Lighten up on lighting

As we head deeper into fall and the daylight hours get shorter, we turn our house lights on earlier and leave them on longer. All of that energy use adds up. In fact, lighting accounts for about a quarter of all electricity consumed in the United States.

Here are some bright ideas for your home and workplace:

New-age bulbs: Replace regular incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient compact florescent lights, which last up to 10 times longer and use 75 percent less energy.

Dim ’em: Install dimmers to reduce the wattage needed. This saves energy and the life of the bulb.

Sensory perception: Install occupancy sensors that turn lights off and on by detecting motion.

Clean and lean: Wipe the dust off lamps and bulbs at least once a year (only when the fixtures are off, of course).

Flip the switch: Always turn off the lights when you leave a room, even if it’s only for a short time.