Four lights on grey wall


Lighting can account for between 5-10% of lighting costs in the average Queensland home.  You can reduce your lighting energy costs by more than 80% just by choosing more efficient lighting options – follow our tips to help you to stop your lighting robbing you blind.

Energy saving tips

  1. Switch to energy efficient lighting. LED globes are the most efficient type of lighting, and fast becoming the most common option in stores and on-line. Compact fluorescent lamps are also a high efficiency lighting option, whereas incandescent and halogen are typically the least efficient.
  2. Turn lights off in areas of your home that are not being used.
  3. Include dimmer controls with your lighting system to adjust artificial lighting to the leave you need it.
  4. Install task lighting in areas like near reading chairs, over kitchen benches, dining table and the bathroom vanity, so you don't waste general space lighting.
  5. Fit timers and motion sensors in areas that are used rarely so your lights are only on when they need to be.
  6. Use light coloured paint on interior walls, ceilings and other surfaces in your home to help you get the most out of your available lighting.
  7. Locate windows and skylights to allow natural light inside and reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day.
  8. Add well-designed windows or skylights to incorporate the use of natural light. Properly designed, these additions won't make your home too hot in summer and can help to warm your home in winter.

Types of lighting

  • Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are now the main type of lighting available for a wider range of applications. The range and affordability means that there is an LED option now available for replacing a variety of incandescent and fluorescent lamps.
  • LEDs are much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps, can be even more efficient than fluorescent lamps and can have an extremely long life.
  • Many LED lights are dimmable, but always check the packaging to confirm if they are dimmable, and if there are particular types of dimmer that are required (not all LEDs are compatible with some older models of dimmers).

  • Standard incandescent lamps are generally very inefficient, with around 95% of the electrical energy used by each bulb lost as heat. Compared with other types of lamps, they are less expensive to purchase but must be replaced more often.
  • This type of lighting has been phased out from stores. It might seem wasteful to throw away a functioning incandescent, but when you switch from a 75W incandescent to a 15W CFL or LED, you will save that energy back in less than 15 hours of running time

  • Halogen lights are a type of incandescent lamp, which have a longer life but are more expensive to purchase. They are slightly more efficient than standard incandescent lamps, but much less efficient than a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).
  • If you have downlight fittings installed at home, and are using halogen globes in those fittings, you are likely using a lot more energy than standard lighting. Halogen downlights are considered an energy intensive lighting option as the globes themselves are in-efficient and people use many more downlight bulbs in each room to light it effectively.
  • Halogen lights emit a lot of heat while they are turned on. This waste heat warms your home and can add to your summer cooling costs. Downlights should be installed with adequate ventilation and sufficient clearance between lights and roof insulation, so you reduce the risk of a fire hazard.
  • Swap downlights to more energy efficient bulbs to start saving energy instantly. There are a number of efficient alternatives available when replacing halogen downlights including Infrared Coated (IRC) halogen downlights, light emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Your choice of replacement is impacted by a range of factors, including the voltage at the fitting (i.e. mains voltage (240V) or 12 volt. In some cases, you may be able to exchange the globes with a more efficient alternative; in some cases, you may need to change the fitting. Your electrician or a specialist lighting store will be able to provide advice on how to upgrade to LED lighting.

  • Colour temperature of lights describes how warm or cool a white light is, as seen by the human eye. It is measured in Kelvin (K), with the lower numbers giving a warmer tone and the higher numbers giving a cooler, more bluish tone.
    • For example, if you want a cooler white light, look for a colour temperature of more than 3300K. Warm white is well suited for home use. Choose a light bulb colour between 2700-3300K for general areas and 3500–4100K for kitchen or workspaces.

Lighting design

When renovating or building, it's important to first think about the specific purpose of lighting in each room.

Many rooms need two types of lighting and each need different lights and fittings. For example, you may use a standard ceiling light for general lighting and all over illumination for your lounge room, but you may also want small lamps to illuminate a specific area for reading or a desk – often referred to as 'task lighting'. Accent lighting can also be used for decorative or dramatic effects.

Lighting design at home should be a balance of meeting your family's lighting needs, maximizing energy efficiency and functionality, and consideration of the aesthetic impact supplied by the lighting system.

The YourHome website has more information on lighting considerations.


  1. Use outdoor solar lights for a cheap and easy way to light your garden or outdoor areas.
  2. Fit exterior lights with movement detectors or two-way switches to provide convenience and security while saving energy.


  1. Consider strings of LED festive lights as they use less electricity and last longer.
  2. Use timers to limit festive light displays to no more than four evening hours a day. And, remember to turn them off if you go out and when you go to bed.