Energy Efficient Lighting

Fast Facts:

  • 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