“The average household uses 11% of its energy budget for lighting”.

“Using new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50% to 75%”.



How we light up the places we live and work makes a big impact on how we feel. It also makes a big impact on the environment.

-Start with the fact that a conventional incandescent bulb turns only around five to ten percent of its consumed energy into light, the rest goes out as heat.-

– Replacing one incandescent light bulb with an energy-saving compact fluorescent bulb means 1,000 pounds less carbon dioxide is emitted to the atmosphere and $67 dollars is saved on energy costs over the bulb’s lifetime.

– If you replaced your 75-watt incandescent light bulb with a 20-watt compact fluorescent, you’d get the same amount of light but save 1,300 pounds of CO2.

– If every household replaced its most often-used incandescent light bulbs with CFLs, electricity use for lighting could be cut in half.

10 PERCENT: The percentage of global electricity saved by switching to entirely efficient lighting systems, according to a report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The carbon dioxide emissions saved by such a switch would dwarf cuts so far achieved by adopting wind and solar power.

19 PERCENT: The percentage of global electricity generation taken for lighting, that’s more than is produced by hydro or nuclear stations, and about the same that’s produced from natural gas.

25-33 PERCENT: The percentage of total requirements to receive a LEED Silver rating, that builders can achieve through the use of daylighting in their design.

2.5 million: The number of homes that could be lit from the energy saved if every American replacing one light bulb with an “Energy Star” rated one, this action would also prevent emissions of greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of nearly 800,000 cars.


Top green lighting tips:

– Compact Florescent Bulbs (CFLs): The better bulb 

Are those swirly little guys that look like soft-serve ice cream cones (they come in a myriad of different shapes, sizes, and colours of light). Economically speaking, they’re a great deal, too. CFLs cost a bit more than an incandescent, but use about a quarter as much energy and last many times longer (usually around 10,000 hours).

– Get the LEDs out:   Are a definite TreeHugger favourite

 LEDs, or light emitting diodes, are a technology that allows for extremely energy efficient and extremely long-lasting light bulbs (use even less energy and last even longer). LEDs light bulb can reduce energy consumption by 80-90% and last around 100,000 hours.

Materials: Light isn’t all about the bulbs

Having eco-friendly lamps and light fixtures is key to greening your lighting (when scouting for new gear, keep your eyes out for lamps made with natural, recycled, or reused materials). Interesting lamps that use reclaimed materials include these made from traffic signal lenses, and these made from wine bottles. Also, don’t be shy about borrowing ideas for reuse in your own projects.

Disposabulb: Fluorescents last a long time, but when they’re dead, they have to be properly disposed of

CFLs, like all florescent bulbs, do contain a small amount of mercury, which means they definitely can’t be thrown in the trash. Surry-Hills has his own recycle centre, “Surry-Hills Library” on Crown Street. LEDs DO NOT contain mercury, but it still be better to recycle them.

Power adaptors: Notice that they stay warm even when their device is turned off

This is because they in fact draw energy from the wall all the time. One way to green your lighting is to unplug their power adaptor when not in use, attached lights to a power strip and turn off the whole switch when not in use, or get your hands on a “smart” power strip that knows when the devise is off.

Daylighting: The best source of light we know is the sun

Make the most of daylight by keeping your blinds open. If you want to go a little further, put in some skylights, or, of you are designing a home or doing a renovation, put as many windows on the north-facing side of the house as possible. To take it even further, sunlight can be “piped” inside via fiber optics and other light channeling technologies.

Good habits:  It doesn’t make sense to have lights on when no one’s around

Turn out lights in rooms or parts of the house where no one is. Teach your family and friends about it too and it will become second nature.

If you want to get a little more exact, follow these rules:

  • Standard incandescent: turn off even if you leave the room for just seconds.
  • Compact fluorescent: turn off if you leave the room for 3 minutes.
  • Standard fluorescent: turn off if you leave the room for 15 minutes.

Dimmers and motion sensors:

Motion sensors can be a good way to keep lights turned off when they’re not needed, and dimmers can give you just the right amount of life, and timers can be set to turn things on and off when needed.

Get green power: A great way to green your lighting is to buy green power

More and more electric utilities are offering customers a green power option on their bill. Signing up for green power usually means paying a few more dollars a month to support energy in the grid that comes from renewable sources like wind, solar, or biogas.

– Do-It-Yourself: So much great eco-innovation comes when people create the things they can’t find elsewhere

Lighting is an especially accessible and rewarding thing to tackle (cholesterol lamp made from cast-off plastic egg cartons, recycled Tube Light). Building pioneer Glen Hunter made some LED fixtures when he couldn’t find any he liked on the market.