In Australia, lighting accounts for 10% of the average household electricity budget. The popular uptake of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) is largely responsible for the reduction of electrical lighting costs in recent years.
Incandescent light bulbs and a range of halogen light bulbs are being phased out from the Australian market, where an equivalent LED light bulb is available.
Switch to LEDs
LEDs are better value for money than incandescent and halogen light bulbs and can be used in the majority of existing fittings. LEDs use about 75% less energy than halogen light bulbs and last 5 to 10 times longer, greatly reducing replacement costs and the number of light bulbs ending up in landfill.
The up-front cost of LEDs generally has a payback time of less than 1 year.
By replacing 10 halogen light bulbs with LEDs, an average household can expect to save around $650 over 10 years on their electricity bill.
State or local government assistance for new LEDs may also be available.
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Sensors can turn off lighting when a room is unoccupied or when daylight is sufficient. Some LEDs can automatically adjust according to the amount of sunlight entering a room.
Solar outdoor lighting
The solar storage capacity of garden lights has improved as better models became available. Solar garden lights can also be connected to a battery back-up to increase power and lifespan.
Take advantage of sunlight
Install skylights, transparent roof panels, and/or light tubes to maximize sunlight entering rooms. Be aware that these kinds of installations need to be well insulated.
Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) disposal
Mercury-containing CFLs are the largest category of products that contain mercury and a significant number end up in landfill each year. CFLs can be recycled to recover their mercury, glass, plastic and phosphor powder.