How to live a sustainable, “green” lifestyle can sometimes be overwhelming with so many options for how to “go green”.  A great place to start making environmentally-friendly choices is right in your own home. Making eco-friendly choices when lighting your home is easy, and will save you money when your electric bill comes around. Here are 4 simple suggestions that can save you cash every month and, not to mention, reduce your carbon footprint.

Using Energy Efficient Lighting

Installing energy saving lighting in your home is a great way to save money. Ever wonder how much you spend on lighting your home? On average, lighting accounts for about 20% of the average home’s electric bill, according to Energy Star. Using compact fluorescent light bulbs, also known as “CFLs” is a simple way to reduce your energy costs. Replacing your conventional incandescent light bulbs with CFLSs will use 75% the energy and heat. Using these energy saving light bulbs will also save you time- they last up to 10 times longer than the standard conventional incandescent light. According to Linda Mae Schmitt, lighting program manager for Focus on Energy, you can save up to $35 a year in energy costs, by making this one simple change. These energy-efficient bulbs save you money and time, and don’t take away from the quality of your artificial lighting. At last, the fluorescent bulbs on the market today give consumers a bright, warm light quality. So you can save money, the environment, and still have pleasant lighting.

Another eco-friendly lighting option is using light-emitting diodes, also known as LED lights. This type of efficient lighting does not produce heat; rather, it conducts electricity through the creation of photons. These lights are so advanced, they could last up to 35 years! They’re still pretty expensive, and are considered the future of light bulbs. Another cool feature? They come in a variety of colors, for your visual aesthetic choice.

Using Lights Efficiently

There are two other simple tricks for money-saving lighting options. Instead of being in the habit of having a light switch at every entry to a room, try directing your light where you need it. It’s called task lighting. Usually associated with stylish interior decorating, this way of light installation puts the lights where you need them. This can be in a track above a table, above your desk, or into cabinetry in your kitchen. Small table lamps or floor lamps are also a great way to use lights efficiently.

Another aesthetically pleasing way to save is through the use of dimmers. Light dimmers are more than just for mood, they are a tool that allows you to control the amount of light you need. This in turn allows you to choose just how much you really want to spend on your electric bill.