Tips for Eco-Friendly Lighting in Your Home

If you are looking to save some money and cut back on expenses, environment friendly indoor lighting is a simple and cost effective fix. On average, Americans spend roughly $2,000 on energy bills every year and lighting accounts for 10-20 percent of the total bill. Yet for a few extra dollars and following some basics tips, you will be able to see a reduction in your expenses.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy oversee the Energy Star program that you see on labels for forty different categories of product. The program was started to help identify what items are energy-efficient. This is important to remember when shopping for any item that uses energy. If you find one with the Energy Star label, then it was determined that the item can save you money and prevent greenhouse has emissions. Those items that have received the label have been shown to reduce a consumer’s energy bill by up to 30 percent.

One of the more widely known tips to help make your indoor lighting more green centers on CFL’s or compact florescent light bulbs. The bulbs with the funk style, first made their appearance in the 1980’s, have grown in popularity with everyone focusing on the environment. The CFL’s now come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and can be found with a various spectrums of light. Presently, CFL’s can be found just about anywhere for sale, from big box retailers to mom and pop stores.

There are several key differences between a CFL and the normal incandescent light bulb. When it comes to the cost, the CFL normally cost two to three times the price of an incandescent light bulb, which tends to turn people off on trying them out. The higher price is far outweighed by the positives of the CFL’s. They use roughly a quarter of the energy it takes to power up an incandescent light bulb. In addition, the life of a CFL is significantly longer than a standard bulb, with most of them lasting for more than 1,000 hours of usage.

One concern for CFL’s is the proper disposal of them. CFL’s, like other florescent light bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, which is something you should not throw away with the trash. If and when a CFL is ready to be replaced, contact your local waster management agency to find out the best way to recycle your bulb.

A new bulb that is starting to hit the market is the LED or light emitting diode. With the revolutionary technology, these bulbs are exceptionally energy efficient as they reduce energy consumption by 75 to 80 percent. And if you though the CFL lasted a long time, LED bulbs have a life of 100,000 hours of usage. Despite this, the bulb has two things going against it. Currently the LED bulb is normally sold as part of a light and is not able to be replaced. Cost is another point of contention with the LED light bulb, something that should decrease when they are created on a larger scale.

Another tip to help make your indoor lighting more green is to look for lamps made out of natural, recycled, or reused materials. Technology and creativity have merged together to bring new looks to lighting, along with functionality. Lighting fixtures made out of recycled glass and metal are beginning to come down in cost as more consumers flock to them. Reused materials, like wine bottles, have shown how to reuse every day items and make them functional again.

One of the most underused sources of light is sunlight. You should make the most of the Sun and the free light it gives off. Sometimes opening a curtain or blind will offer plenty of light for the majority of the day. A new trend in recent years has been the use of solar tubes. These tubes store light from the Sun and channel the energy into a room, like a kitchen or bathroom, where there may not be any exterior windows.

We are starting to see companies’ offer low voltage lighting, which will product the same quantity of light but use less energy in the process. Simply put, a lamp with 50 watts of voltage could produce enough light to compare it with a lamp that has 125 watts of power. This would result in less energy consumption for the consumer.

Remember all those times your parents told you to go back in the room and turn the light off? Well, they were not saying that just to hear themselves speak. Even with efficient lighting, you will still consumer extra energy if the lights are left on and no one is in the room. Turn the lights off when you walk out of the room for any extended period of time longer than 15 minutes. Teach your children while they are young and you will be able to install positive behaviors in them. If the children have left the nest or you live alone, you can always use a motion sensor or time switch on the lamps to help you reduce your energy consumption.

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