Energy Saving at Home

Lighting and Daylighting

One of the core concepts of energy saving at home is Light – essential to us as we work and play.  It can affect our health, our safety, even our morale.  There are many ways to ensure that you have enough light to live by, and are still energy saving at home to reduce your power consumption and save money.

Energy Saving Tip # 60

For outdoor security lighting, you’ll want to use high-intensity discharge (sometimes called HID) or low-pressure sodium lights..

Energy Saving Tip # 61

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) work very well outdoors because they give off a lot of light for the power they consume.  Make sure you buy lamps designed for outdoor use if you live in colder climates.

Energy Saving Tip # 62

As attractive and warmly inviting as they are, outdoor decorative natural gas lamps use a great deal of gas.  One gas light burning 24 hours a day (as most do) can use enough gas to heat a significant part of your home for the winter.

Energy Saving Tip # 63

Your outdoor lights should be controlled by both a photocell (so they only go on after dark) and a motion sensor (so they only go on when needed).  This photocell/motion detector combination will give you significant savings.

Energy Saving Tip # 64

Night lights around the interior of your house can be very comforting and improve safety.  By all means, use LED or electro-luminescent night lights. These lights are very economical to run and cool to the touch.

Energy Saving Tip # 65

Torchiere lamps can be beautiful and provide a very nice indirect lighting in your home.  However, fixtures with halogen lamps consume lots of electricity, and can be a fire hazard because of the very hot bulb.  You may want to consider replacing your halogen torchiere lamps with newer compact fluorescent based torchieres. These may use as much as 80% less energy, are brighter, and don’t get anywhere near hot as the halogen version.

Energy Saving Tip # 66

At all times of the year, the sun can provide light for which we do not pay.  Of course, in the winter months, we open the drapes during the day to take advantage of the sunlight, and close them at night to keep the heat.  And during the summer, we do the opposite, open the drapes at night to allow cool air to come into the house, and close them during the day to keep out the heat.  But using a loose-weave curtain, will allow some light in while keeping the heat out, and save having to turn on lights that cost money – let the free sunlight illuminate your home.  And, of course, when it fits your décor, light colored walls will help lighten a room overall.  This is true during the day or at night when you are using artificial lights.

Energy Saving Tip # 67

Replace the hot incandescent bulbs in your recessed down lights with newer Compact Fluorescent (CFL) reflector bulbs, and you will save a lot of money as the CFL bulbs only burn about ¼ the power of the older incandescent bulbs.  And they run cooler, so you will need less air conditioning in the warmer months.

Energy Saving Tip # 68

Replacing your incandescent bulbs in floor and table lamps with new Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) will save electricity and money as they use about one fourth of the power that incandescent bulbs use.  And they generate less heat, so you will need less air conditioning in the warmer months.

Energy Saving Tip # 69

The garage, laundry, hobby rooms, etc. are all candidates for 4-foot fluorescent fixtures with good reflective surrounds with electronic ballasts.  Lots of good light for these spaces, and it doesn’t cost very much to run.

Energy Saving Tip # 70

Many of the newer Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) can be put on dimmers.  You can replace 3-Way incandescent lamps with dimmable CFLs and get the same lower lighting while consuming less electricity.

Energy Saving Tip # 71

Task lighting is good.  Don’t light the entire room, just light a small area where you are working, reading, sewing, cooking, or working on your hobby.

Energy Saving Tip # 72

Use fluorescent under cabinet lights in the kitchen.  This will give you better light for prep work, and you don’t have to light the whole kitchen.  And, if you will be eating in the kitchen, using a simple reflector CFL downlight over the table with just the under cabinet lights on will give a softer, almost romantic, feel to this sometimes unexciting room.

Energy Saving Tip # 73

When you leave a room, turn off the lights.  You may also want to consider installing occupancy sensors or timers to cut the amount of time your lights are on. Standard, incandescent light bulbs should be turned off whenever they are not needed. Fluorescent lights should be turned off whenever you'll be away for 15 minutes or more.

Energy Saving Tip # 74

Occupancy sensors will turn off lights in an unattended room, and even dimmers save energy and lower your electric bills.

Energy Saving Tip # 75

Is it necessary for you to leave some lights on for long periods every day?  Make sure these fixtures have fluorescent or LED lights to save energy and money.

Energy Saving Tip # 76

When you are shopping for new lighting fixtures, make sure you get ones with the ENERGY STAR® label.  You will save money in the long run.

Energy Saving Tip # 77

Redecorating?  See if you can use lighter shades on the walls and ceiling to reduce the need for additional lighting – and energy consumption.

Energy Saving Tip # 78

Replace as many old style incandescent lamps as you can with newer, energy saving Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs).  CFLs use about one quarter the power of a comparable incandescent bulb, and will last many, many times longer than the old style lamp.  You save two ways.

Energy Saving Tip # 79

In colder weather, open curtains on south facing windows during the day allow the sun to warm a room.  But close them at night to retain the heat you gained during the day.  This means you heating system will not have to work as hard to keep your home warm, and you will save money.

Energy Saving Tip # 80

Skylights can give you both light and warmth. A good, well installed energy efficient skylight can help cut lighting, heating, and cooling expenses.