UA Matters: How to Use Energy-Efficient Lighting

Greg McKelvey
Greg McKelvey

The average household spends about 10 percent of its energy costs on lighting. The University of Alabama’s Greg McKelvey provides some basic tips on how to keep those costs as low as possible.

  • Turn off incandescent lights whenever they are not needed, and turn off fluorescent lights when they will not be needed for 10 minutes or longer.
  • Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. Compact fluorescent bulbs use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. Use Light-Emitting Diodes, known as LEDs, where possible for even longer life and increased energy savings.
  • Install dimmers, timers and motion sensors to save even more money by reducing the amount of time lights are on but not being used.


McKelvey is the director of HVAC and Energy Management for UA-Facilities.