Two men walk into your home with A black duffle bag. You have never met them before.
They’re preparing to take things from your home: inefficient light bulbs. This summer, homeowners Tim and Shawn Shaw went on a diet—the LED Diet. The two men who showed up at their door with the big black duffle bag are LED Dietitians. Their bag isn’t empty though; it’s fully loaded and heavy.
Fully loaded and heavy with a variety of 30 different LED bulbs, that is. At least one of these bulbs is guaranteed to be the perfect solution to an inefficient or poor quality light source. The Shaws were not well-versed in LEDs at first. Placing such seemingly modern and new technology into their home was foreign to them.
“When Jon and Gino arrived, we did not know what to expect,” said Tim Shaw, homeowner, husband, and father of three. “We never really considered our lighting as more than a necessity, so replacing our incandescents with an efficient alternative didn’t really cross our minds.”
Jon Stovall, creator of the LED Diet, and Gino Hefner, the first ever LED Dietitian, offered high quality, energy efficient LED alternatives to almost every light throughout the home: kitchen, living room, bedroom—you name it, they replaced it.
Going through their whole home, Stovall and Hefner helped the Shaws realize how much better their light could be, but they did not stop there. Stovall and Hefner offered to also replace the Shaw’s thermostat with a new Nest Thermostat.
The home’s Nest lives by the main entrance in the front hallway. The front of the home is clad with windows, letting plenty of natural light in—including onto the wall where the thermostat is located. During the summer, if it’s sunny out, the sunlight hits the thermostat directly by about 10:00AM, and is under the sun all day.
Casting an intervention, the dietitians held the Shaw home to a challenge: how much less energy would they consume by only replacing bulbs and a thermostat with more efficient alternatives and not changing anything about their lifestyle?
The Shaws promised to not change a thing about their living habits. And, approximately two months later in August, the Shaws saw a drop in their utility bills. As for a change in lighting and comfort: there have been only improvements according to the Shaw family.
“Our kids noticed the difference right away in the quality of light,” said Shawn Shaw, homeowner, wife, and mother of three. In each of their rooms, they use only one lamp, and changing that one lamp to LED has given them the ability to see brighter, and better.
The same goes for the laundry room, a small space connecting the main house to the garage.
“Now I’ll be able to actually see what I’m doing in here!” Shawn said upon the single bulb being upgraded.
The bill for August 2013 was about $80 cheaper than it was for the previous month, and they will save 25% on their entire electric bill every year.
The Shaw household will probably never change another light bulb—their home uses more than 80 lamps—for at least another 15 years.
“It baffles me,” said Tim. Based on their current energy usage, their new energy savings alone will create a return on investment for their home in under three years.
Within 10 years, the family will have already cumulated an extra $16,000 just by not having to replace old, burnt out, inefficient bulbs.
In regards to their new Nest Thermostat, they barely touch it. The Shaw family noticed: the Sunblock feature must actually work.The Sunblock feature allows the Nest to automatically adjust to direct sunlight, enabling it to avoid offsetting or misleading temperature changes.
“We installed a smart meter to help monitor changes in energy consumption at the start of this challenge,” Tim Shaw said. “Now that we’ve really seen how much our house can reap the benefits of our efficient technology, we’re going to start employing more efficient practices to really change our impact on the grid.”