Brightness and energy

Given the vast selection of lighting fixtures available on the market, it is essential to determine your needs before making your choice, for both indoor and outdoor lighting. Whether you’re looking for direct or diffuse lighting, a reading lamp or a particular lighting ambience, choose the best ratio of energy consumed to brightness provided.

Purchase a fixture that provides maximum lighting

Light-coloured shades or directional reflectors should be preferred. You should also choose a bulb that produces the most lumens (unit of light measurement) while using as few watts as possible. Occasionally clean bulbs to maintain maximum performance.

Long live fluorescent bulbs and LEDs!

Compact fluorescent bulbs and LEDs are good choices if they are suitable for the use you want them to have. To produce the same amount of lumens, they use less energy than other types of bulbs. This makes them well-suited for lamps that stay on longer, for hard-to-reach areas, and for areas where excess heat is to be avoided.

Remember, it is important not to throw compact fluorescent bulbs in the garbage. Recycle them at designated recycling sites in your municipality.

Lightbulb typeUseful life (hours)
Incandescent750 to 1,000 hours
Halogen1,500 to 3,000 hours
Compact fluorescent6,000 to 10,000 hours
LED25,000 to 100,000 hours

Safe handling of fluorescent bulbs

Florescent tubes and compact fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, a highly toxic substance. Therefore, they must be handled with care. They must also be discarded in an ecological manner.

  • Compact fluorescent bulbs are 98% recyclable. There are many locations where they can be recycled. Contact your municipality to find out where you can drop them off or where your hazardous household materials sites are located. In addition to municipal eco-centres, several retailers also offer a compact fluorescent bulb collection service.
  • There is a very useful guide on how to protect yourself in case of breakage of fluorescent bulbs. It was published in 2009 by the Institut national de santé publique and is entitled: Avis scientifique sur les risques pour la santé de l’exposition au mercure lors du bris d’ampoules fluo-compactes. It is only available in French only.

Leave light on only when necessary

It is expensive to leave a light on unnecessarily. Inside, turn off the lights as soon as you leave a room. For the exterior, the installation of a light fixture with a motion sensor is recommended.

Install electronic dimmers without resistance

By using a light dimmer, you reduce your energy consumption and extend the life of your bulbs. Depending on the decrease in intensity, you can save from 5 to 50% in energy costs. However, it is imperative that this dimmer be marked “without resistance”. Otherwise, there will be no savings.

With the wide variety of bulbs now available on the market, it is important to seek advice. Different dimmers do not necessarily control all types of bulbs. The installation of a dimmer that is incompatible with the bulbs in place may cause sparkling or disrupted lighting and a limited dimming range, and the expected energy performance will not necessarily be achieved. While their energy consumption is steadily improving, there are still substantial savings to be had by choosing devices that match our needs in size and power and by optimizing their use.

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