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The Secret to Big Savings on Your Energy Bills #GELighting

I’m a mom. And that means I have a lot of responsibilities. Not just to my daughter, but also to the world that she’s growing up in. The day that I found out I was pregnant was the day that I set out on a path to live a cleaner, greener life. There are a few things that I’ve learned along the way: Changing my old habits wasn’t as hard as I thought. Small changes really do add up. And living a greener life also leads to some big savings. Today, I’m going to show you a Smart Solution that you can use in your home too – Energy Efficient Lighting uses less resources, and can add up to big savings too.

energy efficient light bulbs

“According to ENERGY STAR®, up to 20 percent of residential electricity bills are from lighting.”

I have been meaning to learn more about the new energy efficient light bulbs for awhile now – but as a busy mom, my list of things to do is always much longer than the time I have to do them. So when I had the chance to be a part of this energy smart challenge, I knew it was the perfect time to make a change. But – how do I figure out which bulbs are the right ones for me, when there is this HUGE aisle filled with so many choices? I was hoping that there would be a sign or some flyers, but no luck. So – It’s a good thing that I’m always a smart shopper, and prepared ahead of time! I downloaded the free LightSmart app before I shopped – and this thing is pretty awesome at helping you figure out the perfect picks to light your home. So helpful.

energy smart light bulbs

“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” – Aaron Rose

Most of the rooms in my home were built without overhead lighting – which is super strange to me. So the Master Bedroom, the living room, and the family room are all lit only by lamps. The kitchen has those long fluorescent lights, and the dining room has a chandelier that takes special bulbs. So I seriously thought I wouldn’t have that many to replace. Oh boy – I was wrong! There were 14 other bulbs in the lamps, hallways, and back bedrooms. Plus, BOTH bathrooms have big lights over the vanity that take FIVE bulbs each. That’s a total of 24 light bulbs to change, and a lot of different types to buy. What’s funny, is that I thought energy saving bulbs only came in that new spiral shape. I didn’t realize that there were tons of choices that look just like a traditional light bulb. Energy Smart Bright from the Start CFL and Energy Efficient Soft White are both really great options, and made up the majority of our purchase – but there are seriously enough choices for every type of lighting that you need, even outdoor lights. Our power company has a partnership with Walmart, and made special super-low pricing on some of the bulbs to encourage people to switch, so that takes away the whole, “CFL’s are too expensive” objection, since these ones are the same price as traditional bulbs – but save money when you use them. Abby had a great time reading the info on the packages, and learning how much money we were going to be saving. She’s a smart shopper like her momma.

energy smart bulbs

Should You Make the Switch To Energy Smart Bulbs?

One of the arguments that I’ve heard people make on why they don’t want to switch to CFL’s is that they contain mercury. But, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concludes that a typical CFL over the course of its life will put less mercury into the environment than using incandescent light to produce equivalent lighting. That’s great to know. And these new energy smart bulbs don’t hum, or flicker, or give off any weird light – and they really are “Bright from the Start” like the name suggests, not needing to warm up to get bright like some other bulbs. And as you can see – I was pretty excited about switching, so I bought a LOT of bulbs! {See the rest of our trip, and what other choices are available, in my tips album.}

energy savings on lighting

How small changes can save you lots of change

We’re on a very tight budget in my house, since I support Abby and I with only the income I make writing. That means that I’m always looking for small changes that we can make, that add up to big savings. And our energy bill used to be H-U-G-E. Here are some of the changes we’ve made already:

  1. Turn off lights. This one is pretty obvious, but it took a while to get everyone into a habit of turning the light off when they leave a room. But now, we’re so used to it that sometimes we shut the light off when someone else IS still staying in the room. Oops.
  2. Use the right watts. Not all bulbs need to be bright – hallways or closets can have lower wattage bulbs, which saves you money.
  3. Dust your lights. Yep, dusty bulbs can mean up to 10% less light in your room, which leads to turning on more lights to compensate.
  4. Use dimmers. These are a great option – you only use as much light as you need. And they’re great for parties if you haven’t cleaned – dim the lights and use candles, and people don’t see as much of the mess, lol.

And, if you really want to boost the savings to your energy bills – switch to GE Energy Smart bulbs. They’ll use up to 70% less energy – leading to BIG savings for your family. You can see in the pic above, there are bulbs for any need – the one on the right is our old bathroom light fixture bulbs, and the one on the right is the new GE Energy Smart bulb that will replace it. {Keep reading to see the before & after pics!}

“Use up to 75 percent less energy with a CFL bulb than with an incandescent bulb.” 

This video will totally show you how making the small change of switching to new bulbs can add up to savings lots of change! Love it. Another way to really see the savings is to check out the GE Lighting Savings Calculator – answer a couple questions, and see how big your families savings could be this year. Very cool tool. And I was amazed at the savings – for our home, it calculates that we’ll save $228.05 over the course of one year, and $1,249.06 over the life of the bulbs! Holy energy savings, Batman! That’s a lot of money.

using energy smart bulbs

“Live in rooms full of light.” – Cornelius Celsus

I have light fixtures like this in both of my bathrooms. They take 5 bulbs each, and since they are on all the time, the bulbs always burn out super quickly. And since I couldn’t use the plain ol’ cheap bulbs in these, they were expensive to keep up with. I love, love, LOVE that there are GE Energy Smart light bulbs that will work for this fixture – and look at what an amazing difference they make! For anyone who thinks that CFL’s won’t burn as bright as their regular bulbs – Let me tell ya, they are even better! I can’t believe what a great difference they’ve made in every room of the house. And a big bonus is that they last a loooong time, so you don’t have to worry about changing them out all the time. Love that – especially for those tricky lighting areas that need a ladder to get to.

Ready to make the switch? First, find out the savings to expect using the online energy savings calculator. Read more about what’s available, and why GE is the best choice in Energy Smart lighting. And grab the LightSmart app too if you’ve got a smartphone.

For more tips and tricks on saving money on your energy bills – follow GE Lighting on Twitter & Facebook – and follow #GELighting on Twitter!

{Disclaimer: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. #CBias #SocialFabric}



  1. WOW!! You learned a lot, and taught us all about energy smart bulbs – this is awesome!

  2. That is a lot of light bulbs! Welcome to the CFL club though!

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