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How to Go Green With Lighting

Unknown to most people, your home or office lighting significantly affects how you feel. It also affects the environment. However, amidst the globally growing environmental concerns, businesses and households should appreciate new lighting technology to combat global warming. The bulbs you use, fixtures installed at home, power choice, and habits are significant to green living.

Green lighting
Green Lighting. Image credit: Unsplash

Even though this problem isn’t primarily caused by light bulbs alone, smart decisions can reduce the amount of electricity used and the amount of CO2 produced. Below are some tips for going green with your lighting choices.

1.  Choose the Right Bulbs

Common bulb options for sustainable living include:

LED Bulbs

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are environmentally friendly lighting bulbs that should be considered for most installations. These long-lasting bulbs are energy efficient, can reduce your energy consumption by 80% to 90%, and last more than 100,000 hours. Fortunately, you can find LEDs for all your lighting needs. There are kitchen LEDs, security LEDs, and exterior LEDs that provide Low Voltage Landscape Lighting.

CFL Bulbs

Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs are little bulbs that resemble ice cream cones. However, they come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. Economically, they are affordable compared to LEDs but cost more than incandescent bulbs. However, they use a quarter of the energy and last longer than incandescent. Users can recoup the cost of CFLs after using them for 500 hours. This means more money in the pocket in the long run and a saved environment.

2.  Use Recycled Materials

Sustainable lighting goes beyond your choice of bulbs. While using eco-friendly bulbs and light fixtures is key to ensuring green lighting, you should be looking for lighting installations made from natural, reused, or recycled materials.

Recycled materials, such as glass, metal, and plastic, and natural materials, such as cloth, wood, and felt, can be used to design lights. Other interesting options include lamps made from reclaimed materials, such as traffic signal lenses and wine bottles, which are also good options.

3.  Observe Basic Lighting Design Principles

Most basic lighting design principles focus on using materials and observing methods that improve the quality and efficiency of lighting. Below are a few that support green lighting;

  • Make maximum use of daylight – Maximize the presence of sunlight by adding roof lights and other installations that allow sun rays to illuminate the space below.

  • Choose quality over quantity – More light doesn’t mean better lighting. If you have vision problems, more light makes it harder to see and increases energy usage. Instead, find quality products.

  •  Install task lights where possible – Task lights, such as reading or cooking light, eliminates the need for ambient lighting, reducing energy usage.

4.  Buy Green Power

Another good option for greening your lighting is purchasing green power. More electric utility customers currently offer customers a green power option in their bills. Opting for green power will have you paying slightly more every month to support the energy grid coming from renewable sources, such as wind, biogas, and solar.

Endnote

Other tips, such as choosing paint colors strategically, adopting an open floor plan, purchasing from sustainable retailers, and using automated lighting controls, also promote green lighting. All these come in handy in reducing energy usage and reducing carbon footprint, which promotes green living.

Author:

Catherine Park

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