Green Up Your Home With Lighting

In easy and super-effective way to “green up” your home is with lighting. Because lighting accounts for a big chunk of US electricity usage – up to 34% – it’s a great place to focus when you’re looking for a place to start reducing your environmental impact, and making changes is relatively simple and cost effective.

Beyond turning off the lights when you leave a room, the first and easiest option that almost everyone can do is to simply change out any incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent (CFL). The genius of this simple act is that over its lifetime, a CFL will save you $30 bucks. This makes a big impact on the environment and your pocketbook, especially when you consider how many bulbs you have burning in your house. It’s important to note that CFLs should be disposed of properly because of the small amount of mercury they contain, and many retail locations that sell these bulbs recycle them as well.

If members of your family can’t remember to turn off the light when leaving a room, install motion sensors that turn on lights when someone enters a room, then automatically shut off a short time later. These sensors are best for little-used rooms like hallways, stairwells, the basement or a laundry room, so that the lights don’t keep burning unknowingly for long periods of time.

Another green lighting option is installing a dimmer switch, which installs the same way as a traditional toggle. A dimmer is an excellent way to lenghten the life of your bulbs while saving enegy because for each 10% you dim your light, you save 10% in energy costs.

You can change out almost any lighting fixture to one that is Energy Star®-rated, and you’ll decrease electricity usage of that fixture by 25%. Energy savings increases with certain indoor models with built-in dimming options, and some outdoor fixtures that offer automatic daylight shut-off and motion-detectors. Plus, manufacturers offer 2-year warranties on Energy Star® fixtures versus the industry standard of 1-year.

It’s easy to make positive environmental changes with lighting. Start small, and make your changes gradually, say when a light bulb burns out, or you are shopping for a lighting fixture, or you need a new switch. For more information about making green lighting choices, visit any of the 8 area Metro Lighting locations, or call (314) 963.7722 and ask for Nick.

Information for this article was provided by the following: Planet Green, Lutron & Energy Star®.