Energy efficient lighting in dwellings
Installing energy efficient lighting is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways householders can minimise their energy use and save on energy bills.
New houses, townhouses and units (class 1 and 2 buildings) must have energy efficient globes installed to a minimum of 80% of the total fixed light fittings, including balconies, decks and attached garages.
Alternatively, new houses, townhouses and units can adopt the minimum lighting levels (expressed as number of Watts per square metre of floor area) allowed under the energy efficient lighting section of the National Construction Code.
For an existing house, townhouse or unit undergoing an alteration or extension, the energy efficient lighting requirement applies to the area covered by the new building work.
Energy efficient lights
Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), light emitting diodes (LEDs) and fluorescent tubes are the most common energy efficient lights. These lights use significantly less energy than traditional globes, produce less heat into a room, and have a longer life.
Replacing traditional incandescent globes or halogen downlights with more energy efficient lighting can substantially reduce running costs over the life of the globe.
While halogen downlights are sometimes described as 'low voltage' this does not mean halogen elements are efficient in producing light. In addition to their higher energy use, often 4 or more halogen downlights are used per room where previously only 1 light globe would have been installed.
Using energy efficient lighting does not replace the need for smart design. New dwellings should be designed to promote natural daylight in high-use areas to minimise the need for artificial lighting through the day.
- Learn more about Energy efficient lighting in houses, townhouses and units (PDF, 243KB).
- Read about lighting design and energy efficient lights on the Australian Government's Your Home website.
- Learn more about lighting energy ratings on the Energy Rating website.
- Last reviewed: 28 Oct 2022
- Last updated: 16 Sep 2020