A Short Guide to Energy-Efficient Lighting

About a quarter of the average home’s energy budget is devoted to electric lighting. Energy-efficient lighting is a simple way to save money and reduce your home’s energy use and carbon footprint.

The Right Bulb

The incandescent bulb was a technological breakthrough in its age, but incandescent lighting is not nearly as efficient as people had hoped. About 90% of the power that the typical incandescent light bulb consumes is emitted as heat instead of light.

The compact fluorescent bulb has been a common alternative, using one-third to one-quarter of the power of an equivalent incandescent bulb. However, CFL bulbs have their own problems, namely mercury content and distortions in rendering color.

LED lights are becoming the most energy-efficient choice, using even less wattage than a CFL for a higher output of light. LED lights have a higher price tag, but they last more than 10 times longer than your typical incandescent light.

Keep It Simple

Switching to CFL or LED bulbs is a significant first step towards efficient lighting, but saving energy can be even simpler than changing the light bulbs around your house.

  • Make the most out of natural light. Install windows or a skylight. Bounce light from windows through the rest of the home using strategically placed mirrors, bookcases, and other flat surfaces.
  • Saving energy is as simple as flipping a switch. Turn lights off when you leave a room, regardless of how long you’ll be out of that room. A few minutes each day will add up, lowering your electric bill and ensuring the longevity of your bulbs.
  • Easy-to-install and low-cost dimmers give you a range of intensities to efficiently control existing light schemes.
  • Install an automatic lighting system, which can automatically control when your lights turn on and off. When coupled with motion sensors, you won’t have to worry about flipping the light switch. This option is especially helpful for businesses.
  • For lights that you keep on for long periods of time (basement stairs or nightlights, for example) use the lowest possible wattage. Replacing a 100 watt bulb with a 15 watt bulb will lower you electric bill as much as $5 a month without sacrificing any lumens.

For more information, contact Jeff Ferree at (619) 583-7963 or email Electrical@idealsvc.com.

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