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In this paper we introduce directed diffusion light, a variant of the well-known protocol directed diffusion (DD), which results in significant savings in terms of exchanged control messages and energy consumption, and improvements in network lifetime. Directed diffusion light defines local rules to generate a sparse logical topology over which DD can be run. This decreases the costs associated to the required DD periodic flooding. Ns-2 based simulation results show that, when 300 sensor nodes are deployed over a squared area of side 200 m directed diffusion light is able to increase the network lifetime four times, to halve the average energy consumption, and to reduce the control overhead to one third the one of DD.