Montag, 6. Oktober 2008

Twilight Time: 3 Ways to Green Autumn Lighting Needs

By Chris Baskind of Lighter Footstep

No, it's not your imagination. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are already getting shorter -- by almost two minutes each day, depending on your latitude.
It all adds up. This time next month, most commuters will be returning home by twilight. Summer activities will be at an end, and we'll all be spending more time indoors.
Lighting typically represents about 25% of a home's overall energy use. A 1997 study found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that homes use 50% more power for lighting in the darker months than the rest of the year. This means that making adjustments now can payoff both in lower annual energy bills and in a reduced environmental footprint for your household.
Ready to lighten your autumn lighting needs? Here are three ideas to get you started:

Convert your fixtures to CFLs
We've written extensively about Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) in the past, and there's no shortage of documentation showing their energy saving value. If you've not already re-lamped your fixtures, a full complement of CFLs could easily reduce your lighting power needs by 60%. A couple of things to keep in mind: CFLs work differently than their incandescent counterparts, so do your homework before choosing CFL bulbs appropriate for your household. And since CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, they shouldn't be tossed out with the regular trash. Learn how to properly dispose of your old CFLs before it's time to retire your first expended bulb.

Install motion detector switches wherever practical
Motion detectors are widely used to regulate outdoor security lighting. But they're also useful indoors. Hall and bedroom fixtures, for instance, lend themselves well to on-demand use. Walk into a dark room -- the lights turn on, without fumbling for the switch. More importantly, they turn off when you leave. Inexpensive motion detector switches are available at most hardware stores and home centers. They're both productive energy managers and a real convenience item.

Be aware of your energy habits
Your parent were right: turn off that light when you're done with it. Sitting down to watch TV? Take a moment to walk around and switch-off the lights you don't need. It's possible to trim 10-15% of your lighting needs just by being more conscious of bulbs burning in storage areas and unoccupied rooms. It only takes a second to save.
(End of Article)

More resources:

CFLs: What About Mercury? by Joyanna Laughlin
Energy-Saving Light Bulbs Q&A by Joyanna Laughlin

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Photo by TrekEarth: Rainy Sunday by Dan Bachmann

1 Kommentar:

PlanetThoughts hat gesagt…

One day, we will all use LED bulbs - but just enough to do homework at night, etc.