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Dulley Money-Saving Tip #1039

Select the proper light wattage

(related column topic links - 558, 936)

Not all areas of your house need the same light intensity, yet most people buy only one or two different-wattage light bulbs. The actual light output from light bulbs gradually diminishes over time. As the bulbs get dimmer, you may find yourself turning on another lamp for adequate brightness. This wastes electricity.

Hallways, closets, etc. need less light intensity than lamps for reading or working. When you notice that you have to turn on an extra lamp to read, for example, install a new bulb and save the old one for a closet or hallway. Since closet bulbs are used for only a short time, try just switching the closet bulb with your reading lamp first. It may be bright enough.

Using the dimmer old bulbs in areas where less light is needed can actually lower your electric bills. The old bulbs get dim because the filament is slowly boiled away by the high operating temperature. As the filament shrinks, its resistance is increased and it actually uses less electricity.