178 light bulbs can create a large electric bill depending on the kind of bulbs you use. I recently sold the home pictured below that has 178 light bulbs. It was vacant, I was doing a photo shoot and I kept flipping on light switches. I wondered how many light bulbs are in this place? 1, 2, 3... 178 bulbs and only 6 are energy saving CFL compact florescent lights (or as my 5 yr old says: ice cream cone bulbs). I didn't count low voltage yard lights, oven lights, under counter lights, pool lights or bulbs in the attic.
I went outside and looked at the meter. It was spinning fast enough to make me cringe.
If I was buying this home what would I do? What makes sense? Time to blog.
I don't want to spend my life on a ladder changing light bulbs. I don't like looking up and seeing a bulb burn out either. 178 light bulbs means there is always 1 burn out if they are the old kind.
Time to go to Lowes and use that 10% Realtor Benefits client coupon.
How long do bulbs last and how much do they cost:
Old incandescent bulbs costs $1 and last 700 to 1,500 hours.
CFL Compact Florescent Light bulbs are getting cheaper - multipacks - $3 each. 8,000 to 10,000 hours (6 to 7 years of average use). However some CFL bulbs fail within a year.
LED Light Emitting Diode bulbs are still expensive. $20 - $40 each, depending on how many LED's are in the bulb. LED bulbs last 50,000+ hours which is longer than you will own the home.
First pick the low hanging fruit. Easiest to reach and most used bulbs in the house.
Install CFL bulbs in all the Bathroom Light Bars starting with the Master...
Now the kitchen ...
Next are the 9 ceiling fans. In Texas we use ceiling fans year round.
The major manufacturers are now making reliable CFL ceiling fan light bulbs. They handle the vibration well and are rated for 6 years. 11 watt bulbs give off the same amount of light as the old 40 watt incandescent.
Since ceiling fans require a step ladder, I want to change all of them at the same time.
Perhaps I will never have to change a ceiling fan bulb again.
Now for the can lights and spot lights.
Replace the old 65 watt bulbs with 15 watt CFL bulbs. Same amount of light but last 6 years and at a fraction of the electricity.
Done with the "No Brainer" upgrades. Now it's time to make some decisions.
I don't use the dining room light often and frankly I like the look of the current chandelier bulbs. Leave them "as-is".
I am also leaving the garage bulbs unchanged. In the winter the CFL bulbs need time to warm up and when I'm in the garage I need light.
10 Outside floodlights. Change to CFL Floods. I considered LED Floodlights but at $30 each that is $300.
The entry is the biggest challenge. The ceiling is vaulted to at least 25 feet. There are 7 can lights that are not accessible by ladder. When one of those burns out, I will have to hire a handyman with a scaffold and a telescopic pole to change out all the can lights.
CFL or go with the more expensive LED lights?
CFL bulbs do fail sometimes in a under a year. Due to the labor cost of the handyman I only want to do this once.
So I choose 7 LED floodlight bulbs x $30 = $210.
The chandelier is 18 feet off the ground and has 12 torpedo bulbs. 12 LED x $30 = $360. A tall stepladder may reach it. I will replace with $3 CFL bulbs that I can afford when the handlyman is changing out the floods.
I hope you found this blog about the 178 light bulbs useful as you think about your home's energy efficiency.
Enjoy home ownership ~ Mark Hitz, The Colony TX Realtor serving all far north Dallas suburbs.