SLAC News Center
Around the Bay
Conservation Tip of the Week: Light Up My Life
The quantity and quality of light around us determines how well we see, work, and play. Light affects our health, safety, morale, comfort and productivity. You can save energy, while still maintaining good light quantity and quality, by following these simple suggestions from the Department of Energy. You don't have to be in the dark anymore.
- Consider using high-intensity discharge (also called HID) or low-pressure sodium lights in suitable outdoor applications.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in place of comparable incandescent bulbs to save about 50 percent on your lighting costs. CFLs use only one-fourth the energy and last up to 10 times longer
than incandescent bulbs. Consider carefully the size and fit of the bulb with your light fixtures—some do not accommodate the larger CFLs.
- Their long life makes CFLs an excellent choice for exterior
lighting. Select a cold weather ballast lamp since standard CFLs may not work well below 40 °F.
- Turn off decorative outdoor natural gas lamps; just eight such lamps burning year-round use
enough natural gas to heat an average-size home for an entire winter.
- Use outdoor lights with a photocell unit or a motion sensor so
the lights will turn on only at night or when someone is present.
Combine a photocell and motion sensor to increase your energy savings even more.
- Consider using 4-watt minifluorescent or electro-luminescent night lights. Both are much more efficient than their incandescent counterparts. And the luminescent lights are cool to the touch.
- If you have torchiere fixtures with halogen lamps, consider replacing them with compact fluorescent torchieres. Compact fluorescent torchieres use 60 to 80 percent less energy, can produce more light, and do not get as hot as the halogen torchieres. Halogen torchieres are a fire risk
due to the high temperature of the halogen bulb.
- Use 4-foot fluorescent fixtures with reflective backing and electronic ballasts for your workroom, garage and laundry areas.
- Use task lighting; instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it. For example, use fluorescent under-cabinet lighting for kitchen sinks and countertops.
- Use dimmers, motion sensors or occupancy sensors to automatically turn
lights on or off as needed and prevent energy waste.
- Install fluorescent light fixtures for ceiling- and wall-mounted fixtures that will be on for more than 2 hours each day.
- Use Energy Star labeled lighting fixtures.
- Consider a skylight to provide your home with daylight and warmth. When properly selected and installed, an energy-efficient skylight can help minimize your heating, cooling and lighting costs.
John Steward, SLAC Today, July 23, 2008