Home Energy Hack: Bright Ideas to Make Your Outdoor Lighting More Efficient

Do you feel like you’re taking a shot in the dark when it comes to landscape lighting? You’re not alone. We’re heading back outside to give you simple and effective ways to cut down on the amount of energy you use powering your outdoor lighting.

Lower Your Wattage

Homeowners often assume more light is better. As you know, assumptions can get us in big trouble. Installing lights that are too bright could irk your neighbors, cause glare, and potentially make it hazardous for cars passing by your property. Most of the time, 40 to 80 watts are sufficient for lighting driveways and smaller yards. If you’re looking to light a garden path, you can use bulbs with as little as 15 watts.

Learn to Love LEDs

Usually our tips don’t involve adding to the landfill, but don’t feel guilty about tossing your old incandescent bulbs in the trash. Newer LEDs with the  the Energy Star? logo are 70% to 90% more efficient and last 10 to 25 times as long as standard, incandescent bulbs. They’re more than worth the up-front investment.


To create a safer home while also being mindful of your energy use, invest in accessories like motion sensors and timers. That way the lights shine only when someone is nearby and needs them. Using LEDs at the correct wattage is an important first step, but that’s not the only thing you can do to lower your outdoor energy use. At the very least, use timers to make sure your lights are on only when it’s dark outside. All of these accessories are designed to give you more control of your landscape lighting.

Vary Your Height

It’s worth putting thought into where you install your outdoor lights. Quality is always more important than quantity. Placing lights at multiple heights creates better distribution, and it cuts down on dark patches. 

Less can be more when it comes to lighting the exterior of your home. With efficient bulbs, some simple accessories, and thoughtful placement, you’ll be well on your way to saving energy while maintaining a safe and comfortable outdoor space. For more helpful advice on reducing your home energy use, meet with your co-op’s energy advisor today.