night-690182_640The coldest months of the year in Scottsdale usually mean that more time will be spent indoors. When the days are shorter and you’re spending more time at home, you’re also using more energy to keep the house warm and well-lit both inside and out. That means you can expect a spike in your electricity bill.

Fortunately, there are several ways to cut down on your electricity costs, and one of them begins with lighting.

The Cost of Lighting in the United States

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), it’s estimated that around 412 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity went into generating artificial light in the U.S. residential sector and commercial sector in 2014. This accounted for around 15 percent of the total electricity consumed in both sectors, and around 11 percent of the total electricity consumed in the United States that year.

Residential lighting was responsible for around 150 billion kWh, roughly around 14 percent of total electricity consumed in the residential sector. On the other hand, commercial lighting—including street and highway lighting, institutional buildings, and commercial establishments—accounted for around 262 billion kWh, or about 19 percent of the total electricity usage in the commercial sector electricity.

Here’s what you can do to bring your lighting consumption down.

Switch to LED Light Bulbs

Shorter days and lower temperatures cause people to stay home more and hunker down, using more electricity than they would, say, in the summer. Replacing your light bulbs with energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs goes a long way to keeping your electricity bill as low as possible.

Most homeowners can’t really afford to retrofit all of their lights with LEDs, so your best bet is to determine which areas of your home are used most often, replacing the bulbs there with LED lighting. A typical LED light bulb uses up to 80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, while also lasting up to 25 times longer.

Use Sensors and Controllers

With more people inside your Scottsdale home during the holidays, you’ll want to clamp down on unnecessary use of electricity. One way of doing that is with motion sensors, which can be set up with your LED lighting system to automatically switch on and off when people are around. You can also consider dimming controllers, which allow you to adjust the brightness of light emitted by your LEDs.

Layer Your Lighting

Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking only of overhead lights and maybe a pair of lampshades when lighting rooms. What happens is that whenever a room is used, like a living room, all these lights are switched on at once. But not all activities in your living room require full brightness, which is why layering your lights is important. This refers to combining different kinds of light fixtures, such as recessed lights, table lamps, floor lamps, and accent lights and using one or two kinds for specific purposes. For example, if you want intimate lighting when entertaining guests, simply switch on the floor lamps and accent lights for a soft glow.

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