Light Bulb
Credit: AZAdam via Flickr

There has never been a greater demand for energy saving products in the marketplace than there is today. Environmental concerns are at the forefront of many people's minds, and they understandably would like to reduce their carbon footprint. At the same time, saving energy simply makes economical sense - the less energy you use, the less energy you will need to pay for. Here are a few energy-saving lighting options you might look into in order to save money and the environment. 

1. Light Dimmers

Sometimes there is no need to have full-powered bright lights flooding into your home or business. Often you really only need half the light. A quick solution to this is to install light dimmers in each room. Rather than a simple on/off switch, a dimmer has either a slider or a dial that you can use to adjust the amount of juice that flows to your light bulbs. Although older dimmers didn't actually restrict the amount of energy used, the U.S. Department of Energy has ensured us that all newer models do. This is an excellent way to begin cutting your lighting bills by up to 75% immediately. 

2. Motion Sensor Light

Although this isn't practical in all cases, there are a few places where it makes a lot of sense to install motion sensor lighting. One good place is rooms where there is infrequent traffic, like the laundry room. When you enter your laundry room, the light will automatically switch on. When you leave the room, it will turn off. This also mitigates against forgetful parents and children who may forget to turn off these lights. Outdoor lights are also a great place to use motion sensors. Outdoor lighting is great because they can deter burglars and other unscrupulous characters from trespassing on your property during the night. Unfortunately, the costs to leave on lights all night can be quite large. Motion sensor lights will remain turned off for most of the night, but they will switch on when you need them. 

3. Solar Power

This is another great option for outdoor lights. Your lights can charge up all day in the sun, and then they can use the stored energy during the night. This can prevent you from needing to waste precious electricity at all on your outdoor lights. 

4. Compact Fluorescent Lamp 

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) have been popular for quite some time now, but lately they have become even more popular. These are similar to the fluorescent bulbs that you may be familiar with in schools and office buildings. The difference is that they are more compact and can fit into nearly any standard incandescent socket. These bulbs are great because they provide just as much light as a standard incandescent bulb, while using a much lower amount of energy. Energy Star has estimated that each CFL saves on average $30 of energy costs over its lifetime. If you install these all over your home, it can really add up. People continue to shy away from these bulbs because of their higher up-front costs, but they may change their tune if energy costs continue to rise. 

5. LED

LED (Light-emitting diode) lighting is another technology that promises to save energy. LED has proven to be one of the most versatile technologies in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It is now used in televisions, traffic lights, and even light bulbs. While a standard incandescent light bulb generates approximately 196 pounds of CO2 per year, an LED light bulb only generates about 63 pounds of CO2. For anyone who wants there to be less CO2 in the atmosphere, switching over to LED lighting is an excellent option for achieving that goal. 

Using energy efficient lighting is a no-brainer. Not only will you be able to save a lot of money, but you will be able to contribute to the effort to keep our planet healthy for our grandchildren to enjoy.