Choosing the right lighting option can cut your energy needs.
Houses in Canada have an average of 25 light bulbs that cost homeowners about $200 annually. However, you can cut your energy needs for lighting by picking the right option. A few years ago, most homes in Canada had incandescent bulbs. However, over 90% of the energy used by these bulbs was lost to generating heat instead of light. Due to changing federal regulations, these bulbs are becoming harder to find and more energy-efficient options are becoming popular.
Picking the Right Option
The table below compares the more efficient options that are available to a traditional incandescent bulb. While these lighting options may cost more, they use a lot less energy and last quite a bit longer.
Comparing Efficient Lighting Options to Incandescent Bulbs
|Lighting Option||Annual Energy Use||Lifespan|
|Light-Emitting Diodes (LED)||Use 85-95% less energy||Last 25 times longer|
|Compact Flourescent Light (CFL)||Use 75% less energy||Last 10 times longer|
|Halogen||Use 40% less energy||Last 3 times longer|
|Incandescent Bulb||95% of energy lost as heat||1,000 hours|
Additionally, when picking your lighting, the best options are ENERGY STAR certified. These options tend to be the most energy-efficient, last the longest, and offer the best light quality. To maximize the efficiency of your lighting, consider installing ENERGY STAR-certified light fixtures as well.
Did you know?
In addition to energy-efficient light bulbs, you can also find lighting solutions for special applications where bright light is needed, such as an office or garage. High-performance fluorescent or LED tube lighting requires special light fixtures, but can be a very efficient way to provide lots of light to large spaces.
Tips for Lighting Efficiently
In addition to buying the most energy-efficient light bulbs and fixtures, there are a number of tips you can follow to save even more energy:
- Match the amount and quality of light to the task at hand. For example, try a desk lamp rather than having all the lights on in your office.
- Install dimmers, timers and occupancy sensors.
- Use motion detectors for outdoor security lighting to save energy.
- Use light wall colors, which reflect light and decrease the need for artificial lighting.
- Use natural daylight whenever possible.
- Use solar-powered lights for paths and walkways.
- Turn the lights off when you leave a room.
Safe Disposal of CFLs
Since no mercury is released when CFL bulbs are in use, they are safe to use in your home. However, because they contain a small amount of mercury, they cannot be disposed of similar to regular incandescent bulbs. Like other products such as batteries, CFLs should be disposed of through provincial or municipal recycling programs for materials that contain hazardous elements. To find a household hazardous waste depot in your area, visit the MMSB website.