Lighting accounts for about 10% of the average household’s energy budget and is perhaps the best place to get started when making the effort to save electricity and money.
Here’s how to save…
Light Bulbs. If you’re still using traditional incandescent bulbs you can save simply by buying a different type of bulb. Traditional incandescent bulbs waste a lot of energy to produce light. Newer, energy-efficient light bulbs use up to 80% less energy while still providing the same amount of illumination, and they last a lot longer.
Lighting Controls – These offer convenience and help you save money by controlling the amount of wattage or reducing the time lights are on but not being used.
- Turn your lights off when they’re not being used
- Take advantage of natural daylight
- Use loose-weave window curtains and decorate with lighter colors that reflect daylight
Common types of energy-efficient lighting
Energy-saving, halogen incandescent bulbs have a capsule inside that holds gas around a filament to increase bulb efficiency. This type of incandescent bulb is about 25% more efficient and can last up to three times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
LEDs (light emitting diodes) are small in size, but can be grouped together for higher intensity applications. They’re better at casting light in a single direction than other forms of lighting. LEDs use up to 80% less energy and last about 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. LEDs emit very little heat. In comparison, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat and CFLs release about 80% of their energy as heat. Common uses for LED lighting include industrial and commercial lights, under-cabinet lights, recessed-down lights, holiday lights, and to light outdoor areas such as gardens and walkways.
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Common types of lighting controls:
Used to turn lights on and off at specific times. There are manual timers that plug into an electrical outlet and typically control lamps or light strings and there are in-wall programmable digital timers that automate lighting indoors and outdoors. Timers can give an unoccupied house an occupied look which can provide some security.
Automatically turn outdoor lights on when they detect motion and then off shortly after. They are most useful for outdoor security and utility lighting. Since they are only needed when it’s dark outside these are often used in combination with a photo sensor.
Detect indoor activity within a certain range and automatically turn the lights on when occupants enter a room and off when the room is no longer occupied; providing convenience and energy savings.
Prevent lights from turning on during daylight hours. Typically used outdoors, but many LED nightlights have this feature. They offer convenience and energy savings.
Allow variable indoor lighting. Dimming light bulbs reduces the wattage which helps save electricity and increase the life of the bulbs.