit living room versus one that is painfully bright or completely dark. By upgrading the lighting in your home to more energy-efficient options, not only can you transform the mood of every room in your home, but you can also do this while saving energy, lowering utility bills, and keeping your family safe and comfortable.

The Case for Upgrading Your Lighting

In the U.S., lighting accounts for approximately 15% of an average home's electricity use. If you’re still using incandescent light bulbs, switching to energy-efficient bulbs is one of the easiest ways to save on your energy bills. Fixtures that have light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs are 75% more efficient than traditional incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) options.

Many modern light fixtures that accept LED bulbs can also be integrated into smart home monitoring systems that can ensure your lights aren’t left on unintentionally, or you can switch them off, even when you’re not home.

If you don’t want to replace all your bulbs at once, Pearl recommends prioritizing light bulbs that are lit for three hours or more per day. As old bulbs burn out, always replace them with ENERGY STAR®-rated LEDs. Another important reason to upgrade your lighting is for safety. LED lights are much cooler than incandescent lights, which lowers the risk of combustion and accidental house fires and even burnt fingers.

Save More with LEDs

Switching to LEDs can save an upwards of $225 per year in energy costs, and they’re also better for the environment. Lower energy use can lead to less greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, and LED light bulbs last much longer than incandescent bulbs. Not only do LEDs use up to 90% less energy, but they can also last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, which equals a lot less waste.

Pearl recommends looking for LEDs that have earned the ENERGY STAR rating for the highest efficiency and performance, as well as the most savings. Another great feature that LEDs offer is flexibility of color choice. If you’re in the mood for some fun, you can install multi-color LEDs that can switch from red to blue to green, all powered through a mobile application. A calm blue light can be perfect for your bathroom when you need to use the restroom in the middle of the night and don’t want to disturb your partner.

Use ENERGY STAR’s light replacement guide to help you choose the right light bulbs for your environment.

Use Lighting Controls and Dimmers

If you’re looking to get even more bang for your buck, you can also think about upgrading to smart LED light bulbs, which have a lot of different features. They can be dimmed, change color, connected to Wi-Fi networks, and even set on timers.

To go a step further, you can also consider a whole-home upgrade and connect controls, such as timers and dimmers, to all of your lighting. Timers automatically turn lights off when they’re not in use, and dimmers can be used to lower light levels. To use both of these features, you just have to be sure to select products that are compatible with the energy-efficient bulbs you want to use. For example, you should look for ENERGY STAR LEDs that have a “dimmable” label on them.

Don’t Forget About Your Outdoor Lights

It’s easy to remember to upgrade your indoor lighting since we spend a lot of time inside our homes, but don’t forget about upgrading your outdoor lights. Since these lights are usually left on for longer periods (such as overnight), using LEDs can save a lot of money.

Flood lights, which have been tested to withstand rain and snow, are often used outdoors. If you use flood lights outdoors, Pearl recommends purchasing outdoor fixtures that have energy-efficient features, such as automatic daylight shut-offs and motion sensors, and always using ENERGY STAR-rated LED bulbs. If you don’t have a need for that level of lighting, you can also purchase smaller, motion-sensor lights that utilize LED bulbs, or even solar outdoor lighting systems for even greater savings.

Daily Habits That Protect Your Wallet

Don’t worry, you don’t have to start reading books by candlelight, but there are some daily habits you can incorporate into your routine that can help you save. Turning lights off will keep your home cooler, since most inefficient bulbs use a lot of energy, which results in extra heat.

If your home has dimmer switches, use them as much as possible. Aim to get in the habit of dimming lights whenever full lighting is not needed. Of course, not all lighting fixtures can be dimmed, so it’s important to consider this when picking your new fixtures. You can use this resource to calculate which lighting fixtures may be most appropriate for each room, depending on each room’s size.

Before you make a purchase, make sure the lighting fixture meets ENERGY STAR requirements, which indicates that the fixture uses 90% less energy than traditional models and distributes light more efficiently and effectively. To shop energy-efficient, Pearl Certifiable lighting fixtures, log in to Pearl’s free Green Door app to shop with our partner, Build with Ferguson. All lighting fixtures on the custom-curated webpage feature energy-efficient models that meet Pearl’s high certification standards.

Shop Pearl Certifiable Lighting

If you have a smart home system or smart light bulbs, you can program timers or trigger them to turn on using motion sensors for maximum efficiency. While these actions seem small, it can have big impacts on energy savings in the long run.

Explore ENERGY STAR’S light bulb saving calculator or rebate finder for even greater savings.

Next Steps: Get Support From Pearl Network Contractors

To make sure your lighting meets your goals — whether that means lowering energy costs, improving your comfort and safety, or increasing your home’s value — it’s important you partner with a contractor who understands home performance. 

Pearl Network Contractors are vetted according to Pearl’s strict standards, and every project is independently certified by Pearl, giving you peace of mind about your investment. Find and connect with your local Pearl Network Contractor in our free Green Door app. Earn points toward Silver, Gold, and Platinum home certifications, create home improvement and maintenance plans, and more. Get started today!

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