Use energy saving night-lights
Instead of a 4 watt incandescent night-light, go for the cool, turquoise glow of an electroluminescent model. It consumes only 3/100 of a watt, a 13,000 percent savings in electricity. For a brighter night-light, consider the mini-fluorescent variety. Rated at 7 watts, it puts out as much light as a 20-watt incandescent bulb. Some models include a battery backup system that provides light in a blackout.
Use the lowest wattage light bulbs possible
Never use brighter bulbs than you need for a particular light fixture or task. Experiment with different bulbs to learn how bright a bulb you really need; brightness, expressed in lumens, appears on light bulb packages. When you shop for light bulbs, compare the output in lumens of different brands. High-efficiency bulbs – more lumens per watt – may let you use smaller, less power-hungry bulbs in some lamps.
Get rid of halogen torcheres
Halogen floor lamps, or torcheres, are one of the most inefficient light sources available. A torchere fitted with a 36-watt CFL will produce 25 percent more light than a 300 watt halogen torchere, using only one-fourth the energy. Switching can save up to $250 over the life of the lamp.
Emphasize task lighting
Why light up a whole room when you’re working in only a small part of it? Save money and waste less energy with a good desk, reading, and under-counter lamps or fixtures that focus light just where it’s needed.
Buy compact fluorescent lamps instead of incandescent bulbs
Despite “lamp” in the name, these remarkable lighting devices called CFLs, are actually fluorescent light bulbs. Be careful with your old CFL bulbs, you should be able to remove them at a nearby recycling company.
They cost significantly more than incandescent bulbs, but they last ten times longer. Better yet, they require 75 percent less energy than incandescents to produce the same amount of light. For every 100-watt incandescent bulb you replace with a 36-watt CFL, you can save $25 or more in energy costs over the lifetime of such a bulb.
Those energy-efficient bulbs come in oval and spiral shapes to fit almost any fixture, and they create a more natural light than fluorescent tubes of the past. Some CFLs are designed for outdoor use; they are ideal as replacements for incandescent bulbs in pathway lighting, for example
Install motion detectors, timers, or photoelectric sensors in outdoor lighting.
If you often forget to turn off outdoor lights during the day, you can save money on your electric bill by turning them on and off automatically. For example, if you install a timer on a circuit, you can set it to turn lights on as you go to bed and off when you wake up in the morning. Or replace an ordinary outdoor floodlight fixture with one that has a motion detector; it turns the lights on when it senses movement, then off again after an adjustable interval. To keep lights from coming on before dusk, add a photoelectric sensor to the circuit.