One of the most overlooked energy-saving tools in the work place is the light switch. Lighting accounts for 30-50% of a building's energy use, or about 17% of total annual U.S. electricity consumption. Simply turning off unneeded lights can reduce direct lighting energy consumption up to 45%. If more efficient lighting were to be installed in the majority of places, the US would cut down on particulate emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides by 240 million tons per year.

General Lighting Tips

  • Turn off the lights in any room not being used, or consider installing timers, photo cells, or occupancy sensors to reduce the amount of time lights are on.

  • Use task lighting; instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it.

  • Consider three-way lamps; they make it easier to keep lighting levels low when brighter light is not necessary.

  • Use outdoor lights with a photo cell unit or timer so they will turn off during the day.

  • Exterior lighting is one of the best places to use compact fluorescent lighting because of their long life. If you live in a cold climate, be sure to buy a lamp with a cold-weather ballast.