Energy Saving Lighting Tips

Lightbulb Types

You can save energy and costs by researching the right type of bulb(s) for your home.

Incandescent bulbs were the most common type of bulb for years. However, there are now more energy efficient options available as these types of bulbs are phased out, due to the high amounts of energy used.

LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs are generally considered the most energy efficient option. A quality lightbulb will give the most light with the least electricity. And, LEDs typically last five times longer than a halogen bulb.

CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) are not quite as energy efficient as LEDs, but are popular because they can directly replace many traditional and halogen bulbs. Fluorescent lights work by generating a lot of light, but not much heat. They are almost as cost effective as LEDs, but they only last about half as long.

Halogen Bulbs are similar to incandescent bulbs, but they use less electricity; they have the same light output, but use less energy. While they may be less expensive to purchase, they can be expensive to run, and have a shorter lifetime than LEDs and CFLs.

Switch Your Switches

Dimmers allow you to reduce lighting when you don’t need it, which saves both energy and light bulbs. Occupancy sensors turn lights off after you leave the room or shut the closet door — even if you forget.

A reduction of voltage by 10% on a dimmer will double the bulb life and save energy and money. To dim fluorescents, use a special dimming ballast, as well as a dimmer that is compatible with fluorescents.

Move to Motion Detectors

Motion detectors offer another bright idea for snipping the electric bill. Your site still has the needed security, but the light shuts off when not needed.

Light in Layers

Those lighting new homes for the first time might consider a less-is-more approach. Think of your lighting in layers. Begin with the spots where lights are most important — where tasks are performed, like reading. Don’t accent everything in the living room, just important items. This allows a thinning of lights without the house looking dark and will save energy.

Add Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are a great way to conserve electricity year-round. They are economical and energy efficient, utilizing about the same energy as a 100 watt light bulb.

Ceiling fans don’t actually lower the temperature of a room like an air conditioner. But by spinning the air, they create a wind chill effect that makes you feel up to eight degrees cooler.

Running a ceiling fan costs about one cent per hour, or pennies/day, vs. the several dollars/day to run an air conditioner. Fans can be used alone or in conjunction with an air conditioner. When a ceiling fan is used with an air conditioner, the thermostat setting can then be raised, resulting in reduced cooling costs of 40% or more.

In the winter, ceiling fans move warm air back to the center of the room, pushing it down from the ceiling and generating savings of as much as 10% on your heating bills. Simply switch the direction of the blades to spin clockwise and turn on the fan.