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Energy-Efficient Lighting: Inside and Out

Lighting is critical for comfort and security, but it can account for up to 15 percent of your annual electricity costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Reducing lighting energy use is one of the fastest and most effective ways to lower your energy bills.


There are a number of things you can do to improve the energy performance of your home lighting, including:

  • Turn off lights in any room you are not using and throughout the house when no one is home.
  • Instead of lighting an entire room, focus low-power light where you need it. For example, try using a portable lamp for your home office, or use under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen.
  • Clean light bulbs regularly to maximize light output.
  • Take advantage of natural light during the day by opening blinds, shades and other window coverings.
  • Replace low-efficiency incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR® qualified LEDs, last up to 10 times longer.
  • Consider installing occupancy sensors to control lights in garages, storage rooms and other areas of the house where use is limited.


Well-designed outdoor lighting can really highlight your home and yard at night. It's also important for savings and security. These simple tips can help brighten up your energy bills, increasing savings and security:

  • Use outdoor lights with a photocell or motion sensor so they will turn on only at night or when someone is present. A combined photocell and motion sensor will increase your energy savings even more.
  • Replace older incandescent or high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting with LEDs. The high-quality light they offer will help improve safety and security while saving energy.
  • Install outdoor solar lights. They're easy to install and virtually maintenance free. Best of all, using them won't increase your electric bill. Popular home uses for outdoor solar lights include pathway lighting, wall-mounted lamps, freestanding lamp posts and security lights.

Lighting isn't the only way to save inside and out. Learn more about other ways to save around your home.

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