Home Lighting

Lighting accounts for up to 11 percent of your home’s electricity use.

Selecting a light bulb for the lamp on your table used to be so easy. Today, the choices sometimes feel endless. The traditional 60-Watt incandescent bulb of your youth that produced a warm white glow, got very hot, and burned out frequently is no longer manufactured. You can still find them on some store shelves but they are quickly fading into the past.

So long!

“And before we say goodbye, let’s acknowledge the amazing durability of the incandescent bulb — a technology that remained essentially unchanged for more than 125 years after Thomas Edison’s first working light bulb.

CFLs: A long goodbye is also the story for compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), known for their curly-Q shaped design. A decade ago, CFLs were the latest, greatest technology in energy efficiency. And make no mistake; the CFL is a big jump forward in efficiency compared to its incandescent cousin. However, like the incandescent bulb, CFLs are slowly being phased out of production in favor of the latest newcomer: LEDs, which stands for light-emitting diode.

CFLs Benefits:

  • Use 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs.
  • Last 8 to 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
  • Come in different sizes and shapes to fit almost any fixture.
  • Start slower; can take about a minute to reach full light output.


LEDs: LEDs are pricier than CFLs, however, their lifespan is almost three times longer than their CFL counterparts. Here’s a few other ways these two bulbs stack up head to head:

LEDs Benefits:

  • Use 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs.
  • Last up to 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs and up to 3 times longer than CFLs.
  • Start instantly; no warm-up time required.
  • Generate very little heat.

Holiday lighting

When the holidays arrive, it’s time to unravel lights, string the garland and flip the switch – with fingers crossed – that all the bulbs work (which almost NEVER happens!).

There are many options for holiday lighting. LEDs can save energy and money by consuming 75 percent less electricity than their older counterparts. That traditional 100 light holiday string stuffed in your attic? It can use around 40 watts of energy. Multiply that by your amount of connected light strings and the energy use adds up fast!

Light fixtures

Updating the light fixtures in your home? Look for the fixtures certified by ENERGY STAR. A wide-range of fixtures offers energy-saving options for both in and outside the home, such as recessed lighting and outdoor porch lights.

What do I need to know before I buy a light fixture?

  • Look for the ENERGY STAR label for good quality, a minimum two-year warranty and long life (light sources last 10-25 times longer).
  • Make sure you have a compatible dimmer switch if you want to dim your lights. Fixture manufacturers can provide a list of approved dimmer switches.
  • Make sure you like the color of the light; there are many options from which you can choose.

A note about ceiling fans: Run ceiling fans only when someone is occupying the room. Ceiling fans cool people not rooms.

In the winter, set the fan to run in a clockwise direction to push warm air down.

During summer, set the ceiling fan to run counterclockwise which circulates the cool air in the room.