We all use lights in our home, with lighting accounting for 5% of the average household energy bill. Particularly in winter, the lights can be on for most of the day. Here’s a few ideas to cut down your lighting energy usage, without resorting to candlelight!
The most effective way to save money is to change your lightbulbs to energy efficient options. Incandescent bulbs are on their way out, with CFL (Compact Fluorescent Bulbs) and LEDs becoming much more popular options. These alternatives can save you up to 75% of the energy spent by incandescent bulbs, as well as lasting up to 25x longer. Replace all lights in your home and you’ll quickly see the savings come rolling in.
When we’re watching television or just relaxing, there isn’t much need for bright overhead lighting. Ceiling lights often contain three or more bulbs, whereas floor lamps and table lamps only use one. Place these around your room to use in the evening, rather than leaving your main lights on constantly. With well placed floor and table lamps, you might find you hardly ever use your ceiling lights.
Use light coloured curtains, blinds and wall paint to make the most of natural light and reduce the need to turn on your electric lights. It’s amazing how much brighter a room can look with light fabrics around the windows, as these don’t restrict the light. You can also place mirrors opposite or near windows to reflect even more sunlight, keeping the room brighter for longer.
Keep your indoor and outdoor lights on timers or sensors to prevent them from accidentally being left on. This is a great option if you find yourself rushing around in the morning, as you can set the lights to go off after you’ve left for work.
If you have more than one exit out of a room, place switches at both doors so that you can quickly and easily turn off the lights when you leave the room.