Lighting energy guide

Lighting typically accounts for 10–15% of your annual electricity consumption. Fortunately, improving the efficiency of your home lighting systems is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to reduce electricity consumption and lower your electricity bill.
Follow the tips below to reduce the amount of energy you use to light your home:

  • Many ceiling fixtures contain fittings for more light bulbs than is necessary so remove extra light bulbs or change to a fitting that only requires one bulb
  • Install automatic motion sensors or timer switches in areas which are not occupied for long periods of time
  • Turn off lights if you are away from a room for more than a few minutes

Make use of natural light by:

  • Removing objects that are blocking natural light entering through windows
  • Paint dark walls and ceilings with lighter colors to reflect light better

Types of Light Bulbs


Incandescents have a capsule inside that holds gas around a filament to increase bulb efficiency. They are available in a wide range of shapes and colors, and they can be used with dimmers.

Incandescent lamps are often considered the least energy efficient type of electric lighting commonly found in residential buildings. Although inefficient, incandescent lamps possess a number of key advantages--they are inexpensive to buy, turn on instantly, are available in a huge array of sizes and shapes and provide a pleasant, warm light with excellent color rendition.

However, because of their relative inefficiency and short life spans, they are more expensive to operate than newer lighting types such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

CFLS – Compact Fluorescent lamps

  • Use 75–80% less electricity than a standard incandescent light bulb
  • Last from 6,000–10,000 hours (most incandescent bulbs last only 1,000 hours)
  • Come in many different sizes and shapes, and some can even be dimmed
  • Contain small amounts of mercury, which is toxic — old bulbs must not be thrown out in the trash, they must be taken to the Tynes Bay hazardous waste drop-off in a clear bag. If a CFL breaks in your home, ventilate the area well before and after carefully placing all the debris in a sealed bag using rubber gloves and wet tissue to prevent dust becoming airborne

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20%–25% of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs they replace.  LEDs use 25%–30% of the energy and last 8 to 25 times longer than halogen incandescent light bulbs.

LED bulbs are currently available in many products such as replacements for 40W, 60W, and 75W traditional incandescent light bulbs, reflector bulbs often used in recessed fixtures, and small track lights. While LEDs are more expensive at this early stage, they still save money because they last a long time and have very low energy use. As with other electronics, prices are expected to come down as more products enter the market.

Information on this webpage has been referenced from the US Department of Energy website.