Saturday, February 23, 2008

Change The Light Bulbs

Inefficiency - In California, 22% of office building energy is used for lighting. Most businesses use halogen lighting, which is better than traditional incandescent but still wastes 97% of its energy toward creating heat while a paltry 3% is used to create light. In summer this heat by-product also adds to the building’s cooling load.

Opportunity – More efficient lighting methods use less energy creating heat and more on creating light. Changing to more efficient compact and linear fluorescent lighting will provide a 3 times and 5 times improvement respectively in efficiency compared to halogen.

Lighting Technology Providing Equivalent Light
Watts, $ per year, pollution per year

Emerging – 11W, $3, 49 lb

Linear – 15W, $5, 67 lb

Compact – 24W, $7, 106 lb
LED – 28W, $8, 124 lb

Halogen – 77W, $23, 337 lb
Incand - 100 W, $30, 437 lb

For each halogen replaced:

By Compact Fluorescent saves 53 watts, $16 per year and avoids 231 pounds of air pollution

By Linear Fluorescent saves 62 watts, $18 per year and avoids 270 pounds of green house pollution

  1. Gain approval for small capital investment to upgrade lighting. ROI from lower energy costs is typically less than a year. Many reputable firms are available that can perform the work within a few days.
  2. Ensure that user installed task lighting is efficient. Some occupants add their own lighting, which often uses traditional incandescent.
  3. Take advantage of natural light by placing office space near windows and keep cubicle walls low to allow light to penetrate more deeply inside the building.
  4. Take advantage of rebates offered by your utility.
  5. Purchase electricity from renewable resources.


Energy efficiency by lighting technology

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