Lighting technology is evolving to become more energy efficient, but what does this mean for our homes and how can we match the greener technologies with better habits? Here’s a quick checklist to get the most out of green lighting:
- Can you install dimmers to conserve energy and lengthen the life of bulbs?
- Consider changing multiple light fixtures to separate switches, allowing you to control the just lighting you need (rather than having multiple lights on in an area).
- Light sensors can help in areas where people often forget to turn off the lights again, such as hallways and foyers.
- Timers are another good energy saving idea – especially if you can’t kick the habit of keeping the lights on while you’re out to make the house seem occupied.
- Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs became popular alternatives as they use much less energy, but they also contain mercury, which makes them a headache to dispose of safely (and potentially dangerous).
- LED lighting is initially more costly to buy, however due to its life span and low energy consumption, an LED bulb will pay for its self within 12 months and can last over 50,000 hours.
- LEDs also don’t produce very much heat and so are good for encouraging plant growth.
- Unplug chargers – especially ones with lights. 95% of energy is wasted when you leave things like mobile phone chargers into the sockets, and lights on your plugged in appliances only makes things worse.
- Attach lights to a power strip and turn off the whole switch when not in use, or get your hands on a “smart” power strip that knows when the devise is off.
- How green is your energy supplier? Shop around and you can get some good deals (although they are often a littler more expensive than regular providers).
- Daylighting is the practice of opening window coverings for effective internal lighting – make a habit of going around your home in the morning and opening all the blinds and curtains.