Lighting accounts for 6% of the total energy use in the average home in the United States and costs between $50 and $150 per year in electricity. Although that is not much money compared to the cost of operating heating and cooling equipment, it is enough to justify making some efficiency modifications. Also, because it is such a visible energy user, it's a good place to start teaching kids to be mindful of wasting energy.
While lighting is a relatively small part of a home's energy budget, there are several simple things you can do to keep lighting costs to a minimum.
- Avoid wasting lighting energy by turning off lights when they aren't needed.
- Fluorescent lighting is much more economical than incandescent lighting. It produces about four times more light with the same amount of energy and lamps last 10 to 15 times longer.
- Compact fluorescents allow you to use fluorescent lighting in places you never could before. Begin replacing your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents wherever practical.
- Install occupancy sensors so lights go off automatically in unoccupied rooms.