Bright Ideas for Energy Efficient Lighting

Get inspired by bright ideas for stunning energy efficient lighting that enhances your interior design and saves on electricity bills. Think beyond the LED bulb.

Create a Plan for Your Lighting Design

Your lighting should support the function of the space and create a certain atmosphere, all while spending the least possible energy. It's not just about the bulb, it's also about quality of life and understanding the function of it. Design a lighting system to support this function by using available technologies together — mix lamps, fixtures, and controls together to bring your vision to life.

Start by looking at existing light sources to decide what can be accomplished without even flipping a switch: daylight. It's the most energy-efficient system because it's one that's not even turned on.

Once you've exhausted that possibility, the next step is moving toward electric lighting. Today's energy-conscious designers opt for multiple lower-brightness sources of light over a single high-wattage source to reduce glare and to make the space feel more pleasant.

Repeat Smaller Light Fixtures for More Impact

A general rule of thumb is to install multiple smaller-wattage or less-bright light fixtures. These will result in a better environment compared to installing one high-wattage, very bright fixture.

Layer The Lighting

To get a nice effect at home, use multiple layers, such as decorative lighting, task lighting, and ambient lighting. The more layers you have, the richer the space is perceived.


Optimize To Reduce

When you optimize the light in one area, you can reduce it in another. For example, ambient lighting (e.g. ceiling dome light) provides general illumination for every day tasks. But by adding in task lighting sources, like concealed under-cabinet lights for food prep or a pendant light hanging over a table, you don't need to rely on ambient lighting as much.


Decide The Light Source

Having decided where and how much light is needed, the next step is to decide the source of light, whether it's halogen, LED, incandescent, or fluorescent.


Carefully Choose Lighting that Supports Your Space

Before choosing your bulb or fixture, assess your needs and your everyday lifestyle with each room at home. You'll have plenty of lighting options to find a mix that works best for you. 

Pair Fixture Function With Bulb Type

Match the quantity and quality of light provided by a certain lamp or fixture to a particular application or use. For example, while a CFL bulb works well when you want to create a glow in a pendant lamp with a translucent shade, a linear fluorescent bulb is perfect for under cabinet lighting and uses 30 percent less energy.

Read our Light Bulb Buying Guide for more tips to help you find the right fit for your space.

Use Controls To Save Money & Energy

Controls are one of the most under-valued and under-used, yet most effective, tools to save energy and money.

Occupancy sensors, timers, dimmer switches, and, for retrofits or new-home construction, sensors that automatically dim and raise the lights according to the amount of daylight all help save your wallet and the planet.


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