Energy Efficient Lighting

Tue, Dec 2, 2008

a. Get Started, b. Save Money

Energy Efficiency through lighting reduces electric bills. This can be achieved by reducing the consumption of electricity by light bulbs and fixtures and/or reducing the amount of time they are in use.

The consumption of electricity can be reduced by replacing bulbs or fixtures with ones that provide the same or more amount of light with reduced electricity. For example, replacing incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs.

With the help of devices such as dimmers and lighting controls, the amount of time lights are on can be reduced. Educating users to switch off lights when not in use also helps.

Energy Efficient Lighting Options

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) use two-thirds less energy than incandescent lights and have a life which is ten times longer thus reducing the emissions from power plants. They cost more, about 10 to 15 times than incandescent lights and have disposal problems due to the presence of mercury.

Next-generation Halogen bulbs use less energy and produce a bright white light. The new halogen bulbs last three times longer than incandescent. Companies like GE, Phillips and Sylvania are making new halogen bulbs that are more energy efficient.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights do not use energy to produce heat and thus are more efficient. They can be designed in a wide variety of colors. Commercially, they are used in dashboard indicator lights and traffic lights.

High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps are used in industries for outdoor and street lighting. In residences, they are used for lighting driveways and backyards. They have a service life 3 to 5 times than a halogen lamp and produce a larger quantity of light. HID lamp types include mercury vapor, metal halide, high and low pressure sodium lamps.

Lighting Controls

Devices that control the dimming of light or switching them on and off are called lighting controls. Dimming lights help reduce the wattage of lamps and increase their service life. Turning lamps on and off in response to natural light saves electricity consumption for example outdoor lights. Occupancy sensors respond to the presence of a person in the area and accordingly activate the lights. One example is closet light.


EERE Consumer’s Guide

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