Does Turning Off the Light Really Matter?
The answer that you’ve always wanted to know – will it save you money if you turn off the lights when you aren’t in the room? Does turning off the lights really matter to your budget?
We’ve always been told to turn off the light when we leave the room. Ever since childhood, we’ve been told that turning off the light in a room that we aren’t in can save electricity.
As an adult who now has to pay the electric bill, I understand the idea a lot more than I did then. But it still always made me wonder… what impact does a light have? Does turning off the light really matter?
I’m a giant wimp, and I’m not afraid to admit it. Horror movies aren’t allowed in my house because my husband and I watched Paranormal Activity and slept with every light on in the house for months. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not.
We keep lights on at night as a precaution because we live in the city (jk, it’s because we’re scardey cats). The hall light, kitchen light, and the light in the bathroom are all on 24/7.
It’s been years since we started keeping lights on because of that stupid movie (if you’re the one who came up with the idea for that movie, I hate you). Now, they’re on out of habit. And it’s an expensive habit, too.
And it’s not just us. We’ve spoken with so many people who keep at least 1 or more light on all day and night. And when it comes to conserving electricity, it’s not just the light in your hall or bathroom that stays on all night. It’s the overhead fan in the living room, or the light above the stove, even your wireless router.
These little things that stay on all day and night can really impact your electric bill each month. In a big way.
So, does turning off the light really matter?
Yes! When it comes to saving money and conserving electricity, every single cent counts. Every light that gets left on when no one is in the room. The air conditioner that was on when the door was closed. If every penny counts, every little thing that gets left on when it doesn’t need to matters, too.
But it’s not just the light that you leave on in the bathroom that you should be turning off to conserve electricity. There are a lot of other sneaky electronics that just slowly but surely eat away at your electric bill. And they make a big difference at the end of the month.
Check for “vampire electronics.”
These are the silent leeches of your electric bill. The light that you leave on in the hallway 24 hours a day. Maybe it’s the downstairs window unit air conditioner that you leave on when you’re out of the house. It’s definitely your wireless router that is connected to your wifi that’s connected to your Smart TV that is on 24/7.
In one month in my house in the dead of summer, we decided to check out the impact that “vampire electronics” had in our house. We shut off everything at night. Our air conditioner stayed the same temperature, the outside temperature was even hotter in August from July, but we shut everything off when we weren’t using it.
Our air conditioner stayed the same temperature, the outside temperature was even hotter in August from July, but we shut everything off when we weren’t using it.
In that one month, we lowered our electric bill by $102! That’s a full 35% decrease in our bill. It was absolutely shocking.
That’s the power of turning off your lights and wireless router! If you don’t think that you could remember to turn everything back on, you could invest in a timer for your electric outlets. It’s a great and inexpensive way to make sure that your lights are always off when you don’t need them and are always on when you want them.
Here are some things that you should check to unplug when you’re not using them:
- Laptop charger
- Phone charger
- Video game systems
- Cable box
- Smart TV
- Wireless router
- Window AC units
- Anything with a display screen
Just doing a sweep of these electronics every night before bed can really add up.
Because every house is different and every electric company is different, it’s tough to compare my situation to yours. But if you compare your own numbers for month to month, you can see how these electronics impact your own bill.
I’d be willing to bet that you’ll be surprised by how much you save by turning off the light. Give it a try in your own home. Track how much your bill was in one month and then compare it to the next money when you made sure to turn everything off when you left the room or the house.
Remember: every little bit adds up over time. It might not seem like it’s doing much for your bill, but in a year you’d be shocked at the amount that you have saved just by being aware of your energy consumption.
Have you ever put your lights on timers? Has it helped you stay on top of your energy use?