Use CFL or LED Lighting - the single highest user of electricity that you can control is lighting. Plan to use Compact Florescent Light Bulbs or better yet LED light bulbs in all fixtures. You will be saving electricity, maintenance costs replacing bulbs and reducing the load on your air conditioning from waste heat. CFL bulbs cost under $1 each and save 75% or more than $40 over the bulb's lifetime. You can check out how much you can save by using the Light Bulb Savings Calculator on the Energy Star site. LED Lighting is more expensive with bulbs costing anywhere from $9 to $35 but the savings are twice as much as CFL bulbs. Learn about LED Lights from the Energy Star site or calculate your savings by downloading the SalineBeGreen Lighting Calculator.
LED lighting offers:
Lifetime 2 1/2 times longer than compact
Reduced energy consumption equal to 1/6 the energy used by incandescent and 1/2 the energy used by florescent bulbs.
LED's are easier to use in commercial dimming systems.
Light color (or temperature) is available for most types of lighting (see Kelvin Scale for lighting temperature)
LED's in the 2700 to 3200 K range are the most pleasing when replacing incandescent bulbs, but the higher the Kelvin temperature, the better colors are rendered under the lights.
LED's reduce the heating load on commercial buildings over incandescent bulbs.
Lighting costs for some businesses can be as much as 1/2 the energy bill.
See the Lend-a-Light case study for more information or this Detroit Free Press article on one homeowner's tracked savings from installing LED's in his home. Use the SalineBeGreen Lighting calculator to estimate your savings.
Saline Lend-a-Light Success Stories:
Brecon Grill - 73 incandescent bulbs changed to LED's for over $250/month savings
Saline Methodist Church - 20 lights under test
Mangiamo Grill - light bulbs under test