TOWNSHIP, Ohio ó Would you jump at an opportunity to
turn $975 into more than $8,000?
Lippert did. And he thinks you should, too.
year and a half ago, Lippert replaced most of the light
bulbs in his home with energy-saving LED bulbs, and heís
tracked his energy savings ever since. By his
calculations, he will have saved enough on his electric
bill by April 2015 to recoup the $975 he paid for the
bulbs. And over their lifetime, he figures, those bulbs
will save $8,186 in electricity costs in todayís
embarked on his study to amass the hard evidence he
needed to convince friends and family members that
efficient lighting saves real money.
intense interest isnít surprising. Heís a retiree
from the electric utility industry and a details person
by nature. Since the day he and his wife, Leslie, moved
into their home in 1973, he has tracked all their
natural gas and electrical use and costs.
is also enthusiastic about making upgrades to the house
to save energy, some of which were recommended by a 2008
home energy audit conducted through Dominion East Ohioís
Home Performance With Energy Star Program.
BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM)
company offers energy assessments to its customers for
$50. You can find out more at
or call 877-287-3416.)
2010 or 2011, Lippertís interest in energy savings led
him to start thinking about replacing his incandescent
and compact fluorescent light bulbs with LED versions,
but big box stores didnít sell LED bulbs that met all
his needs. He found Viribright Lighting Inc. on the
Internet, liked what he saw in its catalog and, with the
help of some of its staff, purchased enough bulbs for
almost all the lamps and light fixtures in his
2,400-square-foot house. The only exceptions were lights
for which he couldnít get LED replacements or that donít
use LED bulbs, such as a few fixtures that use clear
candelabra bulbs or fluorescent tubes.
all, he replaced lighting that used 3,656 watts of
electricity with 638 wattsí worth of LED bulbs, all of
them dimmable. And he did something else: He purposely
avoided adding or subtracting any electrical device in
the house for a year to add some measure of control to
nothing we did different, because I was trying to
isolate it (the difference in energy use) to the light
bulbs," he said.
he started watching the energy savings roll in.
one year, the Lipperts reduced their electricity use
nearly 19 percent, from 12,590 killowatt-hours to
10,217. Because Lippert locked into a lower electric
rate during that time, their spending on electricity
dropped more than 25 percent, from $1,599.03 to
$1,190.75. Thatís an annual saving of $408.26 and an
annual rate of return on his investment of 41.87
percent, he calculated.
figured the lights in his house are typically on an
average of 3.4 hours a day, so those LED bulbs should
last a little more than 20 years if they live up to
their claim to keep burning for 25,000 hours. So based
on his costs during the one-year study, he calculated he
would save $8,186 in electricity over the life of the
the saving may be even greater. When he figures in the
results from the months since his one-year study ended,
his energy savings increase even more, to about $445 on
an annualized basis.
doesnít recommend everyone follow his lead and change
all their lighting at once. For most people, he said, it
makes more sense to replace bulbs one by one, as the
less efficient bulbs burn out.
Lippert is 75 and didnít want to wait. "I wanted
to be able to show results," he said. "I
couldnít show results one bulb at a time."
does he think itís wise to dispose of working light
bulbs. He donated the bulbs he removed to St. Joseph
Church in Massillon, Ohio, for its use.
was careful to consider the color of the lighting he
chose for various areas of his house. In the kitchen,
for example, he used cool white light in the ceiling can
lights to match the existing under-cabinet lighting, but
he put a daylight bulb in a fixture over the kitchen
table. Its bluer, brighter light makes it easier for
aging eyes to read the newspaper, he explained.
laundry room and some of the lamps in the living room
and sun room have warmer lights that are similar to
incandescent light. The warmer light doesnít change
the appearance of the wallsí paint colors the way
bluer light would, and it produces a more pleasing hue
when it shines through the colored glass in one
Tiffany-style shade, he said.
enjoys sharing his findings, and he summarized them in a
report he distributed to family members and friends. He
hopes it will encourage them to try the new technology,
particularly the individuals who are reluctant to give
up their old-style light bulbs.
on the other hand, embraces change.
me, this is enjoyable," he said. "Iím
learning something new. Iím looking to the