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Energy-Efficient Lighting

Saving money is pretty high on everyone's "To Do List" - and saving energy is a great way to accomplish that goal. By creating a more energy-efficient home, which means lower utility bills, you'll also be helping to preserve the environment.

Many home improvement DIY projects save energy. One of the simplest and least expensive projects is to evaluate your lighting choices and make strategic changes.

Helpful Hint: Brush up your lighting lingo before beginning your project.

Interior Lighting Tips

We all remember a parent complaining about every light in the house being left on. While it's true that you can save energy by turning off lights when you leave a room, there are other ways to conserve energy with your interior lighting choices.

  • Switch to Energy-Wise Light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) use about 1/4 the energy of regular incandescent bulbs to produce the same number or more lumens. They also last about ten times longer than regular bulbs. Compact fluorescents cost a bit more initially, but the long-term savings more than offset the initial difference in price.
  • Use Task Lighting. Task lighting concentrates the light where you need it. When you use task lighting, you aren't wasting energy casting light in spaces where it isn't needed. With task lighting, you can also use a lower watt bulb to accomplish the desired result ‚Äì and that saves additional energy.
  • Install Three-Way Bulbs. Using three-way bulbs in touch lamps or regular three-way lamps is another good way to save energy on interior lighting. The bulb allows you to use only as much light as you need, giving you the option of brighter light when required.

Exterior Lighting

Lighting isn't limited to the inside of your home. When looking for ways to improve home energy efficiency, it pays to evaluate exterior lighting as well. Most homes have at least a light at the front door and some way to illuminate the walkway to the house; your home may have additional or decorative exterior lighting. Whatever your situation, consider these energy-saving tips:

  • Install Motion Detector Lights. Motion detectors are great energy saving devices for your exterior needs. With motion detectors, there is no need to leave a light burning while you're out. It will come on automatically to light your way when you return home.
  • Use Low-Voltage Lights. Low-voltage lighting can be used to light walkways with significantly less power than regular incandescent bulbs. One 60-watt string of lights can illuminate up to 100 feet of walkway.
  • Install Timers and Sensors. Install timers and sensors that turn the lights on at dusk and shut them off after a specific time. Not only does this save energy, it goes a long way toward making your home less appealing for would-be intruders.
  • Invest in Solar-Powered Lights. Solar-powered exterior lights charge all day in the sunlight, and then come on as darkness falls. Solar lights are slightly more expensive than regular low voltage lights, but they don't require any electricity or cords. You can place solar lights anyplace that receives sunlight.

Take a walk around the house - inside and out - and see how you can create a more energy-efficient house. Investing in a few light bulbs or fixtures is an investment in the future.

It's easy to make your house into an energy-efficient home. Learn more in the Energy Efficiency section or Efficient Home.

Energy Star ENERGY STAR® lighting uses about 75% less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and lasts up to 10 times longer, while providing the same high quality light. The energy efficiency performance of ENERGY STAR® lighting also means savings of at least $25 in energy costs over the life of each ENERGY STAR® bulb that replaces an incandescent bulb. Buy ENERGY STAR® lighting to help save money on utility bills. These superior designs require less money and less energy to keep your home cool and bright!

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