We have all been hearing about “green lighting” in recent times, and most of us agree that eco-friendly lights and appliances are a great idea. Unfortunately, getting started can be confusing and over-whelming because we are not sure what the best energy efficient choices are, what types of effects our lighting choices have on the interior and exterior look of our home, and where to use certain types of lighting. It does not have to be so confusing if you are equipped with some information and a few good tips about where to start.
Let’s begin with what we are already familiar with. Regular, old-fashioned light bulbs are called incandescent light bulbs. They can produce the exact type and color of light that we are all used to living with and seeing on a daily basis. Incandescent bulbs also create a lot of heat and actually only use about 20% of the energy they consume to produce light. In a home with many rooms and a lot of lighting needs, both indoors and out, it is easy to see how expensive and energy inefficient this can become.
CFLs, or compact florescent lights, are the current answer to many lighting needs. We often think of florescent bulbs as those long tubes that hung from school and office ceilings and produced harsh, flickering light and made a terrible buzzing sound. They also took forever to turn on once the switch was thrown. But, compact florescent bulbs have come a long way in just a few years, and new improvements and better ideas are appearing almost daily.
Those twisty, turny little bulbs can make a big difference in your lighting bills and you no longer have to worry about making sacrifices in the quality of light you want for your home in order to save electricity. The light produced by CFLs now comes in a variety of colors and there are also different bulb sizes and wattages. You also will not be assaulted by flickering or humming like in the old days of florescent bulbs. New technology has also developed bulbs that light up instantly, doing away with the short delay earlier models experienced. The new models all fit standard bulb sockets, no longer requiring adapters, so they can be used in just about any indoor or outdoor lighting fixture that would otherwise hold an incandescent bulb.
While CFLs do cost more to purchase than incandescent bulbs, they also last up to 10 times longer, saving you money in replacing bulbs in the long term, along with lowering energy costs. This is an especially valuable benefit for outdoor lighting, since most outdoor lights stay on for many hours at a time each night and bulbs can burn out rather quickly. There are increasingly fewer outside lighting choices that recommend incandescent bulbs for this reason (incandescent bulbs are also more fragile so they are more likely to break due to temperature changes or any type of slight impact).
CFLs also produce less heat than their counterparts, which can mean lower air conditioning costs in warmer weather. The difference in temperature in a home using compact florescent lighting verses incandescent lighting can actually be considerable.
Home Turned Green is a valuable resource to find more info on energy efficient lighting, as well as other eco-friendly ways to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. Armed with the knowledge and understanding of how CFLs work and the vast improvements that have been made in the quality of light they produce, using common sense in choosing energy saving lighting for your home, both indoors and out, becomes quite easy. Finding the right products to meet your lighting and energy saving needs, while also being aesthetically pleasing, can now be a more enjoyable experience.