Energy Efficient Lighting
- The average household dedicates 5-10% of its energy budget to lighting.
- About 25% of all electricity generated in the United States is used for lighting.
- In a typical residential or commercial lighting installation, 50% or more of the energy is wasted by obsolete equipment, inadequate maintenance, or inefficient use.
- You can save money by changing the lighting fixtures and bulbs/lamps used in your home.
- The incandescent lamp is the most common lighting source in US homes--it is also the least efficient.
- Long-life bulbs are less efficient than regular life incandescent bulbs.
- Fluorescent lamps convert electricity to visible light five times more efficiently than the incandescent lamps and last up to 20 times longer.
- The operating efficiency and long life offset the initial high cost of a compact fluorescent lamp.
- The most efficient light sources available are low-pressure sodium and high-pressure sodium lamps which are used primarily in street lighting and commercial and industrial applications.
What can I do to save energy in my home?
- Lower wattage, which may involve replacing bulbs, lamps or entire fixtures.
- Reduce the light source's on-time, which means improving lighting controls and educating users to turn off unneeded lights.
- Use day-lighting, which reduces energy consumption by replacing electric lights with natural light.
- If purchasing a new lighting fixture, consider a fluorescent fixture instead of an incandescent fixture which can provide energy savings of 60% to 75%.
- Replace lights with the longest hours of operation with more efficient energy technologies.
- If replacing a bulb in an existing fixture, consider using a compact fluorescent bulb in the existing fixture.
- Compact fluorescent lamps are most efficient in spaces where the lights are on for several hours per day.
- In some table lamps, it may be necessary to install an adapter, harp extender, or a new harp specifically designed to accept compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Convert outdoor incandescent lamps to high-pressure sodium or fluorescent lamps. Ask your hardware store about high-pressure sodium lamps.
- Use installed dimmers regularly.
- Use 4-watt nightlights instead of 7-watt nightlights.
Additional Sources of Information
- U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable
- Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)
- Association of Energy Engineers (AEE)
- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Daylighting Group
- National Lighting Bureau (NLB)
- Rensselaer Polytechnic University Lighting Research Center
- American Lighting Association