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Lighting

Use CFLs. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) use 75% less energy than the typical incandescent light bulbs used in homes. By switching to CFLs at a cost of about $2 per bulb, not only will the CFL bulbs last 10 times longer but they will also offer you a potential savings of $100 per year on your energy bill.

Turn off lights in any room not being used, even if your absence will only be momentary. For the outdoors, turn on lights only when needed.

Plan your lighting. Not every room needs the same amount of general light. Plan within a room to provide general background lighting and supplementary task lighting. A good lighting plan can reduce lighting costs and still provide all the light you need.

When choosing a new lamp, buy three-way lamps. They make it easy to keep lighting levels low when intense light is not necessary, and that saves electricity. Use the high switch only for reading or other activities that require brighter light.

Make good use of natural light. Use natural lighting in cold weather to let in warm sunlight and keep curtains closed during the summer to keep the house cool. Open curtains and shades during the day instead of using lighting. Consider skylights and solar tubes during remodeling or new construction design.

During the holidays, choose LED lighting. Set your lights on timers so that they are turned off in the daytime.

Control outdoor lighting. To assure only dusk-to-dawn operation of your outdoor lights, control your fixtures with a photocell or a timer.

Keep bulbs and fixtures clean. Dirt and dust reduce light output and efficiency. For safety reasons, don't clean bulbs and fixtures when they're hot or plugged in.

Turn off decorative outdoor natural gas lamps. Eight such lamps burning year-round use as much natural gas as it takes to heat an average-size home during an entire winter.

Use compact fluorescent torchiers. If you have touchier fixtures with halogen lamps, consider replacing them with compact fluorescent torchiers. Compact fluorescent torchiers use 60 to 80 percent less energy, can produce more light and do not get as hot as the halogen torchiers. Halogen torchieres are a fire risk because of the high temperature of the halogen bulb.

Vectren does not endorse any particular product or wholesaler.

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