- Turn off lights when you don’t need them.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with efficient ENERGY STAR™ compact fluorescent lights – now available in a wide variety of sizes and styles.
- Make the most of natural daylight.
- Use a single more powerful light where you now have two or more. Lower Wattage incandescent lights are less efficient. It takes two 60-watt bulbs to provide the same light as one 100-watt bulb.
- Save energy by reducing background lighting and focusing light where it's needed through task lighting.
- Switch to lower-wattage bulbs to avoid over-lit rooms.
- Control the intensity of light with dimmer switches.
- Switch your holiday lights to LED lights. LEDs use 90% less electricity and last 10 times longer than traditional glass holiday lights.
Using Less Light
Installing automatic lighting controls is one of the easiest ways to improve energy efficiency. Leaving an unneeded light on creates unnecessary cost for both you and the environment. Use these tools to take control of the amount of energy your home uses through lighting.
Dimmers save energy, increase bulb life and add a range of possible lighting levels to your lighting system. All incandescent lamps can be easily dimmed using affordable dimmers available on the market. Many fluorescent lamps need special equipment. Not all compact fluorescent light bulbs will work on a dimmer. Check the package to see if the CFL you're choosing is compatible.
Timers allow you to save energy and control your interior or exterior lighting by turning it off at predetermined times. Most modern timers are digital, affordable, easy to operate and can be programmed from 24 hours to seven days. Many are plug-in products that don't require an electrician to install them. Look for dimmer mechanisms that have manual override and a good power disconnect.
Motion sensors are a good choice for controlling outdoor security lighting, which can account for a large part of overall lighting costs. Motion sensors keep the lights on as long as there is movement. After movement stops, the detector switches the lights off saving you money.
Photocells are especially good for outdoor or security lighting control. They turn electric lights on when natural light levels are low, and then off again when light levels are higher.
Switch and Save
The average Canadian home has 30 light fixtures that consume nearly $200 worth of electricity every year.
Energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use only 25 per cent of the energy of standard incandescent bulbs, but produce the same high-quality light as a typical 60-watt incandescent bulb. Replacing just five incandescent bulbs with CFLs in high-use areas of your home can save up to $30 a year, depending on the location and amount of time used.
CFLs last up to 10 times longer than regular bulbs. If every household in Canada replaced just one standard bulb with an ENERGY STAR™ qualified CFL, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be equivalent to taking approximately 66,000 cars off the road.
CFLs are available at most home-improvement and hardware stores, as well as grocery and department stores.