House Energy Site

Outdoor lighting for energy Savings

The idea that high levels of night lighting provides more safety is false. Do not forget that more light also provides more exposure to the eyes of strangers (see, on this issue: IDA).

Outdoor light pollution is a serious issue, and you should minimize obtrusive outdoor light. 

Low-Energy Outdoor Lighting Options

Use the lowest wattage lamp feasible; avoid incandescent lights and turn off the lights whenever possible; consider motion sensor controlled systems.

Incandescents (including halogen lights) should only be considered in systems designed to be used for very short periods of time.

Fluorescent and LEDs (and solar lights) are better options; they can reduce your outdoor energy bills by 75%. You just need to search for the right bulbs, designed for outdoors use.

Low-Voltage Outdoor Lighting
Solar-powered Outdoor Lights.
Low-Energy Lighting Guide

Low-Energy Light Bulbs
Compact Fluorescent vs. LEDs vs. Halogen Lights
Watts vs. Lumens
High-Performance Fixtures

Using Timers and Other Lighting Controls for Energy Savings

Timers, motion sensors and other controls can provide huge energy savings and reduce electricity bills and night pollution…

Qualified and Dimmable Lighting Fixtures
New Energy-Savings Dimmers
Lighting Timers for Energy Savings
Occupancy Sensors for Energy Savings

Shielded vs. unshielded lighsAvoid Using Unshielded Fixtures

Avoid using unshielded fixtures. Shielded fixtures will focus the light on the wanted area, and just on it.

In typical shielded lighting, the bulb, lens and other refracting or reflecting elements are housed inside the fixture.

Typical shielded lights are designed to be mounted vertically with light pointing down. These lights are labeled as cutoff,  full cutoff or fully shielded, and provide better visibility, less glare, more security and energy savings.

Solar light with a separated panelAvoid Discount Solar Outdoor Lighting Systems

Solar-powered lights can be very useful for nighttime navigation and safety. Just be careful with low-cost solar-powered lights; low-cost solar lights are often useless.

See: Solar-powered Outdoor Lights

Outdoor Low-VoltageLow Voltage Lighting Doesn't Mean Low-Wattage

Low-voltage lighting systems aren't necessarily low-energy consumption systems. They only provide significant energy savings when they use CFL and LED bulbs, and timers, sensors and other lighting controls.

See: Low-Voltage Outdoor Lighting


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