Lighting Options for Your Home

What are homeowners to do now that the United States has begun to wean itself from low-efficiency, high-cost incandescent light bulbs? The biggest problem may be figuring out which of the many high-efficiency, low-cost alternatives to use. A brief, instructive guide can help.

Published by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and its enLIGHTenAmerica initiative, Lighting Options for Your Home:

  • lays out the timetable for low-efficiency incandescent lamp transition;
  • discusses the three principal alternatives (high-efficiency incandescent (halogen-filled), compact fluorescent (CFLs), and light-emitting diode (LED) lamps); and
  • identifies the different types of home lighting fixtures and the types of high-efficiency lighting most suited for use with them.

The guide also points out that, by converting to one of the more efficient technologies, a homeowner can look forward to saving close to $150 per year, assuming an average electric utility rate of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour ($0.11/kWh).

The National Lighting Bureau recommends that homeowners visit local lighting distributors for professional advice. Commercial and industrial businesses should rely on professional lighting-system designers and engineers to obtain the maximum “bang for the lighting buck.” A nationwide listing of lighting-system designers is available at

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