This post is contributed by Joe Truini, guest blogger at The Home Depot.

With the major energy drains of your home taken care of (see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the series), you can move on to smaller projects. And while it may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, replacing your lighting is a simple way to save hundreds of dollars on your energy bills each year. Lighting is also the easiest (and quickest) way to increase your home’s energy efficiency.

The 3 best light bulbs to use

  • Halogen incandescent bulbs are a more energy-efficient choice than traditional incandescent bulbs. They’re also the most common type of bulbs. An “old” 60-watt incandescent BR30 costs about $8 a year to run (based on 3 hours of use per day).
  • CFL bulbs are the small, spiraled bulbs. The 60-watt equivalent (15 w) reduces annual energy usage per bulb by 75 percent and has a lifespan of around 10,000 hours.
  • LED bulbs are the newest on the market, and while they’re more expensive, they’re the most efficient by a large margin. Each bulb reduces energy costs by 75 to 80 percent. But the best thing about these newer bulbs is their lifespan: approximately 25,000 hours.

How to replace your light bulbs

Difficulty level: easy DIY

Replacing the incandescent bulbs in your home with LEDs is the quickest and easiest way to reduce your home’s energy costs. If you decide to go with LED bulbs, the cost of replacement will be higher. But if budget is a factor, start by replacing the most commonly used bulbs in your home. Then you can work your way down from there until the entire house is completed.

Check out the rest of our home ownership series, where we go over leaks and draftsinsulation, heating, and electric appliances.


Joe Truini writes extensively about DIY home remodeling and repair, including performing energy audits to evaluate efficiency. He has worked as a remodeling contractor, cabinetmaker, and union carpenter. Joe is the author of 8 home improvement books, including Building Sheds and Stanley Homeowner’s Guide to Tiling, both published in 2016. He also writes for The Home Depot on home improvement topics like installing storm windows.

DIY hacks | Home and garden