How can I save electricity?





Lighting accounts for 10% to 15% of all electrical energy usage, and therefore it is not surprising that lighting has attracted a lot of attention in the drive to reduce energy consumption.


Lighting accounts for 10%to 15% of all electrical energy usage, and therefore it is not surprising that lighting has attracted a lot of attention in the drive to reduce energy consumption.

Light can be measured in several ways:

  • Wattage (the source) - the electricity it consumes
  • Lumens (flow of light from source) - the amount of light a bulb produces
  • Lux / Foot-candles (arrival at object) - the amount of light that reaches a subject
  • Foot-lambert's (reflected light) - the amount of light that is reflected

Types of Light Sources:

  • 240v Halogen (mains voltage) 
    No transformer required
    Produces approximately 20% less output of light than a 12v Halogen
    Equivalent to a 60 watt incandescent lamp
    Can be dimmed using standard dimmer
  • 12v Halogen (low voltage) 
    Transformer required
    Can be dimmed
    Excellent colour rendering
    Equivalent to approx. 75 watt to 100watt incandescent lamp
    Constant colour & output throughout lamp life
    Average lamp life is 4,000 hours
  • Fluorescent
    Energy efficient
    Long life - effective in areas where high output and long running hours are required
    Wide choice of sizes and colours available
    High lumen output – good for garages, workshops
    Average lamp life up to 20,000 hours
    Provides lot of light at a low cost
  • LED (light emitting diode) 
    Have been used for many years as indicator/traffic lights
    Are becoming more widely used and will soon be used as a light source in residences
    Very little energy consumption
    Produce very little heat – good for in-ground high traffic areas
    Long life
    Tough & durable
    Very small

An average household spends about 10% to 15% of its energy budget to lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. Timers and motion sensors save you even more money by reducing the amount of time the lights are on but not being used.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs):

CFL bulbs last about 10 times longer and use about one-fourth of the energy consumed by traditional incandescent bulbs. A typical CFL can help you to save money on your power bill each month.

You can buy CFLs that offer the same brightness and colours as traditional incandescent bulbs. Some CFLs are specially covered to emit more light and provide a similar shape to traditional incandescent bulbs.

CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury and require special handling if they are broken. CFLs should be recycled at the end of their lifespan.

LED Lighting:

LED bulbs are becoming very popular in household use. ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only about 20% to 25% of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. They come in a variety of colours, and some are dimmable or offer convenient features such as daylight and motion sensors.

In addition to standard screw-in bulbs, you'll find LEDs in applications such as recessed down lights, desk lamps, kitchen under cabinet lighting, and outdoor area lights.

Make use of natural light - nothing is better than natural light, and in terms of energy use, nothing’s more efficient. A properly positioned window providing natural skylight can provide as much light as dozens of light bulbs during the daylight hours. To benefit more from natural lighting, you may need to rearrange the furniture in your rooms - putting your favourite reading chair over by the south window, for example. To help get the skylight deeper into the room, you can paint your walls a light colour and use reflective louvers or Venetian blinds.

Reduce background light levels and rely more on task lighting - you can save a lot of energy by concentrating light just where it’s needed and reducing background or ambient light levels. This strategy - called task lighting - is widely used in office buildings, but they are useful at home too. Install track of recessed lights to brighten your desk or the kitchen table and keep the ceiling lights off.

Switch to compact fluorescent lamps - compact fluorescent lamps provide as much lighting as incandescent lights. Replacing your incandescent lamps with compact fluorescents is the best way to save lighting energy in the average home.

When design permits, use tube fluorescent lighting - the best tube fluorescent lamps with new electronic ballasts are good for places other than your garage or basement workshop. In fact, they can provide very satisfactory (and energy-efficient) recessed lighting around the perimeter of a living room, or overhead lighting in kitchens and bathrooms.

Use incandescent lights wisely - higher-wattage incandescent light bulbs are more efficient than lower-wattage bulbs. It takes two 60-watt bulbs or four 40-watt bulbs to provide as much light as a single 100-watt bulb. In a fixture that holds several bulbs, you’ll save by using a single higher-wattage bulb instead of several smaller bulbs. (Be sure to follow precautions on the fixture about maximum wattage.)

Power tip intext 1  Quick suggestions

  • Turn the lights off when you leave the room, or install occupancy sensors.
  • Install energy-saving floodlights outdoors.
  • Use solar-powered accent lights outdoors.
  • Buy energy-efficient lighting equipment.