According to the U.S. Department of Energy, average household lighting costs represent about 10 percent of a homeowner’s energy budget.
A few, relatively simple efficiencies can save consumers money over time.
The DOE says substituting 15 inefficient indoor incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving bulbs could save you about $50 per year. The greatest savings come from replacing old incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star-qualified bulbs.
Information on choosing light bulbs is available at www.energystar.gov.
If you remodel, the agency suggests you use recessed light fixtures or "cans," which are rated for contact with insulation and are air tight (ICAT rated). Also, replace incandescent bulbs in recessed light fixtures, using energy-efficient bulbs that are rated for that purpose.
Think about buying Energy STar-qualified fixtures and using controls such as timers and photocells that can save energy by turning lights off when they are not being used. Dimmers can help reduce energy use, as well. DOE states that the products you use need to be compatible with the energy-efficient bulbs you want to use.
Also, the agency suggests that curtains/shades left open in the daylight can save energy over time by requiring fewer lights to be left on. Decorating with lighter colors that reflect daylight can help as well.
For more information go to “Tips: Lighting,” at www.energy.gov/energysaver/articles/tips-lighting.