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When we moved into this house many years ago the realestate lady was quick to point out it’s many wonderful features…one of which was a beautiful formal living room. It was certainly a beautiful room but I am not a formal living room type of girl….I want rooms that I can LIVE in without worrying about getting crumbs on floor or dog hair on the furniture! So, the formal living room quickly became my office/reading room/music studio and we use it every single day!
The one thing I dislike about the room is the lighting situation! Up until a couple of years ago we lit the room with a tall halogen lamp. Then one day a giant moth landed on it and quickly burnt to a crisp. That day we were reminded of what a huge fire hazard that type of lamp is…and the lingering smell of toasted moth was extremely unpleasant. No more halogen lamps for us!
But, that left one very tiny desk lamp to light up the whole room and it just doesn’t work! Sometimes we leave the hall light on to help us see in there but that is not an ideal situation! I even got my kids music stand lights because they were complaining that it was so dark they couldn’t see their music!
When I was selected to help out on the #GELighting Home Makeover project I was thrilled! Finally an excuse to go out and find the perfect lighting. GE makes a ton of great energy efficient bulbs to choose from so I headed over to my local Walmart to check out the selection of lamps and bulbs.
Since I had never shopped lighting at Walmart I had a little trouble finding the section I needed. I found the lamps fairly easily in the Home section and assumed there would be light bulbs in the same section but they weren’t there. Some very helpful employees directed me to the hardware section and boy what a selection they had to choose from!
I was a little bit overwhelmed by how many choices there were in terms of lighting! Depending on the type of light fixture (chandelier, ceiling fan, normal lamp, etc) and the type of light you want (daylight? How bright?) there really is a lot of things to think about! If you want to know WHY you should change your lighting to energy efficient bulbs, check out this video from GE!
If you are hesitant to make the switch to energy efficient bulbs, you should take a closer look at the options that are available today. A lot has changed over the last few years and you can find bulbs that look similar to traditional bulbs but offer MUCH greater energy savings. For example, GE Energy Smart® Bright from the Start™ bulbs give you a 28% energy savings compared to old fashioned light bulbs (incandescent). They are bright from the moment you turn them on and have similar size and shape.
After wandering back and forth between the lamp section and the light bulb isle (which I really think should be much closer together!) I finally chose 3 lamps and these GE Energy Smart light bulbs for my #GELighting Home Makeover project. The lamps had a maximum wattage suggestion of 26 Watts so I chose the 20 watt bulbs. With one lamp in each corner I should be able to light the sections of the room that I want to use and not waste energy lighting the other areas. If you want to see more details about the varieties of lighting options I found at Walmart, check out my
After bringing home all of my purchases I had to start building my lamps and rearranging a few things. I enlisted my daughter’s help since she loves tackling things like decorating and after an hour or so of much sweating and cussing, I had a room full of new lighting! (they really need to make those instruction manuals a little more understandable!)
I chose the spiral shaped bulb but if you don’t care for the way that looks, GE also has the more traditionally shaped bulbs as well. I was worried that the bulbs I chose wouldn’t fit into the smaller desk lamp I picked out but even in that narrow opening I had no trouble getting them to fit!
Have you switched over to energy efficient light bulbs yet? They really will save you a ton of money over the lifetime of the bulb. Check out the GE Energy Smart® CFL Savings Calculator to find out how much money YOU can save my making the switch! I already have energy efficient bulbs in many of my light fixtures but not all of them…yet! According to the GE calculator, switching my house from ALL incandescent lights to ALL energy efficient light saves me just over $400 a year on my energy bill! That is quite a big savings! Our bathrooms all have track lighting and vanity mirrors which I don’t really like and they cost a fortune to use!
Lighting is a big part of our monthly energy bill but there are several ways that you can save money without sitting around in the dark!
1. Make sure everyone in the household is on board with the ‘save energy’ plan. Have a family meeting and discuss WHY we need to turn off lights when we leave a room. Sometimes kids think we just like to nag at them, not that there really is a reason behind the nagging!
2. Put certain lights on timers or motion sensors. Instead of leaving the driveway light on the entire time you are out to dinner, it will just pop on the minute you drive up to the garage. Those outdoor lights can be big energy hogs and leaving them on several hours isn’t really necessary!
3. Put nightlights on a photosensor. You can get a simple screw-in photosensor for very little money. It will automatically turn your nightlight on at night and off during the day. You just screw the photosensor into your existing light socket and screw the light bulb into the photosensor.
Of course, if money is no object you can install solar panels on your house and put skylights in every room but that can get a little pricey!
Now that my not so formal living room has better lighting I can spend more time in here reading and working on the computer without having to turn the hall light on to try and see! And maybe my kids will stop complaining about not being able to see their music…of course, they will just find something ELSE to complain about, I’m sure!
I really love the look of this room now and I can light up whichever corner of the room I want to use. Whether I want to read in my chair, work on my computer, or have my daughter play the piano, there is now plenty of energy efficient lighting available!
Want to know more?
- Attend the #GELighting Twitter Party from 1:00-2:00 PM EST on Thursday, May 31
- Join the #GELighting Pinterest Party from May 30-June 13
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.