Green Lighting - Go Green with Energy Efficient Lighting Solutions
The more light you let into your home, the more it opens up the space; the brighter the room, the bigger and more welcoming it feels. Fortunately, a commitment to energy conservation need not mean sacrificing the lighting you want and need for both aesthetic and practical purposes.
Maximize Natural Light Sources
1) Set up work stations close to windows and skylights, particularly the kitchen, office and kids' rooms.
2) Choose lighter colors that reflect light rather than absorb it as dark colors do, particularly for walls, floors, curtains, cabinets and countertops.
3) Install skylights in dark rooms that have too few windows so that you need not turn lights on during daylight hours.
4) To avoid losing light from a window positioned between two dark cabinets, in the kitchen, for example, paint them a lighter color to reflect more light into the room.
Invest in CFL's and LED's
Though more expensive than incandescent bulbs, CFL's (compact fluorescent lights) and LED's (light emitting diodes) will pay for themselves many times over. They not only last longer, but generate less heat so you'll save a little on cooling costs too.
CFL's use one-quarter the energy of incandescents and last up to 10,000 hours. LED's are even more efficient, reducing energy consumption 80 to 90 percent!
Look for Recycled Lamps and Light Fixtures
When you're in the market for new lamps and light fixtures, check out your recycled options. Beyond the eco-friendly aspect of recycled metal, glass and plastic, they can be quite original too, from wine bottle lamps to plastic utensil chandeliers.
Turn Off Lights When Not in Use
Though this tip is an obvious one, the details are a little fuzzy. If you're going to be out of a room, doesn't it use more electricity to turn the lights off then back on again just a few moments later? Here's the breakdown. If you're talking about regular incandescent bulbs, turn them off even if you're only going to be out of the room for a few seconds. For CFL's, make that three minutes. Probably the only practical time to leave the lights on when you leave a room is if they're traditional florescents, like those in kitchens and offices. If you're going to be back within 15 minutes, leave them on.