3 Sustainable Lighting Options to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

What is “sustainable lighting,” anyway? 

This broad term includes everything from light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs to using solar power to light your home. While many people recycle or compost to reduce their carbon footprint, sustainable lighting can have more of an impact than you think. And it’s easy to incorporate into everyday life.

Let’s take a look at a few ways you can reduce your carbon footprint with lighting.

1. Transition to LEDs

Replacing outdated fluorescents with sustainable LED bulbs can significantly reduce your property’s energy consumption and, therefore, your carbon footprint. But there are some other benefits, too.


The Environmentally-Friendly Option

Unlike fluorescents, LEDs are mercury-free. This makes them much safer for the environment when they’re discarded.

Because they use a semiconductor to convert electricity into light, they’re also up to 80% more efficient than fluorescent bulbs and 90% more efficient than incandescent. This is why they last longer—reducing the need for replacements and minimizing excess waste. 

In general, LEDs can seriously increase your lighting system’s lifespan.


LEDs Translate to Cost-Savings

Upgrading to LEDs is also beneficial for your budget. With their extended lifespan, they save you money over time, making your initial investment much more worthwhile. 

According to SaskPower, you can save more than $100 over the lifetime of just one LED bulb. Imagine how that adds up when you use hundreds of bulbs! 

Interested in seeing how much you can save with LED? Try this LED savings calculator from Philips.


More Reason to Switch to LEDs: Future Proofing

Eventually—through a national strategy—LEDs will be the norm across Canada and will replace standard lighting technologies, including fluorescents. Switch now to stay ahead of the curve.


Don’t Forget About LED Garage Lighting

Car in a garage with LEDs

Switching garage lighting, whether residential or commercial, to LED strips is an easy, eco-friendly move that often gets missed. If you’re the type to work away for hours on end in your garage, lighting bills can add up!

Compact fluorescents, currently common in garages, will soon be obsolete, so it’s worthwhile to upgrade sooner rather than later. But don’t worry—switching is easy. Check out our lighting guide for tips on how to make the move.

2. Update to Smarter Lighting Controls

Another way to reduce your footprint is switching to smart lighting controls, such as dimmer switches, occupancy sensors, and motion controls. These gadgets conserve energy by only lighting your space as much as necessary.


Dimmer Switches

Dimmer switches aren’t just about ambiance. While they are great for creating mood, smart home dimmers also decrease your energy usage and electricity bills, as you reduce your lighting levels. Solutions like Lutron Maestro dimmers and switches also extend your bulbs’ lifespan and reduce waste.

Occupancy Sensors and Motion Controls

Occupancy sensors and motion controls offer an energy-efficient and cost-saving balance between illumination and vacancy in both commercial and residential settings. They sense activity and ensure lights turn on only when areas are in use, curbing unnecessary energy usage. 

Be sure to know your area’s current bylaws and regulations around lighting controls, though. If you’re in Vancouver, for example, read the new bylaw about lighting control and automatic lighting shutoff to ensure your residential building complies.

3. Invest in Solar Power

Solar panels can be a big investment, but spending money on solar can be worthwhile. Especially since federal and provincial governments offer clean energy incentives to reduce upfront costs. Make sure to check for rebates in your area before selecting your solar panels, or reach out with any specific questions. 

Every solar power application is different, and your needs will change depending on whether you require solar power for industrial, commercial, or residential use. You’ll need to consider factors such as scale, capacity, design systems, and regulations specific to your area.

chart comparing solar energy systems


Industrial solar panel systems provide power for mines, oil and gas sites, water treatment plants, processing facilities and more across Canada. For these applications, solar energy is a useful environmentally-friendly power and lighting option for:

  • Remote, hazardous, and hard-to-reach locations
  • Water heating systems
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems
  • Remote equipment



Commercial solar applications cut energy costs and reduce footprint via commercial grid-tie solar energy systems. This allows for:

  • Solar rooftop installations that generate on-site electricity
  • Solar-powered carports and garages
  • Solar water heating
  • Credit or compensation for excess electricity that’s fed back into the grid through net metering and grid-tied systems
  • Solar-powered lighting and signage



Residential solar panels help homeowners and building managers cut electricity costs and curb greenhouse gas emissions by using solar energy to generate power for:

  • Water, air, and space heating
  • Indoor and outdoor lighting, including landscape lighting
  • Off-grid and grid-tied systems, where excess energy can be fed back into the grid
  • Battery back-up, solar chargers, and portable systems for outdoor activities
  • Heating swimming pools


Get in touch with us for more information.


Other Considerations: Electric Vehicles (EVs)

EV Charging Stations

While EVs aren’t a lighting option, per se, you can reduce your footprint and support the sustainable energy transition by installing charging stations in your home or residential building.

Unsure about which charger you need? Read about the differences between Level 1, 2, and 3 EV chargers in Canada.

You can also find everything you need to know about stations and chargers in our EV Charging Guide.

Reduce Your Footprint With Environmentally Friendly Lighting

If you’re looking to reduce the footprint of your residence or property, sustainable lighting options are a great place to start. Stay ahead of the curve with energy-efficient practices that will soon become the norm.

Have questions? Our team of lighting experts is always here to help!

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