Easy Home Lighting Tips That Save Money

Below are some easy and inexpensive lighting tips. Note that at this time, the most inexpensive high-efficiency lighting replacement to incandescent bulbs are compact fluorescent light (CFL)bulbs.

While Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs are the most efficient, versatile, economical, and environmentally friendly, they are still too expensive be recommended in the lighting tips section.

Compact Flourescent Lights (CFL) - Lighting accounts for 5 to 10 percent of total energy use in the average home. CFLs use less than 25 percent of the electricity standard bulbs use and last 10 times longer (or about 5 years for an average of 4 hours of daily use).

But when they burn out, DO NOT LANDFILL them; recycle them instead. CFLs contain a minute amount of mercury (a fraction of what a normal tooth filling contains), but they still should be handled properly, so that the mercury doesn't leach into groundwater, or affect the local ecology. Bring your expired CFLs to any Home Depot or IKEA for free recycling.

Unused Rooms - This is a no-brainer...shut off all the lights when you leave a room.

Daylight - Maximize your use of natural daylighting - it is not only environmental, but also a mood enhancer (think of all that Vitamin D your body is soaking up).

Task Lighting - focus the light where you need it with special desk or shop lights

Keep bulbs and fixtures clean - Along the same line, replace old palstic fixture covers that have faded or darkened. This maximizes the light output.

Dimmers Or Sensors - Replace light switches with dimmers or motion sensors.

Sidenote: If you are using CFLs, note that you need special dimmers and sensors. If you have ever connected CFLs to an old dimmer (say in a dining room chandelier), you know what I mean; forget about lousing up your power factor - that doesn't really matter in homes anyway - the horrible buzzing sound is enough torture to make me beg for nails on a chalkboard instead...Read the labels to check for compatibility.

Three-Way Bulbs - Use bright lights only where you read or work. Use 25- or 40-watt bulbs (or CFLs) everywhere else. Remember that three-way CFLs are much more expensive.

Night Lights - Use night lights when a little light is enough; LED night lights are cheap, very effective and use tiny amounts of energy. also, carry one with you when you are away from home.

Timers - When you go away, use timers to turn your lights on and off - keeps uninvited guests away or at least, confused.

Photocells and Motion Sensors - Use photocells and motion sensors on outdoor lights so they go on only at night or when someone is approaching.

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