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If you are one of the 25% of Americans that leave their outdoor lights on all night, this badge is for you.  We all want a safe atmosphere at night, but burning the porch light while you’re in bed can be a good way to run up those electric bills.  A better alternative is to install a motion sensor device that will light your house and yard only when it’s needed.

These sweet devices will light up your yard if there are any prowlers nearby (or when you pull into the driveway), but they’ll keep energy costs down by keeping the light off when you don’t need it.  We’ve calculated you could save over $20 per year by reducing your outdoor lighting usage.

That’s not the only way to save on outdoor lighting.  Compact Fluorescents are also great to use outdoors because of their long lifespan.  Who wants to climb a ladder every 6 months to replace burnt out bulbs?  CFLs have a lifespan of around 7 years. In addition, they use 1/4th the energy of traditional bulbs. However when buying a CFL for an outdoor light, a word of caution:  If you live where it gets cold, make sure you get a bulb with a special cold-weather ballast.  Just look for“Indoor/Outdoor” on the package. Regular indoor only CFL’s tend not to work well when the temperature gets below 40F.  The bulbs won’t be cheap, but remember that their long life span and energy savings normally makes it worth the cost.

The final word:  Remember Motel 6’s famous ad campaign, “We’ll leave the light on for you”?  If they still leave the light on, it must be a CFL…they began refitting their properties with CFLs in 2006.