With electricity prices rising as much as they have been for the last five years, it is important that you outfit your homes with as many energy-saving features as possible. One way to do this is with Energy Star-qualified lighting packages.

According to the EPA, Energy Star lighting offers bright illumination but uses at least two-thirds less energy than standard lighting, generates 70 percent less heat, and lasts up to 10 times longer. Home buyers can simply change their standard light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs to achieve some savings, but builders can do their part as well.

"To save the most energy and money, replace your highest-use fixtures or the light bulbs in them with energy-efficient models," EPA advises on its Energy Star Web site. "The five highest-use fixtures in a home are typically the kitchen ceiling light, the living room table and floor lamps, bathroom vanity, and outdoor porch or post lamp."

Sea Gull Lighting in Riverside, N.J., says there are many reasons you should be putting this type of lighting in your homes. The company says that "many local, state, and federal government agencies have begun to develop and implement mandatory regulations designed to greatly reduce energy consumption and foster higher levels of conservation." And because customer demand for these types of fixtures is increasing, it makes sense (and cents).

"The need to conserve energy is a reality, whether you live in [state]-mandated energy-efficient areas or are just concerned with growing gas and electric bills," says Jeff Dross, product manager for Kichler Lighting in Cleveland. Energy costs, he says, are changing the way people shop for lighting. Which means it should change the way you provide it.

CLEAN AND SHARP: The clean-lined Metropolis fixture can be installed flush-mounted to the ceiling or as a pendant light over a foyer or a hallway. Measuring 14 inches high and 8 ½ inches in diameter, the light is finished in brushed nickel and comes with a frosted-white glass shade. Sea Gull Lighting. 856-764-0500. www.seagulllighting.com.


MINI LIGHT: Mini pendants are the latest introduction to the manufacturer's Energy Star kitchen line. This product features a swirl alabaster–style glass shade with a brushed nickel holder. Measuring 9 ½ inches wide and 6 inches high, it uses a 13-watt, four-pin spiral compact fluorescent lamp. Thomas Lighting. 502-420-9600. www.thomaslighting.com

DIMMER DOWN: The manufacturer says the Energy Star–qualified P83-26ICATDM is the industry's first dimmable compact fluorescent recessed fixture. The unit uses a standard 26-watt compact fluorescent triple-tube and works with a standard incandescent dimmer. Progress Lighting. 864-678-1000. www.progresslighting.com.

WATER SPOT: These Energy Star–compliant 10641 OZ bath lights last six to 10 times longer than conventional fixtures, the manufacturer says. The fixtures measure 5 ½ inches wide and 9 ½ inches high and have marble glass shades. Shown here in an Olde Bronze finish, they are UL-listed for damp locations. Kichler Lighting. 866-558-5706. www.kichler.com.