Decorate with pale colors on walls, ceilings and floors. Soft tones reflect more light, so you can use lower wattage bulbs and delay turning on lights until later in the day. Using high-gloss paint can help as well.
If you are installing new shop lights or positioning a workbench in your shop, a simple test can help you find the position for best illumination. Hold a pencil or dowel vertically, then check for shadows. Reposition your set-up to reduce shadows as needed. If you have strong shadows on one or more sides, consider buying more lights.
Brightening up your workplace will make work easier and cut down on mistakes and mishaps. To free your benchwork of glare and shadows use two 48-in. tubes in a utility fluorescent fixture, centered over the front edge of your workbench, 48 in. above the work area. For extra light to see details, consider portable halogen worklights. Tripods for these lights makes it easy to put light where you need it. Also consider clamping lamps with a 50-watt reflector bulb near task areas like vises and drill presses.
Turn off the lights in any room you're not using, or consider installing timers, photo cells, or occupancy sensors to reduce the amount of time your lights are on.
Consider three-way lamps; they make it easier to keep lighting levels low when brighter light is not necessary.
Consider using 4-watt mini-fluorescent or electro-luminescent night lights. Both lights are much more efficient than their incandescent counterparts. Also, the luminescent lights are cool to the touch.
If you have torchiere fixtures with halogen lamps, consider replacing them with compact fluorescent torchieres. Compact fluorescent torchieres use 60% to 80% less energy and can produce more light (lumens) than the halogen torchieres.
These compact fluorescent bulbs are four times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and provide the same lighting.
Make a difference by making a small change. Pelacing just the top 3 most used incandescent light bulbs in your home with Energy Star labeled compact flourescent lights can cut your annual lighting bill by a third. Although they may cost more to purchase, thay can save enough energy to pay for themselves twice.
Believe it or not, the impact of dirty, dusty, insect-laden globes, diffusers, reflectors, or shades on your fixtures' light production and efficiency is enormous. So, if you're aiming for efficiency, get up there and clean them off!