According to the Department of Energy, lighting accounts for 20 percent of electricity costs in the United States and nearly 15 percent of a household's electricity use, with the average home having 30 light fixtures. To save energy, you can either curtail the amount of electricity consumed by the light source or decrease usage of lights.
Use natural lighting as much as possible. Keep blinds and drapes open to let in the daylight.
Use task lighting instead of lighting an entire room; focus the light where you need it. Optimize it to match the difficulty of the task at hand (you need more light to sew than cook).
Consider three-way lamps; they make it easier to keep lighting levels low when brighter light is not necessary. Dimmer controls can achieve the same effect for overhead lighting.
Use a single higher-wattage bulb instead of several lower-wattage bulbs in table or floor lamps. Just make sure the higher-wattage bulb doesn't exceed the recommended level for the fixture.
Use a motion or occupancy sensor where you may not notice if a light is left on, such as in a basement, garage, attic, or closet.
Install a photocell (a device that turns a light on or off in response to natural light levels) on a porch light, or switch to low-voltage garden lights.
Dust light fixtures and bulbs often. A heavy coat of dust can block up to 50 percent of the light.
Keep lamps away from thermostats. The heat they produce can cause your furnace to run less than needed or your air conditioner more than needed.
Turn off any lights you're not using. Get into the habit of switching lights off when you leave a room.
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