Plan energy efficient lighting

Last updated: 6 September 2022

Whether you are renovating or building new, take some time to plan lighting that works for you, and that is energy efficient. When planning your lighting design you should consider:

  • the look, function and purpose of the room
  • how you want to illuminate objects and features
  • the energy efficiency of the lighting products you choose
  • how to minimise the use of downlights.

Select your light fittings

Many lighting options can suit a range of purposes. Banks of downlights can over-illuminate rooms and increase your energy costs. Below are a few of the most common lighting alternatives, together with the most energy efficient option for each of them.


  • Hang from a central wire or chain
  • Can provide a soft, indirect light for rooms

Pendant lights can work well anywhere you want to create a cosy space, such as a bedroom, lounge room or an entry hallway.


  • Typically fixed to a wall
  • Direct light upward, and sometimes downward as well

Sconce lights are most commonly used in hallways and passages, and can also be used to highlight particular design features in your home.

Strip LED

  • Highlight architectural features
  • Provide light for hard-to-reach areas

Strip LEDs can be be placed under kitchen cupboards to light the bench underneath or as highlights in bathroom areas.

Task or Spot

  • Provide light directly where you need it, such as kitchen bench tops or work areas
  • LED task lights are the most efficient choice

Combine task lighting with soft pendant, strip or sconce lighting to achieve a contemporary lighting design.


  • Spotlights are placed on a track to allow flexibility, so you can easily change the position of the lights
  • LED track lights are the most efficient choice

Traditionally found in art galleries, it's now common to use track lighting in hallways or along walls to highlight artworks in the home.