|Average Australian home||$237 a year / 2.3kWh a day / 500kg C02 per year|
|Smart renter||$52 a year / 0.5kWh a day / 100kg C02 per year|
|Very smart renter||$10 a year / 0.1kWh a day / 20kg C02 per year|
Prioritise natural light
- In terms of colour and intensity, there’s no substitute for natural light.
- Put couches and desks near windows to take advantage of daylight.
- It also makes more sense to do some tasks during the day when better quality light is available.
Use lighting that works with your body’s circadian rhythms
- Go for stronger white light during the daylight hours (including daylight itself) and weaker warm light during the evening and night.
- Typical lighting values for warm light are 1500-2700K while daylight type light is usually beyond 3000K. These values can be found on the side of the packaging for LED and CFC light bulbs.
Ambient and task lighting
- Use ambient lighting to light a room enough to see the objects in a room and use task lighting close to a task you’re completing instead of trying to light up a whole room with bright lighting.
- The best ambient lights are ceiling mounted fixtures or floor standing lamps that shine light below and bounce light onto a white ceiling to spread light evenly.
- A 10 watt LED bulb can easily provide ambient light for a 20 square metre room whilst a 5 watt LED task light (such as a desk lamp or reading light) will provide adequate task lighting.
- Turn off lights when they are not being used.
Adopt the best lighting technology
- For a renter, good light bulbs are an investment; you can take them with you when you leave.
- LED bulbs are the most cost effective over their lifetime; they are the most energy efficient, are rated for 25,000 hours, handle frequent on/off cycling well and light up instantly.
- If you have leftover CFC bulbs, use them up in places that avoid frequent on/off cycling as these bulbs are almost as energy efficient as LED bulbs and can last up to 15,000 hours.
- Avoid incandescent bulbs. They may be cheaper to purchase but you’ll spend $350 worth of extra electricity and use 25 light bulbs compared to a single LED bulb over its useable lifespan.
- If you need to use up old incandescent bulbs, put them in infrequently used areas.
Avoid using downlights and heat lamps
- If your downlight/s emit a significant amount of heat like an incandescent bulb, then they are halogen downlights. These consume a lot of power.
- LED downlights are a bit better but can still consume a fair bit of power because there are so many of them.
- If you have downlights anywhere in your rental, better to use the normal ceiling lamp (if still installed) or use a table or floor lamp instead.
- Heat lamps can be found in bathrooms and have two to four high powered lamps with a normal light bulb in the centre. When used often, they can knock off a lot of energy.
- Avoid using heat lamps unless you’re getting out of the shower in a really cold bathroom; for all other times, use the normal light instead.