Light bulb Shopping 101

Got an old bulb in your home that is not lighting up the room as much as it should? Maybe it is time to replace it.

If you are asking yourself what kind of bulbs you should buy:

Light bulb Shopping 101


LED Bulbs: The most energy efficient bulbs of them all. LED stands for light-emitting diodes, and produce 75% less energy that your standard incandescent bulbs. These bulbs are high quality, even though they cost more; they pay for themselves in energy cost savings!

Output: Cold to neutral


CFL Bulbs: These bulbs looking like ice cream swirl cones. Also known as Compact Fluorescent Bulbs they use about 70% less energy than standard bulbs. If you have a dimmer, make sure the CFL bulb package says ‘dimmable’.

Output: Cold to neutral


Halogen bulbs:

These bulbs look like incandescent bulbs, but they are more energy saving. These bulbs are dimmable.

Output: Warm to neutral


Flourescent lamps: Not dimable unless you buy a ballast; ask your local hardware store employee about these ballasts. They use approximately 25% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs.

Output: Cold to neutral

Make sure you are buying ENERGY-STAR labeled bulbs! Why? Simply because your energy costs will be cut in half when you buy energy efficient light bulbs.

Energy Efficiency for the office

Whether you own or lease a building or whether you manage your business from your home or your office is your vehicle, saving money is every business’s objective. The best way to save money is to be green. By helping the environment you can also help your work place. So whether you own a multi-story business complex or a small home office, conserving money will help you save money and reduce your expense.

Energy Efficiency for the officeHome office or a large commercial complex, you will have to pay for the utility bill. This utility bill includes the cost for lighting, office equipment, heating and air conditioning and even the small appliances which you use. Here are some energy tips which will help you save on utility expense.

1. Use a programmable thermostat: Your office does not need to be heated or cooled when no employees are there. Use a programmable thermostat so it automatically turns the temperature low or high when no one is utilizing the office.

2. Turn off the lights when not in use. Make sure to turn the lights off when no one is using any portion of the office. If you have a larger commercial building, try installing sensors so the room only lights up when someone is present in the room.

3. Use ENERGY STAR equipment: Use ENERGY STAR equipment as it saves you a lot of money on your energy bill. For example ENERGY STAR qualified Compact Florescent Lights (CFLs) consume 75% less energy than regular incandescent bulbs. From lights, fans, office equipment such as printers and scanners to desktops and laptops ENERGY STAR equipment is available and costs you at least 20 percent less in your energy bill compared to regular products and produce low gas emissions so they are green all the way.

4. Reduce the Margins: When printing any document reducing the margins will conserve more paper. Also try buying the recycled paper and help the environment.

5. Unplug: Unplug the equipment which is not in use to avoid the “Phantom Load”. Also try using the power strip and connect all your major electronics such as printer, scanner and copier on it. By turning a switch off you can turn off all your major office equipment and turn them back on when you want to use them. Also it is wise to connect the coffee maker and the microwave on a power strip too.

What to Know when buying a Small Appliance

When shopping around for a new appliance, it’s best to know what you’re after and which model will fulfill your needs. Just because you find two blenders doesn’t mean they can achieve the same success. Sure, they both blend, but one with a higher wattage will blend and pulverize much better. The same reasoning goes for any appliance, so how do you know which one to get?

What to Know when buying a Small Appliance

  • Coffee Makers – Coffee makers have become highly convenient over the years. You can now make single serve cups of coffee (and tea as well, now) by using pods. These pods are pre-measured so you get the perfect cup of coffee every time. Unless you use reuseable pods, they can be very wasteful, so that’s one thing to consider. These appliances also sport multiple possible features such a preprogrammed brewing (place the beans, filter, water, and pot, and it will start brewing at whatever time you set), built in grinders (freshest coffee taste), and temperature settings (so it’s always the perfect temp, every time).
  • Toasters - Toasters usually range from 2 to 8 slots and some come with extra wide or long openings to accommodate larger items such as bagels. Toaster ovens are perfect for reheating things like pizza and other baked foods, and they do well at baking small servings so you don’t need to warm up that energy hog oven.
  • Microwave – Microwaves range in power between 700 and 1200 watts. A 1200 watt microwave will cook food faster. Countertop microwaves come in the same styles as mounted ones, and you can purchase trim kits to match your kitchen. Look for a microwave that has pre-programmed cooking options. These options make it very convenient to perfectly cook or reheat some dishes.

Whichever small appliance you’re looking for, another good tip is to look for one that is Energy Star certified. A certified appliance will use 20-30% less electricity than an uncertified model, so you’ll save money in the long run.

While Away from Home Electricity Costs Can Increase

When you plan to take a hard earned vacation, why not spend money on the vacation rather than on your next electricity bill. Being eco-friendly can also help you save some cash by being energy efficient. Whether traveling for business or pleasure or just visiting friends or family over the weekend, here is a short checklist which will help you save on your next utility bill.

while away from home electricity costs can increase

  • Water Heater: Unless you have a tank-less water heater, this unit consumes energy to keep the water warm even if you are not using the hot water. Over the month, this unit will cost you a couple of bucks so unless you fear that the pipes will freeze, you can safely turn it off. Even the temperature very low will help you in your next bill.
  • Furnace: Turn this baby down to 50 to 55 F and save 10 to 30 percent on your heating bill without the fear of freezing your pipes.
  • Refrigerator: Give all the perishables to your neighbors and turn it down to the lowest settings. You can go as high as 38 F without spoilage and keep the freezer at -5 F which will still keep your fish and veggies frozen.
  • Lights: Turn them off when you are away and if you need them for safety, install timer or motion detected lights to keep your home protected.
  • Electronics: Unplug them and don’t let the “Phantom Load” bite you. Even when the electronics are not turned on but are just plugged in, they still tend to consume power. So reduce all the extra energy cost by unplugging them completely.
  • Air Conditioning: Your home does not need to be chilled when you are away, so turn off the cooling and save as much as $15 biweekly.
  • Stove: If you know how to reignite your pilot, shutting it down during a vacation will save you a few bucks every month.
  • Last Step: Make sure to unplug your microwave, toaster, coffee maker, blow dryer and cordless phones etc. Even your TV, DVD Player and battery charger also needs to be unplugged but by taking a few extra minutes and unplugging these will help you save at the end of the month.