Named “Best Overall App” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Apps for the Environment Challenge, Light Bulb Finder is available as a free download on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android mobile devices. Based on simple inputs, the app recommends energy-efficient bulbs that look and fit just like your traditional incandescent bulbs. It provides financial payback and environmental impact information, enabling users to make informed decisions. Bulbs can be purchased through the app or at local stores.
“If you think you already have switched all your bulbs, take a closer look, especially at specialty fixtures. The average U.S. home has over 50 lighting fixtures, of which 32 still have regular, inefficient bulbs,” said Adam Borut, president of Eco Hatchery, the developer of the Light Bulb Finder app. “Lighting accounts for over 14 percent of the average home’s electric bill, so the savings potential is significant.”
A typical household can save over $110 in annual energy bills by replacing the most frequently used bulbs, Borut said. That’s money most homeowners would happily keep in the bank or spend on other things.
The Light Bulb Finder app will show you how much energy you can save by replacing one or multiple fixtures and what the total carbon footprint improvement will be.
Changing just one more bulb, like a kitchen spot or porch light, will have a positive impact. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, if every U.S. household replaces one bulb, it would prevent 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the equivalent of taking 7.5 million cars off the road.
Energy-efficient bulbs may cost more up-front, but the overall cost of buying and powering them is significantly less in the long run, plus they do not have to be changed as frequently. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs, or CFLs, last on average eight times longer than incandescent bulbs, and Light Emitting Diodes, LEDs, last 25 or more times longer.
“It used to be that choosing a light bulb was simple, but technical advances, federal efficiency standards and a flood of new products have triggered the biggest evolution in the lighting industry since Edison was around. Consumers have more choices than ever,” said Borut.
As choice has increased, so has consumer confusion. Choosing the right bulb no longer is about wattage and shape. Now, consumers need to consider the type of fixture, the lumen output (a measure of brightness), the color temperature (warm vs. cool light), not to mention the price of the bulb and electricity cost over time.
The Light Bulb Finder app cuts through the confusion and identifies the right bulbs for the right fixtures. Users can instantly create personalized shopping lists of energy-saving bulbs while walking throughout the home or in store aisles.
The app is not affiliated with any retailers or bulb manufacturers. It is supported through municipal and utility programs that promote rebates, green tips, and energy-efficiency programs through the app.
Employers, utilities, cities, schools and community organizations can download a free Light Bulb Finder web banner and an Earth Day toolkit at http://lightbulbfinder.net/
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Eco Hatchery, LLC is a sustainability technology and services firm specializing in energy efficiency software and mobile applications. For more information on the Light Bulb Finder app and Earth Day resources please visit www.ecohatchery.com and www.lightbulbfinder.net. Connect with Light Bulb Finder on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/