Switch & Save with GE Energy Efficient Light Bulbs {#CBias #SocialFabric #GELighting}

Most people pay almost no attention to the lighting in their houses.  But, as a photographer, light is a big part of what I do.  Not only does it set the tone for a room, it can make or break your indoor pictures quicker than almost anything else. 

So, when my husband first mentioned going from 65 watt incandescent light bulbs to 15 watt CFL light bulbs in our new house to save money, my original thought was no way.  I’ll admit I was picturing the beautiful and pristine house we had both fallen in love with replaced with a dark and dimly lit house that was merely a shadow of its former beauty and I didn’t even want to consider it.  Not even to save money.

My husband persisted, and explained how I probably wouldn’t even notice the difference – since our new house had plenty of recessed lights, the only real difference would be in how quickly they turned on when we came into the room.  In the end, I agreed, and we went around the entire house and replaced all the builder’s incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient CFL bulbs instead and gave the old ones back to the builder. 

One might argue that that’s not exactly cost efficient, but I really think it was.  We’ve lived in our house since 2007 and are just now starting to replace the energy efficient CFL bulbs we installed in the main living areas.  One might think that that’s not that big of a feat, but since I work from home and we spend a lot of time in our kitchen/dining/living room, that’s actually pretty impressive.  While I don’t know how much money we saved since we never actually used the builder’s original bulbs, here’s a rough idea of what we might have saved throughout the years:

Energy Calculator
Not too shabby, right?  P.S. Holy light bulbs – I had no idea we had that many until we counted them up together! 

With four light bulbs recently out and our house going dark before my eyes, we headed out recently to do some light bulb shopping at Walmart.  Because I never pass up a chance to see sister and newborn nephew, we decided we would make an evening of our Walmart trip and go green by walking to the store instead of driving.  Luckily, it was a beautiful night and we got to soak up some evening rays while we all chatted and walked. 

Once we made it to the store, we were more than ready to do some shopping, so we took our time in the store and even did a quick return on a yellow shirt I bought a few days ago.  {Not quite my color, if you’re wondering}.  Then we meandered over to the lighting section of our Walmart, stopping a few times so the kiddos could check stuff out.  Once I got to the lighting department, I was shocked at what I found.  Not only were there more options than ever for energy smart bulbs, they are also much more affordable than they used to be. 

Whereas it had cost quite a bit to outfit our home in CFL bulbs back in 2007, now name  brands like GE Energy Smart bulbs are an even better investment than they used to be.  Paired with a coupon DSC01682I found at Coupons.com for $2 off any GE Energy Smart bulbs, they were downright frugal at our local Walmart.  Who would have thought that being frugal would pay off both short term and long term?

The GE Smart Energy line offers a great alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs but with huge energy savings over the life of each bulb.  Most provide the same light output {lumens} but use lower wattages, so they use less energy and save you money in the long run.

And, with the addition of the GE Energy Smart Bright from the Start CFL bulbs to the line which are a hybrid of halogen and CFL lights, they now illuminate quickly so you probably would never even notice the difference in your home.  Or, at least you wouldn’t until you saw your energy bill.  With each bulb lasting up to 8 times longer and using 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, just by switching this one simple thing, you could save an average of $39 in energy costs over the life of the bulb!

GE makes a bulb for every need, so thank goodness I had brought my husband with me to shop.  Once we got to the lighting aisle, I quickly realized picking light bulbs was going to be harder than grabbing the correct wattage and going.  There’s quite a few things to take into account in addition to wattage: whether the light is dimmable {none of ours were}, whether they were for indoors or outdoors, size of bulb, whether the bulb would be visible in the fixture, whether you needed the bulbs to be instantly bright, the color temperature of lights, and finally, usage.  

While I could answer many of these questions on my own, it was handy to have someone else there to compare seemingly identical light bulbs to find that one dimmed, one was meant to repel bugs {seriously}, or one was best used when you want as close to natural light as possible.  We each spread out and looked for a different type of bulb that we needed – with one person looking at 60 watt lamp light bulbs, one looking at floodlight bulbs, and one looking for decorative bathroom bulbs. 

After checking out the vast selection, figuring out what our cost would be with coupons, and then counting up how many bulbs we needed so we could replace the burnt out ones as well as have a stock on hand, we had our cart piled with bulbs.  After looking at our cart and making a quick mental note of how many times we’d be up and down ladders to change all the bulbs we were replacing, we made an impulse buy and got a light change kit as well, something my husband was stoked about.

With our cart filling up quickly, we headed over to the craft department and got a few items I needed to finish the flower girl dresses I made for my cousin’s wedding.  Even though the Walmart craft department may be small, I found the perfect hardware pieces I needed for the girl’s accessories as well as some fun little extras to decorate their baskets.  Of course, I also found some other crafting items for the kiddos’ art projects as I am completely unable to go into a craft aisle and leave empty handed, but at least the prices were great!

After we rung up and headed back home with all of our bulbs and baubles, we were talking with my sister about switching all of her light bulbs at her house as well.  They have only been in their home for two years and have already had to change numerous bulbs, so she was excited to go on our trip with us and find some really affordable ways to cut costs in her own home as well as spend less time changing bulbs each year. 

Just check out the estimated energy savings calculator for yourself to see what we’re talking about.  There’s just something about seeing it in black and white that makes it so clear.  If we can save $611 per year and $3,300  over the life of our bulbs, that’s a whole lot of savings in our pockets.  Less energy used + less money wasted on bulbs that burn out up to 10 times quicker = good “green” sense. 

Check out our full shopping trip to see all the fun we had going green and shopping as a family.

Find out more about GE and all of their {many} light bulbs at GELighting.com, and don't forget to connect with them on Twitter and Facebook as well.  They even created this great little video to get a visual of how you can save:

What would you do with all the money you save?

Energy savings


I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and GE but all thoughts are honest and my own. #CBias #SocialFabric

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