3 Ways To Put Excess Light To Bed

Energy Efficiency >

Adopting energy-efficient practices doesn’t require a lifestyle overhaul. Start small. Tackle bedroom lighting first with minimal modifications that will equal big energy savings. Embrace energy efficiency by first understanding industry lighting terms. The incandescent light bulb – the bulb of the masses – uses wire to conduct electricity that produces light. The problem with this cost-effective and timeless illuminator comes from the amount of heat it produces.

“Before the realization of how mankind’s electrical activity impacts the planet, the Edison-invented bulb was the cheap and easy way to create light,” says Steve Thomas, a spokeperson for Habitat For Humanity International, who had hosted the former PBS home renovation series This Old House for 14 years. With today’s buildings accounting for nearly 50 percent of energy used, looking for other options like compact florescent lights or light-emitting diodes is more a necessity than a feel-good move. “Energy saving is all about scale. Five people saving energy in one home doesn’t make a difference – but five million does,”  Thomas says. Here’s how to become one of the 5 million.

Swap bulbs

“For places that light quality is not critical, like the closet or near the door of the bedroom, switch to CFL or LED bulbs,” Thomas says. In addition to less energy output, using CFL and LED bulbs equals a decrease in electric bills and less frequent trips to the store for replacement bulbs. “CFL bulbs light a space with less wattage, at a low cost, are dimmable and have good color quality. LED bulbs are slightly more expensive but last longer, use even less energy and have better quality light,” says Lori Dennis, a L.A, Calif.-based celebrity interior designer and a host of HGTV’s the Real Designing Woman in 2013.

When swapping out old for new, know how to read the packaging. Understanding which wattage goes with different types of lighting fixtures can be confusing. When replacing a 60-watt incandescent bulb, look for descriptions like 60-Watt Replacement or Soft White 60 on the CFL or LED bulb package. Any bulb with an Energy Star label has the backing of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Use a dimmeer

Adjust light needs by activity. For bedside reading, increase the brightness; for less eye intensive activities, lower the intensity. “The lower the light output, the less energy used. Simply put, dimmers save energy,” Dennis says.

Find the flame

“Beeswax candles with organic cotton wicks create instant mood lighting while being eco-friendly,” Dennis says. Set the stage for relaxation after a long day by stepping back in time with this ageless light source.

Tags: lighting, save energy, save money