Did you know that 20 cents of every dollar that the typical Saskatchewan household spends on power goes to lighting? As our province grows, so does the need for electricity.

By conserving power, you are helping the province while also lowering your electrical use and your bills. Turning the lights off after you leave a room is one of the easiest and best ways to save power and save money.

Another way to save power is by replacing your standard bulbs with CFL or LED. If every household in Saskatchewan replaced just 1 standard 60-watt bulb with the equivalent 13-watt CFL or LED we’d save enough electricity to power over 5,000 homes (or the equivalent size of Yorkton) for 1 year with the savings. This would also cut greenhouse gas emissions by over 30,000 tonnes in that same year.

Outdoor Lighting
  • Replace standard incandescent bulbs with outdoor CFLs which will last 6 to 10 times longer than standard bulbs and use two-thirds less energy while giving off the same amount of light. They’re perfect for hard-to-reach fixtures, but make sure you purchase the ENERGY STAR® labeled CFLs manufactured for outdoor use.
  • Choose infrared or halogen parabolic aluminum reflector (PAR) spotlights for large areas, such as driveways or entranceways. Replacing 75-watt or 150-watt outdoor spot and floodlights with 40-watt or 90-watt PAR lights makes economic and energy-saving sense and are ideal for security lighting.
  • Enhance the effectiveness of security lighting with motion detectors with halogen bulbs that consume about 40% less electricity and last up to four times as long as incandescent bulbs. For maximum efficiency, buy sensors that aren’t triggered during daylight, and adjust the sensitivity so animals don’t turn them on.
  • Harness the sun’s natural energy with simple solar-powered lights for landscapes and paths.
Seasonal Lighting
  • Seasonal LED light strings use about 90% less electricity than incandescent light strings. In fact, it takes as much electricity to power one incandescent light bulb as it does to power 140 LEDs.

Benefits of seasonal LEDs

  • Safety - LEDs produce less heat, reducing the risk of fire.
  • Longevity - They last up to 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
  • Durability - Stronger than incandescent glass bulbs and they don’t contain wire filaments.
  • Selection - They come in a variety of colours for both indoor and outdoor use.

Cost to power 100 feet of seasonal lights for one month

  • Standard Incandescent Bulbs - $11.51
  • Small Incandescent Bulbs - $8.22
  • Mini Lights - $3.29
  • LED Lights - $0.23
  • Data based on 31 days of operation at five hours a day; cost of electricity of 10.22 cents per kilowatt hour.

Things you can do to make a difference:

  • Do not connect incandescent light strings to LED light strings. This practice could overload the LED light strings and may result in power loss, damage or a fire.
  • Do not overload your electrical circuits. Check the wattage of each LED light string, and do not exceed the total wattage of the connected strings rating.
  • Check the packaging to ensure the light strings are designed for where you plan to use them - indoor use, outdoor use or both.
ENERGY STAR® Light Fixtures
  • Use up to two-thirds less energy than conventional fixtures;
  • Come with a two-year warranty (double the industry standard);
  • Provide more even and efficient light distribution;
  • Are designed to work with bulbs that last approximately 10,000 hours; and
  • Come in thousands of shapes and sizes for every room in your home.

Most ENERGY STAR® fixtures use the GU-24 light bulb technology. The GU-24 light bulb does not have the usual screw base, but instead has two bayonets/prongs protruding from the base. These insert into matching holes in the fixture’s socket, and twist to lock into place. Twist and pull, and the bulbs come right out of the socket. The new GU-24 socket prevents substituting replacement lamps that are not energy efficient, guaranteeing you energy savings every time you turn the lights on.

Outdoor fixtures

Many outdoor fixtures come with daylight shut-off or motion sensors for added savings.
When using a CFL bulb outdoors, it should be placed in a fixture with a cover. Covered fixtures will protect the CFL from rain, snow and hail. Some CFLs are designed to work in temperatures as low as -30ºC. When temperatures drop below this point, the life of the bulb may be affected. It may also take longer for the bulb to reach full brightness. Check the package for the “minimum operating temperature.”

Motion sensor light fixtures

Motion and light sensors can assist in reducing power use. However, not all light sensors work well with CFLs. If a CFL bulb is not available to work for a particular fixture, consider installing a motion sensor with an incandescent bulb in that location to reduce electricity use and save money.

Timers on light fixtures

Timers can assist in reducing power use. However, CFLs can be used with mechanical timers only. Digital timers may interfere with electronics in the bulb.

Dimmer switches

Install dimmer switches in your home for additional savings. The more you turn your dimmer switch down, the more you’ll save.

Floor Lamps

A floor lamp directs the light upward and is then reflected off the ceiling for an indirect lighting effect. Many floor lamps come with halogen bulbs. Halogen bulbs produce extreme heat that wastes energy and can be a fire hazard.

If you have an older style floor lamp that uses halogen bulbs and you would like to start using CFLs, you must replace the entire halogen fixture as halogen bulbs cannot be replaced with CFLs.

Benefits of CFL floor lamps:

• Efficiency - ENERGY STAR® compact fluorescent floor lamps use up to 70% less energy than a halogen floor lamp to produce the same amount of light.
• Longevity - CFLs last up to five times longer than halogen bulbs.
• Safety - Typical halogen floor lamp can operate at extremely high temperatures. A compact fluorescent replacement is much cooler, which makes it a safer lighting option.
• Money - Replace a 300-watt halogen floor lamp with a 55-watt compact fluorescent floor lamp and save almost $90 in electricity costs over the life of the CFL.

CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) 

The average Saskatchewan home has about 40 light bulbs, which account for about 21% of household electricity use every month. Switching to energy efficient CFLs is one of the brightest investments you can make. CFLs use up to 75% less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. Each CFL saves about $40 over its lifetime. If you replaced 40 bulbs in your house, you would save about $1600!

If every household in Canada replaced just one regular light bulb with a CFL, greenhouse-gas emissions would be cut down by nearly 400,000 tonnes and save $73 million in energy costs!

Incandescent vs. CFL’s

  • Incandescent Bulbs
    • 90% of the electricity used by incandescent bulbs is lost as heat 
    • Burn for 750 to 1,000 hours
    • Hot to the touch
    • Retails for approximately $1.00. Initial savings are high, but the bulb has a significant higher operating cost and a much shorter life span.
  • CFL Bulbs
    • CFLs produce 70% less heat than incandescent bulbs
    • Burn for about 10,000 hours
    • Cool to the touch
    • Retails for approximately $5.00. Replacing a 60-watt incandescent bulb with a 15-watt CFL will save $30 over the life of the bulb.

When installing your CFL ensure you screw it in by its base rather than the glass to prevent it from breaking.

To maximize your savings start by using CFLs in the areas where lights are left on for long periods of time. Begin by purchasing one CFL to check for preferred light output and colour.

CFLs are available in a range of colour hues:

  • Soft white or warm light have a yellowish hue and are best for indoor lighting in low lighting situations. They will enhance your home’s warm colours (red, orange, yellow). 
  • Cool light have a whitish hue and are best for reading and other task lighting. Daylight-style CFLs have a bluish hue and are best in bright lighting situations.

CFLs are now available for almost all types of fixtures. When shopping for CFLs, remember that specialty bulbs are required for dimmer switches, tri-lights, motion sensors, photocells, floor lamps and enclosed fixtures.

Using CFLs improperly can make the bulbs too hot, causing the bulbs to burn out early. CFLs are not a fire hazard. In the worst-case scenario, CFLs used improperly may smoke, change colours and char around the base.

Ensure to check the packaging for wattage and lumens to make sure your CFLs will be bright enough. Remember: the higher the lumens, the brighter the light.

Standard incandescent bulb ENERGY STAR® CFL
 (watts)  (approx equivalent watts)
40 9-13
60 13-15
75 18-25
100 23-30
150 30-52

There are CFLs available that look like standard bulbs. These CFLs are manufactured the same way as twisty CFLs, but they have a plastic covering that hides the spiral design.

The average CFL contains between 3 and 5 milligrams of mercury (significantly less than that contained in a watch battery - 25 milligrams) and no mercury is released when the bulb is intact or in use. Even with these trace amounts of mercury in CFLs, they provide a net benefit to the environment, by reducing the amount of electricity we use at home and work. When Disposing of CFLs because of the mercury content, if a CFL breaks, specific steps must be taken to safely dispose of the bulb:

  1. Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes.
  2. Upon return, wear disposable rubber gloves to carefully pick up broken glass.
  3. On carpet, use duct tape to collect fine particles.
  4. Vacuum the area, and rinse the vacuum container or dispose of the bag when done.
  5. On hard surfaces, use a piece of stiff paper or cardboard to collect pieces into a plastic bag (instead of a vacuum).
  6. Place all clean up materials in a second plastic bag and wipe the affected area with a damp paper towel.

CFL Recycling

Even though they last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, CFLs do eventually burn out. Responsible disposal of CFL bulbs are as easy as proper disposal of other common but toxic items such as paint, batteries and thermostats. Rather than tossing them in the garbage (where they will ultimately end up in a landfill), recycling is a much more environmentally responsible way to dispose of your CFL bulbs.

Retailers that accept old CFL bulbs for recycling are:

  • Rona Home & Garden
  • Lowe’s Canada
  • London Drugs
LED (Light Emitting Diode)

LED bulbs are the most efficient option, using 75% less electricity and lasting up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. They can last up to 20 years depending on the quality of the diode and the application.

LEDs are more energy efficient, and here are some other reasons to make the switch:

  • Durable - LEDs have no moving parts and are much more robust and resistant to vibration than other light bulbs.
  • Compact - They are compact in size allowing them to be used in a variety of capacities.
  • Additional savings - They can deliver savings through reduced maintenance costs (they can avoid material and labour costs involved with continually replacing conventional bulbs).
  • Instant on - They are instant on and achieve full brightness instantly.
  • Safe - LEDs are good for the environment; they are free of mercury and lead.

LED bulbs are:

  • Available in a variety of shades of white light. Light colour is measured on a temperature scale referred to as Kelvin (K). Lower Kelvin numbers mean the light appears more yellow; higher Kelvin numbers mean the light appears more white or blue.
  • Available in a number of shapes and sizes, and for a number of different socket bases.
  • Convenient for use indoors and outdoors (LEDs perform very well in cold weather), and ideal for hard to reach fixtures since they don’t require frequent replacement.
  • Dimmable when used with a compatible dimmer.
  • Safe for any room as they produce virtually no heat, have no filament or tube that can break, and have a durable casing that’s resistant to impact damage.
  Incandescent Halogen CFL LED
Energy Efficency Very Low Low High Very High
Light Colour/Temperature Warm Warm Warm to Cool Warm to Cool
Lifespan (Hours) 1,000 4,000 10,000 25,000
Approx. Years  1   4  10  25
Approx. Annual Cost $6.97 $5.00 $1.74 $1.45