The popular new Compact Fluorescent Lamps may not be a good deal for renters. CFL's will last longer than your lease. If you are planning to move after a year or two CFL’s may not be a good investment. It takes more than a year to pay back the extra cost of these lamps. They are made of glass and, based on my moving experiences; they are likely to get broken if you take them with you.
Stick with the cheapest bulbs that you can buy. Then buy plug in appliance timers to control some of your lights. They help with security and if you follow a regular schedule, you can have them turn on the lights and your stereo instead of using an alarm clock.
If you are forgetful about turning lights off, motion detectors may help. Get the kind that you can take with you to use at your next place.
Most importantly put light only where you need it. Think about lighting the task or work area not the whole room. Lights over tables or on desks are good examples. Give yourself plenty of light where you need it but only where you need it. If you read sitting in your favorite chair, light up that part of the room only.
I recommend night-lights with a built in photo eye, that turn themselves off when there is enough other light in the area. If you use them to avoid tripping hazards without turning on the big lights on you can save money. Take them with you when you move out. Get one for each bathroom and try another one in various other places to see if it helps avoid switching on the big lights. If you light the path to the refrigerator, you can get a midnight snack with out switching on any other lights.
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