Lighting 101

Today’s energy-efficient lighting comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and wattages for virtually every business and household use.

Take a look at the lighting products below, followed by suggested uses and energy-saving tips, and learn how you can light up for less — without sacrificing style, comfort or personal safety.

Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)

The most common type of energy-efficient light bulb, CFLs can fit into just about any fixture and serve most of your lighting needs — including those designed for dimming and three-way lighting.

Screw-in CFLs fit most standard light sockets while pin-based CFLs plug into specially-designed fixtures. Plus, CFLs use 75% less energy and can last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Many ENERGY STAR®-qualified CFLs now turn on instantly as well, so there’s no waiting for a bulb to warm up.

Light Emitting Diode (LED)

An LED is a semi-conductor device that emits visible light when conducting current. Efficient, durable and long-lasting, LEDs have made the leap from industrial to household use — saving energy and money on accent, landscape and holiday lighting.


Photocells use a sensor to automatically turn a light off when enough daylight is detected, and turns the fixture on when it becomes dark. Motion detection and sound activation sensors are also available in certain styles.

Solar Cell System (or Photovoltaic Cell System)

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity to generate solar power. Consider combining solar cells with energy-efficient lighting products like LEDs and CFLs for low- or no-cost lighting options that are ideal for landscaping or other outdoor uses.

More Information

If you’d like more energy-saving information, contact SDG&E at, or call 1-800-644-6133.