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Why be energy efficient?

High-efficiency LED.

High-efficiency LED fitting (EEX).

Lighting can account for up to 40% of energy costs in commercial buildings and up to 7% of industrial energy use.1 There are many low-cost and no-cost measures that can be implemented to reduce these costs without adversely affecting working conditions.

Lighting energy savings of 75–90% can be achieved using daylighting and task lighting strategies and using the most efficient equipment.2 It is also a very visible way to demonstrate to staff that energy efficiency is a business priority and to encourage them to take an active role in reducing energy costs.


A good energy efficient lighting strategy relies on an integrated approach that includes the following elements:

  • Reduce demand for artificial lighting

    There are several highly effective strategies to maximise the amount of natural lighting, referred to as ‘daylighting’ a building. Techniques...
  • Optimise the use of existing lighting systems

    Many lighting efficiency opportunities can be easily implemented with little or no capital or the need to redesign a lighting...
  • Upgrade lighting systems

    There are excellent opportunities for energy saving whenever upgrades or refurbishments are planned.[1. Sustainability Victoria (2009) Energy Efficiency Best Practice...
See all opportunities in Lighting

Key resources

  • Energy Efficient Lighting Technology Report 2014 (Opens in a new window)

    This technology report outlines energy saving solutions to increase the efficiency of common types of lighting. Annual energy savings, capital costs and payback periods have been modelled and examples provided.

    The report will help users understand the potential for energy efficient lighting at their site and provides guidance for making the most cost-effective energy efficient technology upgrades. Generic technical specifications are provided which will allow users to confidently approach lighting suppliers and contractors.

  • Energy Efficient Lighting Technology Report - technical details 2014 (Opens in a new window)

    This report is for suppliers, installers, plant operators, site engineers, and facilities seeking more detailed technical information about lighting upgrade options. The document contains detailed information for each lighting option including a technical specification, to allow for correct requests to lighting suppliers.

    The technical specifications are designed to be used in conjunction with the main document – Energy Efficient Lighting Technology Report.

  • Calculight - the energy efficient lighting upgrade calculator 2014
    • NSW Office of Environment & Heritage
    • Website

    This tool can help to identify appropriate upgrade options and compare them by cost, energy savings and payback period. Once the most cost-effective solution is identified, generic technical specifications can be used to confidently approach lighting suppliers and contractors.

  • Energy Saver Training: Lighting 2014
    • NSW Department of Envrionment & Heritage
    • Website

    Lighting systems can be responsible for up to 50 per cent of a business’s energy use. The Energy Saver program’s training is designed to help understand current lighting technologies, investigate best-practice lighting solutions and apply them to reduce site’s energy use and cost.

  • Lighting Technology Overview: Bright ideas for efficient illumination 2011 (Opens in a new window)
    • UK Carbon Trust

    This resource is one of the many technology overviews published by the UK Carbon Trust. It introduces the main energy-saving opportunities for lighting and demonstrates how simple actions can save energy, cut costs, improve conditions and increase profit margins.


  • Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guide: Lighting 2009 (Opens in a new window)

    This document is a step-by-step guide to improving energy efficiency in lighting systems and achieving best practice. By following this guide, you will be able to determine what changes can be made to reduce operating costs and improve the performance of equipment.

  • Lighting Fact Sheet 2010
    • Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland

    This fact sheet from Queensland’s ecoBiz program provides some tips to improve lighting systems in both office and industrial settings.

  • Lighting efficiency in Queensland foundries - Benefits of correct lighting 2010 (Opens in a new window)

    This guide produced by the Queensland Government discusses options to reduce the amount of energy consumed by lighting in an industrial setting. Strategies discussed include installing energy efficient lighting and control technology, making the most of natural lighting and reducing lighting to the minimum required by Australian Standards.

  • AS/NZS 1680.2 Interior and workplace lighting 2008
    • Standards Australia

    The 1680.2 series of standards sets out recommendations for lighting and applications in various locations and activities, including circulation spaces and other general areas, office and screen-based tasks, educational and training facilities, industrial tasks and processes, hospital and medical tasks, and safe movement.

    Note, payment is required to access these publications.

Footnotes ~ Show 2 footnotes

  1. Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (2010) ecoBiz Queensland – Lighting Fact Sheet (Opens in new window) PDF 188.6 KB
  2. Levine, M., D. Ürge-Vorsatz, K. Blok, L. Geng, D. Harvey, S. Lang, G. Levermore, A. Mongameli Mehlwana, S. Mirasgedis, A. Novikova, J. Rilling, H. Yoshino, 2007: Residential and commercial buildings. In Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. (Opens in new window) PDF 1.14 MB