Lightings accounts for 15% of electricity in a normal household. Therefore, investing in efficient lighting saves a great deal. Workout the difference yourself.

A 15 Watt compact fluorescent lamp gives as much light as a 75 Watt incandescent lamp. Yet, the two bulbs will affect your electricity bill differently.

If the two bulbs were lit for four hours per day per month, the cost would be

The more wattage of the lamp, the higher the energy bill is.


CFLs and LEDs are energy saving devices.

  • A CFL uses only 1/5 of energy of an incandescent lamp.
  • They are cost effective
  • Have a higher efficacy - higher output of light
  • 6 - 12 times longer lifetime than incandescent lamps
  • Environmentally friendly, for they last longer and need to be disposed less frequently

These lamps are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colours to suit your taste. The colour depends on the Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT), which is a measure of whiteness (chromaticity) in degrees Kelvin (K). A higher CCT makes an object more bluish-white, while a lower CCT makes an object reddish-white. Warm light usually has a colour temperature below 5,000 K while a cooler temperature is above 3,200 K. An incandescent lamp has a CCT of 2,800 K.

We should choose the right light and direct it to the right place. Different rooms and setting require different lighting levels.

The following table gives you an idea of lighting levels in some frequently used areas.

Appliance Lumens/m3
Sitting 50
Reading room 300
Kitchen 200
Bathroom 100
Entrance 100
Office 200
Garage / outdoor 50

Activities like reading, writing and stitching require higher levels of lighting. However, watching TV and having meals don’t require so much light.

You can use various lighting systems to illuminate your space fashionably, at the same time, giving due respect to efficient lighting. Here are some common applications.

Lighting system Usable areas
Rope lighting Tiny lights are embedded in a long, plastic tube that can be bent. They can be used where dusting is difficult and only a small amount of light is required, such as tops of cabinets.
Cupboard lights They are halogen puck shaped lights or tiny track lights, which illuminate objects in the open or in glass fronted cabinets.
Under cabinet lights They add brightness to work areas, such as kitchen work tops.
Metals They give a softer look and are either metal or painted to look metal-in particular, pewter, rusted-looking iron, wrought iron, brushed nickel and bronze and stainless steel. They are most used in kitchens.
Dimmer switches These allow the brightness to be turned down to create a softer mood, and save electricity.
Glass beaded shades In this type, each bead catches a little light and glows.
Pendant lights They dangle from the ceiling on cord chains.
Reproduction fixtures They are used to match an arts crafts home or blend with mission style furniture.
Wall scones They are shaped like half-moon to light hallways and stairways.
Recessed lights These are useful when the ceiling height is under 2.5 m and it is preferred when fixtures do not hang down.
Touchier These are floor lamps that point upwards, thereby provide a lot of light without harshness.


Good lighting practices

Space Practice
  • General lighting from luminaires, side mounted lights around the mirror
  • Spotlights for a wonderful sense of colour and space
  • Only cord-pull switches, which are water, steam and splash proof
  • Brighter lights for the dressing table and wardrobes
  • Reading lights around the bed
  • Soft-toned lights to enrich design and enhance mood
  • Overhead lighting fitted to a dimmer switch to enable alteration of lighting intensity
Dining room
  • Soft and warm wall lights, either in white or with a hint of colour that enhances the wall colour
  • Spotlight to enhance a favourite painting or an ornament
  • Accent lighting, such as small halogen lights inside cupboards
  • Provision of dimmer switches to adjust the lighting levels to suit the occasion or task
Corridors and stairs
  • Energy saving lamps, as lamps in such places need to be glowing most of the time
  • A bright pool of lighting the floor at the end of the corridor to create a welcoming effect
  • No spotlights on stairways to avoid dangerous shadow
  • Recessed ceiling lights or up lighters to provide basic background light
  • Strip lighting over work surfaces to provide bright light required for working
  • Luminaires to be concealed under wall mounted units
Living room
  • Consider the lighting system as a series of layers
  • Sensible to use a number of side or table lamps to fill the lights where and when required
  • Spotlights can be used to add a real sense of style and elegance
Work rooms
  • Bright white halogen lighting for detailed work or hobbies
  • Sufficient overhead lighting to illuminate keyboard areas
  • Avoid glare and screen reflection of computers
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