Turn Off Your Outside Lights at Night

Turn Off Your Outside Lights at Night

A small pet peeve of mine is folks that leave on their outside lights all night.  Do they realize how much this is costing them?!?  I even have some neighbors that routinely leave their outside lights on during the day – talk about a waste of money!!

Turn Off Your Outside Lights at Night – The Money Saving Breakdown

  • Difficulty (Super Easy/Easy/Medium/Hard/Expert): Super Easy
  • Average Savings per Year ($/year): 100
  • Time Required (mins)5
  • Savings for your time ($/hr): 1,200

Turn Off Your Outside Lights at Night – The Background

When I leave for work in the morning, it isn’t all that uncommon for me to find many neighbors with their outside lights left on.  This means that many of them are leaving three to six light bulbs burning for 10 hours a day each and every day of the year!  This seems like a relatively innocent practice, but the cost of this practice really does add up over an entire year if you do not turn off your outside lights at night.  Many folks will spend more than $100 a year on additional electricity.

Turn Off Your Outside Lights at Night – Details

I made this simple table showing how much one could expect to spend annually if you do not turn off your outside lights at night.  I assumed $.12.2 / kwh and 60 watt bulbs.  This is the average electricity charge for the US.  You can get a rough estimate for what your average kwh charge is here if you are interested.

# Lights Left On

Hours Left On 1 2 3 4
2  $5.34  $10.69  $16.03  $21.37
4  $10.69  $21.37  $32.06  $42.75
6  $16.03  $32.06  $48.09  $64.12
8  $21.37  $42.75  $64.12  $85.50
10  $26.72  $ 53.44  $80.15  $106.87

Basically, many of my neighbors are spending more than $100 a year because they do not turn off their outside lights at night.

Turn Off Your Outside Lights at Night – Why?

Why are folks leaving on their outside lights at night?  I think the number one reason is that people believe is helps to reduce crime.  I am not a crime expert, but much of my research has led me to believe that night lighting in residential areas has no effect on home break-in type of crime.  Most break and enters occur during the day when folks are at work.  Also, many studies have shown that having light at night around homes actually increases crime because the crooks can better see what they are doing!

Turn Off Your Outside Lights at Night – Alternatives

If you are still concerned about crime and believe that night lighting is the way to go, here are a couple of EASY alternatives that will help you save money on electricity and still light up the area:

  •  Switch to CFL Bulbs – if you have not done this yet, what are you waiting for??  The price has come down now to where they are about the same price as the old style light bulbs.  And if you switch from 60W to 13W, you could save $80+ a year (4 lights at 10 hours per night)!
  • Install Battery Operated Motion Sensing LED Lights – These little things are awesome – no wiring necessary!  The batteries last for more than a year and are only $20.  You would get a return on your investment in only a couple of months!

Turn Off Your Outside Lights at Night – Final Thoughts

If you leave your outside lights on all night, please reconsider this practice!  You can save yourself $100+ a year if you turn off your outside lights at night.  Do you have other ways to save money on outside lighting expenses?

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