Anyone who’s even slightly concerned with the state of our environment should look to replace their incandescent light bulbs with a more eco-efficient option. The traditional light bulbs we’ve known our whole lives have a terrible impact on the environment. Incandescent light bulbs can emit large amounts of carbon dioxide into the air. One of the biggest problems with traditional light bulbs is how much energy they waste. Most of the energy that a regular light bulb uses get turned into heat, not light.

That means that most of the money and energy you’re using to light your home isn’t even going towards lighting it.

Switching to an eco-efficient light bulb can help reduce the amount of energy being wasted. While some of the greener options are more expensive than traditional lights, you’ll eventually by saving money by using less energy. Most eco-friendly lights also have a longer life span, so you won’t have to worry about buying as many.

To help you reduce the amount of energy you use and save money, check out these ways you can bring eco-efficient lighting into your home.

LED light bulbs

Led light bulbs are the most common way to reduce the amount of energy we use for lighting. They’ve been around for a while now, so many people are already aware that they’re a smart switch from traditional incandescent lights. LED lights are also very accessible compared to some lesser known green lighting choices. LED lights waste less energy than traditional lights bulbs and use around 75% less energy in general. Because LEDs use less energy to work, they also have a longer lifespan so you don’t have to buy new ones as often. LED lights bulbs also don’t contain any mercury, unlike traditional lighting.

CFL light bulbs

You’ve probably seen the spiral light bulbs that look a little bit like a soft serve ice cream cone. In the past few years, these light bulbs have been everywhere because of their benefits to the environment. CFL light bulbs can use up to 80% less energy than traditional light bulbs. This type of light bulb also gives off significantly less heat than a traditional one. Like with an LED light bulb, CFL bulbs also have a longer lifespan than traditional light bulbs because they’re pulling less energy.

Smart light switches

Installing a smart light switch in your wall can be a great and easy way to cut down on the amount of energy you’re using to light your home. Smart light switches can turn even regular light bulbs into smart light bulbs. With these light switches, you’ll be able to dim light bulbs when you don’t need them to emit the full amount of light if you don’t need it. By dimming the lights, the light bulbs will be pulling less energy will still lighting a room. You’ll also be able to turn the lights off in any room with a smart light switch, even when you’re not there. If you’re in a different room or not at home and you realize you left a light on, an app will allow you to turn it off to save energy.

Natural light

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the best way to get eco-friendly lighting is by using natural lighting. When possible, let natural light in and turn off artificial lights. In rooms that have a lot of windows, try switching to blinds and curtains that let more light through, or open windows completely. The benefits of natural light are incomparable to any type of artificial lighting you can buy. One of the best reasons to take advantage of natural light is that sunlight is free to use.

Photographers constantly rave over how much better natural light makes things look. Sunlight is also much easier on the eyes, artificial lighting can be a strain on our eyes, while sunlight can elevate these issues. Natural lighting isn’t always an option depending on the weather, time of day, or the design of your home, but opting for sunlight when you can is easily the best eco-efficient lighting move.

Use green energy

Once you’ve switched out your light bulbs and switches to more eco-friendly choices, you might be wondering what else you can do to make your lighting greener. For outdoor lighting, you can buy lights that have their own solar panels. The panels will collect solar energy during the day and use it to power the lights at night. For the ultra-committed, you might even decide to have solar panels installed to power your whole home. Some might be able to check in with their electricity company to see if there’s an option to switch to green energy directly through them.