These days, you can get low energy light globes in a range of colours, shapes and sizes. To minimise your greenhouse gas emissions even more, try turning them off when you’re not in the room – even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Also, if there’s natural light available, use it. Try opening the curtains instead of turning on the light and make the most of the sunshine.
LED lights are highly efficient, extremely versatile (available in a range of colours for many different applications) and very long-lasting. The Victorian Government’s Your Energy Savings website lists the benefits:
These come in two main types —compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and tubular lamps (fluorescent tubes).
Both types of fluorescent are cheaper and more efficient than older incandescent lights, saving money and greenhouse gas emissions. However, they do contain small amounts of mercury and need to be disposed of or recycled carefully. Read more about flourescent lights and mercury here.
Halogen downlights are low voltage, but they still use about as much electricity as an ordinary incandescent globe. The problem is there tends to be so many of them – sometimes 12 downlights will light up a room which might otherwise have had two ordinary globes.
The other bit of bad news for people with downlights is that they allow heat to escape out through your roof. But you can buy special covers which fit over the top of the downlight for about $15 per light.
There are some excellent government resources comparing various types of lighting by cost, application, efficiency and even greenhouse gas emissions.