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Lighting

Old style incandescent light bulbs are being replaced by energy saving LED and CFL bulbs. Lights are left on for an average of 3.13 hours per day over the course of a year. With an average of 25 bulbs per household, lighting now accounts for around 15% of the energy bill in most homes (and a significant percentage of CO₂ emissions).

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), if everyone switched to entirely efficient lighting systems, global electricity consumption would reduce by 10%.

Turn lights off in rooms or parts of the house which are unoccupied. Teach your family (especially children!) and friends about it too and it will become second nature.

Motion sensors can be a good way to keep lights turned off when they’re not needed and also an effective security device.

Use timer switches to turn lights on and off when needed.

Using new T8 triphosphor fluorescent tubes in place of T12 and T8 halophosphor tubes increases light levels and extends lamp life by up to 20,000 hours.

LED bulbs do not contain any mercury or lead so can be safely recycled.

The most sustainable lighting is natural daylight which has well documented benefits including greater productivity in offices, better test results at school, increased sales in retail outlets, and of course, lower energy bills.

Fluorescent bulbs and tubes last a long time but contain a small amount of mercury. They definitely can’t be thrown out with the household rubbish and must be taken to your local recycling centre. Old style incandescent bulbs cannot be recycled and have to go to landfill.

19% of global electricity generation is taken for lighting – more than is produced by hydro or nuclear power stations and about the same as produced from natural gas.

An emerging new technology is that of sunlight transportation. Sunlight is collected on roof panels and transported into a building via fibre optic cables for distances up to 15 metres.

If you have a large number of old fluorescent tubes and don’t know what to do with them, here’s the perfect idea! The Toronto based design collective known as Castor Canadensis create ceiling lights out of discarded old fluorescent tubes.