You want every penny you spend to add value to your home, so when you’re considering selling how do you decide which upgrades are worth it? According to the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), 9 out of 10 people who are looking for a new home are more likely to choose an energy-efficient home. And, they are often willing to pay a little more for it.
The graphic above represents the top 10 features that are important to home buyers, differentiated by the percentage of people that have to have it (orange), and those that would really like to have it (blue). This study begs the question – How many potential home buyers are marking your house off their list because it lacks some of these features?
It’s clear that energy efficiency is a highly sought after feature. When you’re looking for ways to reduce power use in your home, lighting is a great place to start. Here are some easy and cost-effective ways that you can make your home lighting more energy-efficient, and therefore more attractive to potential buyers.
Update Your Light Fixtures with LEDs
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) have revolutionized energy efficiency in the lighting industry. Aside from unscrewing a light bulb, upgrading your incandescent recessed light fixtures with LED retrofits is one of the easiest ways to update your lighting system. If you can change a light bulb, you can DIY this project. We even have a cheat sheet to help you choose the right one.
Invest in Energy-Efficient Exterior Lighting
Exterior lighting made the top 5 on the list of most wanted new home features. Make that lighting energy-efficient, and you’ve got a winning combination for attracting buyers. Contrary to popular belief, a low voltage outdoor lighting system doesn’t necessarily save you in energy costs. However, when you add LEDs into the mix, it’s a whole different story. Energy star rated LEDs use about 75% less energy than incandescent lights and last 25 times longer. Installing an energy-efficient outdoor lighting system has a few other key features that make it desirable for a seller:
- Accent lights highlight key features outside the home that you want to make sure your prospective buyer notices.
- Motion detector security lights can even lower some homeowners insurance premiums (check w/ your agent)
Add Light Switch Timers & Sensors
How many times a day do you walk into an empty room that still has every light on? Lighting controls like occupancy sensors save energy by detecting body heat and turning the lights off when the room is empty. If you have a pretty regular schedule and want the lights to turn off at a specific time each day, consider programmable light switch timers for both indoor or outdoor use. Another energy-saving feature to look for is photocells that automatically turn the lights off at sunrise so you aren’t wasting money during the day.
Every time you dim your lights, it reduces energy use and extends the life of your bulb. According to Lutron’s energy saving calculator, using dimmers in my kitchen alone saves me 19% in energy costs, or about $155 over the course of five years.
Whether you’re planning to sell your home this year or 15 years from now, start making energy-efficient lighting upgrades today and reap the benefits immediately.
If you’re not sure where to start, it may help to focus on one area of the home at a time. Over the years we’ve written several great blog posts that teach you how to make your bathroom, garage, bedroom or kitchen lighting more energy-efficient. Choose one and let us know how it goes!
It’s Earth Day 2015! Answer a few questions and get personalized energy saving tips for your home at the Earth Day Energy Center.