Green Home Ideas – Energy Efficient Lighting, what a bright idea

CFL's Use Less Energy

CFL's Use Less Energy

Author: Paige Green

Setting up a good green home starts with energy efficiency. Traditional incandescent light globes lose almost 90 per cent of their energy in generating heat – only 10 per cent of the electricity used is actually going into lighting your room. And because of their various filaments and parts, incandescent bulbs generally have a much shorter life span than their more energy efficient counter parts.

Installing energy efficient globes is one of the most cost effective and easiest options available for a good green home. Some companies had even traditionally given out energy and water saving “packs” for people to try out. Nowadays, these energy saving globes are available everywhere – so the question becomes, which light fitting is right for you?

Eco Home Tip # 36 – The lowdown on CFL – Compact Fluorescent (CFLs) are the most common energy saving fitting. CFLs use just about 20 percent of the energy required for the same amount of light from an incandescent globe and last 10 times as as long. All in all, a CFL will help reduce the cost of lighting your home by as much as 60 %.

Eco Home Tip # 37 – Keep your CFLs close, if shaded – a British study last year revealed that CFLs produced a small amount of UV radiation when used unshaded and in close proximity. Open globes were of note, which “encapsulated” globes were considered safe. So if you’re using a work lamp with a CFL, keep it shaded of opt for an encapsulated globe instead.

Eco Home Tip # 38 – Recycling your CFLs – The typical CFL contains a minute 4 mg of mercury sealed in its glass tubing. Some manufacturers have lowered its CFL mercury content to as little as 1 – 2.5 mg. Handle your CFLs with care and take advantage of recycling programs for CFLs to keep mercury from ending up in landfill.

Eco Home Tip # 39 – Leading by example with LEDs – Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are another popular energy efficient lighting option, especially to replace halogen globes and downlights in your home. The small cluster of diodes can be arranged in a number of configurations and sizes to suit your home. LEDs have been traditionally found in electronics including clocks, and have a variety of uses in terms of producing a broad spectrum of bright coloured light. LEDs are the perfect substitute to the more heat intensive halogen globes and last for over 50,000 – 60,000 hours and uses 70 percent less energy than standard halogen globes. LEDs are also mercury free.

Lighting a home can account for as much as 20 percent of a home’s energy use. Energy saving lights are simply a bright idea for your green home.

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