Eco-Friendly Interior Lighting
Want to go green with your lighting options? Consider the following three factors.
The first rule of thumb is to change your incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs or light-emitting diode (LED) installations. When purchasing a CFL, be aware that many of them have a “warm-up” time, meaning they do not achieve 100-percent brightness as soon as they are switched on; however, the technology continues to improve and several manufacturers now offer “instant-on” bulbs. They’re are also available in a variety of shades of light including “soft” or “warm.”
LED lights, tough also still evolving, can offer up to more than a 6-to-1 ration decrease in energy use compared to a halogen bulb. “LEDs contain no mercury and consume a fraction of the energy used compared with CFLs or standard bulbs,” says Jonathan Eppstein of Redbird Industries. “They are also much lower weight to ship and, because of their physical toughness, require no bulky, special protective packaging, thus reducing the carbon footprint even more.”
You can reduce your energy usage by creating an efficient lighting design, and one way to do that is through the use of dimmers. Eppstein recommends looking into intelligent dimmers and on/off switches that turn lights off or dim them when rooms are empty. Another notable product is door contacts, which turn lights on and off when doors open and close.
The final way you can save energy with lighting is by making sure the lights are off when they’re not needed. “Simply making certain that lights are turned off when rooms are empty can save significant amounts of energy in the average dwelling,” Eppstein says.
With these three ways to decrease your lighting energy usage in mind, you have the green light to begin your savings—both monetarily and environmentally.
Going green doesn’t mean your lighting can’t be fun, eco-friendly and functional. Check out these design tips from local professionals.
- “Lighting can be “fun”ctional. It can function as well as a piece of art for the home or office. Don’t take it too seriously. Work with a professional to help you achieve your goals, and don’t be afraid to say you don’t like something. ‘No’ is as good as ‘yes’ when getting across your taste and style.” —Michael Fortson, Illuminations
- “Make sure you understand what you are buying and whether it is suitable for your application. If you have questions, ask a sales representative. If you are redoing a large portion of lighting or are switching out fixtures to newer technologies, go see a professional. With so many options out there and so many new technologies that are not “street tested” you want to make sure you are going with a quality product that the manufacturer will stand behind.” —Doug Root, Atlanta Light Bulbs
- “Unless you have a strong knowledge of and experience with lighting, it’s always better to have a professional step in, especially when dealing with dimmers and switches.” —Carl Strandberg, Sunbelt Technology