Lighting Tips

1. Lighting accounts for about 15% of a home’s electric use. New screw in fluorescent bulbs can replace the incandescent ones most of us use. Fluorescent bulbs are more expensive, but they last 10 times longer and use 75% less electricity. 

2. If you prefer incandescent bulbs, try to use “energy saver” bulbs. These bulbs use halogen gases that allow the filament to burn brighter while consuming less energy. 

3. A lot of energy can be saved by matching as closely as possible light bulb wattage to lighting needs. For example, a high wattage reading light in a hallway or alcove is not energy efficient. 

4. You can save by turning off incandescent lights when you leave the room. If you use fluorescent lighting, however, turn the off only if you’ll be gone longer than 15 minutes. Fluorescent lights use as much energy in starting as they use during 15 minutes of operation, so it’s not worthwhile to turn them off for a brief periods. 

5. Lighting controls or “timers” can help save energy dollars, too. Timers can be set to turn lights on or off a predetermined times while photocell controls are sensitive light and turn lamps on and off at sundown and sunrise. Dimmers can vary the level of illumination according to how much light you may want in a given situation. 

6. Consider using task lighting (lighting directed at a specific areas) instead of overhead or general lighting, which may light unused areas of the room. By limiting lighting only to areas where it is needed, savings in costs of bulbs and energy can be made. 

7. Keeping lights and fixtures clean can improve efficiency as much as 20%. Take advantage of reflected light by keeping portable fixtures as close as possible to light colored walls or other surfaces. These easy steps may reduce the number and wattage of bulbs you need and help you save on your energy bills.