Just change your dang light bulbs already

If efficient, low-energy lighting were installed all around the world, global energy costs could be cut by nearly a tenth, says the International Energy Agency. The technology is widely available, would curb light pollution, and, according to a new IEA report, could keep up to 16 billion tons of carbon out of the atmosphere over the next quarter century. Today, artificial lighting accounts for nearly 20 percent of the world’s electricity consumption, and “[w]ithout rapid action, the amount of energy used for lighting will be 80 percent higher in 2030,” says IEA Executive Director Claude Mandil. We’re sure you can guess who could make the biggest impact: The average American home uses 10 times the artificial light of the average Chinese home, and 30 times that of the average Indian home. The executive director of Greenpeace U.K. is urging governments to mandate efficient lighting in building codes. What a bright idea!