Light Fixture Technology 101

By: Smart Zero Home
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Lighting alone can account for a significant energy use in your home (see our design tool to know how important lighting is in your home) and is the highest energy guzzler in an office building.  Deploying advanced lighting controls coupled with high efficiency lighting fixtures can result in lighting energy savings of over 30%.

LED is the most versatile & the most efficient technology available today

The following light fixtures/technologies are commonly used in the homes:

1) Incandescent lamps

2) Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) 

3) Light Emitting Diodes (LED)

Of the above 3, incandescent are the least efficient and the oldest technology, while LEDs are the most efficient. CFLs are more efficient than incandescent (saves upto 75% of energy consumed by equivalent number of incandescent lamp fixtures). 

LEDs are a newer technology, and are even more efficient than CFLs. LEDs also last twice as long as CFLs, but can be more expensive (as expected with any new technology/product adoption cycle).

LED fixtures are now available for all holder types and can therefore be used in any of the existing light fixture sockets in your home. LEDs also offer a wide range of light color options (instead of just yellow light from incandescent bulbs or the while light from the CFL). This allows you to use lights as a decorative/soothing design element.


The following video from New York state's NYSERDA gives a good overview of the various lighting fixture/light types (cove, downlight, valence fixtures etc.):


See our pick of top 5 LED lights, and top 5 dimmers.