Way back in 2012, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was being phased in. One of the most useful — and controversial — results was that old fashioned light bulbs had to be reinvented. All light bulbs manufactured after the phase out dates, which varied from state to state, had to use 25 percent less energy than their ancestors.
With that one change in the way light bulbs would be made rose three major options for homeowners: the curly compact fluorescent bulb, halogen incandescents and the light emitting diode. Although there are some specific uses for halogen incandescents, the most commonly used bulbs in residential settings are CFLs and LEDs. Of the two, the LED is currently the most cost-effective option, even when adjusting for the difference in price.
What is an Light Emitting Diode?
The part that actually creates the light in an LED bulb is a tiny cell the size of a fleck of pepper. Using a mix of blue, red and green LEDs, a bulb manufacturer is able to create white, directional light that costs almost nothing to power.
Unlike incandescent bulbs that waste electricity by converting up to 90 percent of the energy they use into heat and CLFs that release about 80 percent of their energy as heat, LEDs release so little heat that they’re often cool to the touch even after hours of use.
An Energy Star rated LED bulb uses significantly less electricity (up to 75 percent!) and lasts up to 25 times longer than traditional lighting. This is no small thing, especially when you consider that every home, every business, every street light, may eventually sport these bulbs.
Doing the Math: Cost Savings With LEDs
The United States Department of Energy already did the math, a lucky break for bulb-shoppers everywhere. When new bulbs are compared to a traditional 60 watt bulb, the 12 watt LED outshines them all.
According to the Department of Energy, those LEDs use 75 to 80 percent less electricity than the 60 watt bulb and only costs about $1.00 to use for two hours each day for a year. Oh, and the bulb life is approximately 25,000 hours, compared to 1,000 hours for the old reliable.
This means that if you have, say, 50 bulbs in your house and they’re all running for five hours a day (a more realistic number than two hours), your cost to light up with an LED is about $125 each year, for 13.7 years, provided energy costs remain stable.
The same lighting use with the old fashioned incandescent would cost you $600 each year, plus you’d be replacing bulbs every 6.57 months. Sure, maybe they cost a buck or two each, but the constant replacement and increased electricity costs certainly can make a big impact on your pocketbook.
Choosing the Right Bulbs
Along with better lighting standards came a way to compare bulbs across platforms. After all, who really knows which CFL is equivalent to that LED or halogen incandescent option? The Lighting Facts Label solved that problem. Instead of measuring bulbs by the power they consume, it measures them by the light they produce.
Now, a 1600 lumen CFL, LED and halogen incandescent are easy to price compare. This label also includes information on how much energy the bulb uses annually, its lifespan and what color the light is that it produces, measured by the correlated color temperature on the Kelvin scale. It’s an easy way to know that you’re getting exactly what it is that you want in a bulb.
If you are considering selling your Redding CA area home I’d be happy to do a free walk through and give you staging suggestions. It really does pay to prepare your home a head of time to get the most money possible in the shortest amount of time. To see what a difference staging makes see my previous blog. The Difference Staging Makes
Contact me today for your FREE staging consultation.
Low inventory is affecting home sales nation wide. Here in Redding California the inventory of homes for sale is still low, especially in the lower price ranges. If you have been thinking of selling, now maybe the right time to put your home on the market.
Call today for your FREE Customized valuation and marketing plan so you can decide if the timing is right for you to sell.
Whether you are getting ready to sell or just moved into your new home you are probably looking for ways to give your home some personality. Even if you have a small budge there are ways to enhance the curb appeal without spending a ton of money.
Pain the front door. A new door color creates a focal point and it allows you to add your personality. If you have a real generic door you may want to replace it with a door that has some unique features. Maybe add a side window if you have room.
Front door replacement ranks third in cost recuperation according to Remodeling Magazine. You might also consider upgrading your garage door. These days there are lots of options for personalizing your garage door. The have kits your can buy to add details and changing the color can make your home look completely unique.
Choose a paint scheme with three colors. According to Houzz.com you should use three colors in your exterior scheme. The field color should dominate; the accent color which makes the doors, shutters and other smaller areas pop; and trim color, for the window and door trim, roof edging, railings and other trim-work.
Shutters and window boxes. You might want to consider adding shutters or window boxes to add some dimension to the front of your home. If you decide to add shutters be sure to research the appropriate style of shutter for your home. You may not find them at a big box store, so check out your local suppliers or even online. Don’t forget to check out vinyl shutters for a low-maintenance option, that goes for window boxes as well.
Upgrade your lighting. Replace those generic, often too small, front lights or the clunky motion detector flood lights with something fitting the style of your home and your design tastes. There are plenty of styles to choose from these days that have motion detection built-in, or dusk to dawn features. This is a very cost-effective way to update your curb appeal.
Plant some color. Replacing some of the old overgrown shrubs with drought tolerant, low maintenance options is certainly the current trend. This is a good way to make your house stand out from your neighbor’s. Don’t forget to add some color when you replant, there are many low maintenance shrub options that will add color if you don’t want to hassle with annuals or perennials. My husband and I just update our front landscaping and eliminated all the lawn with a wonderful variety of low maintenance, drought tolerant shrubs and flowers. Our yard now stands out in the neighborhood, in a good way, and we couldn’t be happier! We did use a landscape architect to help us come up with the basic plan and feel it was money well spent.
If you are working with a tight budget you can still make plenty of changes to the curb appeal of your home, especially if you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty!
If you live in a house made of cinder blocks you probably don’t need to read this article. But for most of us we need to be aware of the wood destroying pests that are out there just waiting to chew their way into our homes! The fact is that these pests are everywhere, so you need to aware of the signs from these little pesky intruders. Here are some of the common wood-destroying pests that you may find feasting on your home. Continue reading
- Whether the housing market is considered a Buyer’s or a Seller’s market is directly related to the available Inventory levels in a given area. The statistics in the above chart are national statistics.
- A Seller’s Market is when the inventory is low and buyer demand is high.
- A Buyer’s Market is when inventory is high and buyer demand is low.
- Local demand is high and inventory low in the starter & trade-up home markets, causing sales prices to rise.
- Demand seems to be rising in the upper end/luxury market here in the Redding California area. In the first quarter we saw sales of 5 homes over $750,000 and in quarter two we already have 8 homes pending in that price range.
Statistics taken from the Shasta Association of REALTORS, deemed reliable but not verified.
If you are thinking of buying a new home you know that rising interest rates will affect your mortgage payment. This chart shows you how much, as rates go up as predicted by Freddie Mac & Bankrate Mortgage.
I read a quote once that said “The perfect time to buy a house is always five years ago” Don’t let that happen to you…contact me today to help you find that perfect new home.