MNN Galleries

Eco-friendly home guide

By: Catie Leary on Aug. 27, 2010, 11:37 a.m.
Lighting

Photo: protographer23/Flickr

13 of 16

Lighting

Making improvements to your lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. An average household dedicates 10% of its energy budget to lighting. Using new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50% to 75%.

Indoor lighting

Use linear fluorescent tubes and energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in fixtures throughout your home to provide high-quality and high-efficiency lighting. Fluorescent lamps are much more efficient than incandescent (standard) bulbs and last about 6 to 12 times longer.

Today’s CFLs offer brightness and color rendition that is comparable to incandescent bulbs. Although linear fluorescent and CFLs cost a bit morethan incandescent bulbs initially, over their lifetime they are cheaper because of how little electricity they use. CFL lighting fixtures are now available that are compatible with dimmers and operate like incandescent fixtures.

Outdoor lighting

Many homeowners use outdoor lighting for decoration and security. When shopping for outdoor lights, you will find a variety of products, from low-voltage pathway lighting to motion-detector floodlights. Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, thrive in outdoor environments because of their durability and performance in cold weather.