According to the Department of Energy, replacing 25% of the lights in high use areas with compact fluorescent lights (CFL) can reduce up to 50% of the lighting costs. CFLs use 1/5th the energy to provide equivalent lumens. Each watt of electricity used for lighting produces over 3 BTUs of heat. By reducing the energy used for lighting, the cooling demands of the building are reduced at the same time. The Florida Solar Energy Center inventoried a home’s lighting usage and conducted a retrofit test that resulted in a 47%, or 5.2 kWh per day, reduction in lighting energy use, amounting to 1,900 kWh per year. Lighting usage was especially high in kitchens, living rooms and outdoors.
Cities could exploit this potential energy savings by

  • Promoting the use and installation of dedicated compact fluorescent fixtures in new residential and commercial construction and in the replacement of outdoor lamps and low-voltage exterior lighting

Lighting is an even larger energy and cost issue for commercial buildings. To learn more about what can be done in business buildings visit our commercial lighting site.