Frequently Asked Questions

How much electricity is used for lighting in the United States?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that in 2016, about 279 billion kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity were used for lighting by the residential sector and the commercial sector in the United States. This was about 10% of the total electricity consumed by both of these sectors and about 7% of total U.S. electricity consumption.

Residential lighting consumption was about 129 billion kWh or about 10% of total residential sector electricity consumption in 2016.

The commercial sector, which includes commercial and institutional buildings, and public street and highway lighting, consumed about 150 billion kWh for lighting, equal to about 11% of total commercial sector electricity consumption in 2016. EIA does not have an estimate specifically for public street and highway lighting.

In 2010, 52 billion kWh were consumed for lighting in manufacturing facilities, which was equal to about 1.3% of total U.S. electricity consumption in 2010.1

1 This is the most recent data available at the time that this FAQ was updated.

Learn more:
EIA model-based estimates and projections for energy use in the residential and commercial sectors in Table 4 and Table 5 of the Annual Energy Outlook (Reference case)
Trends in Lighting in Commercial Buildings
American households use a variety of lightbulbs as CFL and LED adoption increases
Energy Explained: Use of Electricity
U.S. Department of Energy market studies on lighting

Last updated: May 23, 2017

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