Use lighting controls to automatically turn lights on and off as needed, and save energy. Of course you can save energy by turning off lights when they're not needed, but sometimes we forget or don't notice that we've left them on.
Although not the easiest to install in all applications, as they require minor knowledge of electrical wiring and safety, dimmers represent an excellent way to fine tune the amount of light being put out by your bulbs. When dimming bulbs, they use less electricity and their lives may be well extended. While all incandescent bulbs are dimmable, only specialized CFL's and LED's are. Look for indication on the packaging.
Timers are used to control whether power is running to the connected appliance. These may be used to control the times lights come on or turn off. Although timers can represent a convenience by automating the control of lights, they are not for every application. Some good uses include turning holiday lights on and off at set times and turning a light on an off to simulate someone being home in an empty house.
Motion Sensor Controls
Motion sensor controls turn on and off the attached light when any movement is sensed in its area. These lights well suited for outdoor lights such as around the house that only really need to be on when people are active in the area. Examples would include stairs and on lanais. Because they only come on when action is present, there is no possibility of the lights being on longer than is truly necessary, eliminating waist when not in use.
Photosensor controls turn lights on at night and off during the day. They do this by sensing the amount of light in the surrounding environment. These are especially useful for outdoor lights. They eliminate the possibility of accidently leaving lights on during the day when unneeded and the wasted electricity associated.