Incandescent lighting is quickly going the way of the dodo, and rightly so. Today, there are far more efficient alternatives that put the antiquated designs of their counterparts to shame. Here are some of the most energy efficient types of home lighting.
LED (Light Emitting Diode) Bulbs
These are designed to last tens of thousands of hours, and are the most energy efficient compared to other bulbs. However, if you’re thinking of lighting every room at home with LEDs, be prepared to shell out hundreds of dollars. LED bulbs typically retail for $3 to $20 (or more) depending on the quality and wattage. They also weigh considerably more, so ensure that any sockets can accommodate the extra heft.
CFL (Compact Fluorescent) Bulbs
You probably already have these installed in your home in some capacity — they’re cheap, easily obtainable bulbs that reduce your carbon footprint without sacrificing brightness, much like LED bulbs. Many people refrain from using CFL bulbs as, like all fluorescent lighting, these little guys contain trace amounts of mercury (usually 3 to 5 milligrams). Direct exposure for prolonged periods can cause brain, lung, and even kidney damage. It is recommended that CFL lighting be installed so that home inhabitants never get closer than 30cm to it at any time. If you’re looking to conserve energy without having to shell out hundreds of dollars on LED lighting, these are a viable and safe option so long as you follow the appropriate safety guidelines.
LED Strip Lighting
For those nooks and crannies, this is a highly efficient alternative. On top of this, you’d be hard-pressed to find a lighting setup easier to install (think Lego with screws). A great way to conserve energy is by installing LED strip lighting under handrails and photo luminescent non-slip tape for step edges in stairwells. Another strategy is to paint walls white, which will brighten any room further regardless of the time of day. By combining these techniques and gauging the lighting requirements of spaces at home, LED strip lighting can be very beneficial.
People won’t be stopping to admire your roses at 9pm, so don’t fret over turning your yard and exterior into a glimmering fairy-tale wonderland unless if you fancy a higher energy bill. This is where solar lighting comes into play. Minimalistic path lighting utilizing solar-powered garden lamps is the best way to go. Depending on sun exposure, solar-powered outdoor sconces might also be applicable. A CFL or LED bulb here and there won’t hurt, but it makes sense to be as minimalistic as possible in regards to exterior lighting that feeds off the electric grid.
Lighting your home in an energy efficient manner has never been easier or more affordable. Be sure to plan your lighting setup accordingly, as some spaces might not need as powerful or expensive of bulbs as others. With the right strategy, you can easily reduce your carbon footprint and expenditures.