Lighting our homes accounts for about 25% of our electric bills. It is the third biggest energy user in most homes, after heating and water heating. But it’s probably the easiest area to save in with the new energy-efficient bulbs.
USE CFL or LED LIGHTS
You can start saving a whopping 70-90% right away by symply screwing in new LED of CFL lights. But between LED and CFL, which is best ?
LED lights last longer. LED makes very nice lighting for effect and decorative purposes.
But LED lights generally cost more than CFLs. They are generally excellent for lights under cabinetry, but not as suitable to table lamps.
CFL light appears much like the incandescent light we’re used to, and looks nothing like the harsh lighting we associate with offices or school buildings. But the primary disadvantage to CFL lights is the mercury contained in the bulb, which is a dangerous heavy metal. When buying CFLs, make sure they either have the Energy Star logo or come with a warranty. The cheaper CFL scan burn out really fast.
TURN OFF LIGHTS WHEN YOU’RE NOT USING THEM, EVEN FOR JUST A FEW MINUTES
The idea that lights use extra electricity to start up is a myth. You’ll save electricity every time you turn the lights off.
USE A MOTION SENSOR FOR INTERIOR LIGHTING
If you can’t remember to turn off the lights throughout your house, a motion-sensor switch will shut them off for you automatically. You can buy motion-sensing wall switches for as little as R100 at a home improvement store.
USE THE LOWEST-WATTAGE BULBS FOR LIGHTS THAT ARE ALWAYS ON
Replacing 75-watt bulbs with 15-watt bulbs reduces energy usage by 80%. Replacing them with LED or CFL lights saves even more.
INSTALL A SKYLIGHT
using natural lighting saves a bunch of energy and produces a much nicer environment besides. Modern skylights are available which let in only the light and not the heat.
USE LED HOLIDAY LIGHT
LED Christmas lights use 84% less electricity than standard holiday lights. LED lights also generate much less heat and are stronger since don’t burn out like normal bulbs.
CONSIDER PURCHASING ENERGY STAR – QUALIFIED FIXTURES
They are available in many styles, distribute light more efficiently and evenly than standard fixtures, and some offer convenient features such as dimming. If you replace the 5 main used bulbs by Energy Star LED or CFL, you can save up to R900 per year.
KEEP YOUR CURTAINS OR SHADES OPEN
Use daylighting instead of turning on lights. For more privacy, use light-colored, loose-weave curtains to allow daylight into the room. Also, decorate with lighter colors that reflect daylight.
(Picture: http://pinterest.com/pin/421719952583051275/ )