Indoor Lighting Design

When designing indoor lighting for energy efficiency, consider some basic design principles and methods. Energy-efficient lighting design principles include:

  • More light is not necessarily better. Human visual performance depends on light quality, as well as, quantity.
  • Match the amount and quality of light to the performed function.
  • Install task lights where needed and reduce ambient light elsewhere.
  • Use energy-efficient lighting components, controls, and systems.
  • Maximize the use of day lighting.

Below are some basic methods for achieving energy-efficient indoor lighting:

  • Install fluorescent light fixtures for all ceiling and wall-mounted fixtures that will be on for more than 2 hours each day. These often include the fixtures in the kitchen, living room and sometimes those in bathrooms, halls, bedrooms and other higher-demand locations.
  • Install dedicated compact fluorescent fixtures, rather than compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s) in incandescent fixtures. With these fixtures installed, fluorescent bulbs will continue to be used for the life of the house.
  • Use CFL’s in portable lighting fixtures that are operated for more than 2 hours a day.
  • Use ENERGY STARĀ® labeled lighting fixtures.
  • Use occupancy sensors for automatically turning on and off your lights as needed.
  • Consider light wall colors to minimize the need for artificial lighting.
  • If recessed lights are used in a ceiling with an unconditioned space above it, use only Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approved fixtures that are airtight, are IC (insulation contact) rated, and meet ASTM E283 requirements.