As one of the easiest areas to save energy and money, conserving lighting energy is literally an on/off proposition. From energy saving tips to special light bulbs and lamps, there are a wide variety of recommendations to make your home more energy efficient.

Switching to Energy Efficient Lighting

Lighting comprises about 11% of your home’s energy bill. We recommend changing your old incandescent bulbs to ENERGY STAR certified Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL) and/or Light-Emitting Diodes (LED). When selecting your ENERGY STAR bulbs, you’ll choose from brightness, color shade and dimmable options, similar to incandescent bulbs.

LED bulbs work best for open fixtures that allow airflow, such as table and floor lamps, hanging lamps, wall sconces and outdoor fixtures. They provide the greatest savings when used in fixtures turned on for more than 15 minutes at a time.

By making this switch, you’ll experience the following benefits.

  • Use about 75% less energy. While producing the same amount of light, each bulb saves you about $6 per year in electricity costs, or more than $40 over the lifetime of the bulb. Plus, each bulb pays for itself in about six months. Use ENERGY STAR bulbs with light fixtures you leave on the longest.
  • Produce 75% less heat. Less heat makes ENERGY STAR CFL or LED bulbs safer to operate and reduces the amount of energy needed to cool your home in the summer.
  • Last 6 to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Nice for those hard-to-reach fixtures!

Additional Guidelines and Tips

To make the best use of your ENERGY STAR lighting, follow these tips.

  • Turn your lights off when not using them.
  • Use low-wattage bulbs where you don’t need bright or quality lighting.
  • Place floor lamps and hanging lamps in corners. The reflection off the walls gives you more light.
  • Turn off outdoor lighting during the day. Timer switches or photoelectric controls help you automate outdoor lighting.

A Note About Broken CFL Bulbs

If a CFL bulb breaks, you'll need to take some extra care in cleaning it up. Please refer to the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines at Click on the “Cleaning up a Broken CFL” link in the center of the page.

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