How to Shop for Sustainable Lighting

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Sarah Coffey)

From CFLs and LEDs to dimmers and sustainable materials, there are many different ways to approach lighting from an eco-friendly point of view. Check out this year’s updated guide to bringing green lighting into your home.

Fixtures, switches, and bulbs.

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With locations throughout the East Coast and Midwest and an extensive web shop, this is a good resource for lamps, bulbs, and switches that are designed to save energy. For example, the WattStopper Switch Sensor ($38) automatically shuts off the lights when no one’s in the room.

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This lighting company specializes in dimmers and controls that save energy, and they carry everything from whole-house systems to standalone controls that even renters can use. This Credenza Lamp Dimmer ($11) works with table and floor lamps and allows you to dim a standard, CFL, or LED bulb.

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This online store sells a wide range of dimmable CFLs, LEDs, and rope lights. They also list color temperature and lumen output for each of their bulbs, so you can get a good idea of how much light the bulb will put off, and how warm or cool it will be.

Shop for lighting made with green materials.

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In addition to hardware and switches, they sell high-design fixtures, like this Scaffolding Table Lamp ($299). Designed by Rodger Stevens this floor lamp is constructed of handpicked wood cast-offs from a multitude of sources.

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This modern shop, based in New York, has a good selection of stylish green lighting on the higher end. This Bendant Lamp ($175 each) is made from from energy efficient power coated steel and welcomes the user’s co-design as it is bent into different forms.

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Based in Aquebogue, New York, Lampa’s lighting is compatible with compact fluorescent bulbs and they have a product take-back policy for recycling fixtures. Many of their drum shades and lamp bases are crafted from FSC-certified woods and veneers.

Reuse, recycle, and shop solar.

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This Etsy shop is one of our favorites — it always has a well curated selection of second-hand lighting and accessories. This vintage Pendant Lamp is expensive at $425, but it’s still less than you might pay for a new aluminum pendant, and it’s as beautiful as designs we’ve seen from higher-end modern retailers.

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This catalog shop carries a good selection of lamps made from recycled materials like glass and metal. This Recycled Speakeasy Light sells for $159. Made from amber recycled glass, this vintage-looking pendant lamp seems to recall the roaring twenties.

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Solar-powered panels, lamps, and lanterns have become common enough that you can find them now on major sites like Amazon or at chain stores like Target. This Solar Sun Jar, designed by Tobias Wong, is available at for $30.

Green Lighting Stores on Marketplace
• 10 Sources for Green Tech
• Best Indoor/Outdoor Lighting Stores

Photo: Bendant Lamp at Vivavi