When you switch to energy-efficient lighting, you can light your home using the same amount of light for less money. Lighting accounts for around 15% of an average home's electricity use, and the average household saves about $225 in energy costs per year by using LED lighting. if you are still using incandescent light bulbs, switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. For high-quality products with the greatest energy savings, choose bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR.
In addition to efficient lighting, consider using controls such as timers and dimmers to save electricity. Timers automatically turn lights off when not in use by turning lights off when not in use, and dimmers can be used to lower light levels. Be sure to select products that are compatible with the energy-efficient bulbs you want to use.
If you have outdoor lighting that is left on for a long time, using LEDs or CFLs in these fixtures can save a lot of energy. LEDs and CFLs are available as flood lights, and have been tested to withstand the rain and snow so they can be used in exposed fixtures. For high quality products with the greatest savings, look for ENERGY STAR-qualified fixtures that are designed for outdoor use and come with features like automatic daylight shut-off and motion sensors.
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are a type of solid-state lighting -- semiconductors that convert electricity into light. Although once known mainly for indicator and traffic lights, LEDs in white light, general illumination applications are today's most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technology. LEDs use up to 90% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
LED technology is available in many lighting product types including replacements for 40W, 60W, 75W, and 100W traditional incandescent bulbs, reflector bulbs used in recessed fixtures, and track lights, task lighting, undercabinet lighting, and outdoor area lights. LEDs come in a variety of colors, and some bulbs can be tuned to different colors or different hues of white light. Some are dimmable or offer convenient features such as daylight and motion sensors. LEDs work well indoors and outdoors because of their durability and performance in cold environments. Look for LED products such as pathway lights, step lights, and porch lights for outdoor use. You can also find solar-powered LED outdoor lighting.
The cost of LED light bulbs has decreased dramatically since they entered the market and prices are expected to come down further as more products become available. While LEDs are more expensive than traditional incandescent bulbs, they still save money because they last a long time and have very low energy use.