What is environmentally friendly lighting?
Every year the world is beating his own records of temperature raising. This will not be good in the near future for all of us, nature and everything else that lives on our planet.
Global warming and climate change is primarily caused by the release of carbon emissions from energy consumption. Unfortunately most of the words electric plants are still using fuel from fossils like oil, natural gas or coal.
Since the late 19th century, global warming has increased by 0.85 degrees Celsius. Bigger and bigger power demand is not helping here. Everything today is working on power, without it there will be no TV, internet, mobile phones, traffic lights and so on.
But, we can be heroes in our home and help to decrease power consumption from fossil fuels. Today we can get most of our energy needs from the natural power sources. Examples are wind, sun and water. Let’s invite them to our houses and say hello to eco-friendly power and eco-friendly powered lighting!
Can I be “green”?
Everyone can do it. There are so many options to start being eco and green. With a little help and a few small changes, you can start being greener today!
You can say that lighting is one of the most critical qualities of an indoor space, and you are absolutely right! Without lighting, our days would pretty much end at sundown and this isn’t very productive in the winter months where sundown is as early as 4pm!
With our lights being on every night at home (and sometimes in the day too) and one of the most important aspects of our building design, is there a way we can make all this lighting “green”?
Nowadays, green power is not only a billboard sign. It is starting to be something great. It can change the world, even if it’s a little step for each homeowner to a greener and brighter future.
More and more electric utilities offer customers a green power option on their bill. For a few more pounds a month you can support renewable energy sources: solar, biogas or wind.
When deciding between fossil fuels or renewable, greener sources, the choice should be a no-brainer. If you can afford the greener option then it’s the right choice to make. In some cases, you can even get cheaper greener energy as we have.
Change your bulbs – the eco friendly lighting options
This is definitely the easiest way to start making your household or workplace more green.
It’s also the fastest.
When your bulbs or lighting need replacing, then pick a greener option. Even if you choose a green bulb instead of a conventional bulb, which I believe may even be banned now?
There are three main types of eco friendly light bulbs in the market: halogen incandescent, LED and CFL.
From these three the LEDs and CFLs are those which we can grouply name as energy efficient and eco-friendly lighting.
However, LEDs are the best choice, being non toxic. Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and even the newer more ‘eco-friendly’ do too.
LED or CFL bulbs use less energy to run compared to incandescent bulbs. The efficiency range that LEDs and CFLs are better than incandescent lights is between 25% and 80%.
What are the benefits of CFL bulbs?
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) are a more eco-friendly alternative to traditional fluorescent lighting, as they use less energy, but they still contain a small amount of mercury.
They will save some money. They usually last around 10,000 hours and waste less energy as heat compared to conventional bulbs. They are more sustainable than traditional incandescent bulbs and sometimes cheaper to buy.
These bulbs provide better lighting, have interesting design and can fit everywhere: smaller lamps or bigger lamps. If LED bulbs are still too expensive for you, but you want to step on the green way of lighting, you definitely should buy this one to light up your home with a good, warm and cheaper energy consumer. Your wallet will thank you later, but if you can afford it, then LED is the way to go.
Multiple options when it comes to LED lighting
Today we have many options of lighting to choose from. Several of them are nice looking, others are eco friendly, energy efficient or some of them are cheaper or more expensive.
So, how do we choose the best one to light up our place?
It’s easy nowadays to make the right lighting choice and that’s LED lights in almost every circumstance.
LED lights use less energy, waste less energy and contain no harmful toxins when they need to be disposed of.
Less energy consuming LED bulbs with more natural light is the best choice in whichever room you are in. Position furniture to make the most of the natural light in the day, so you can save energy with rarely switching on artificial light and then choose LED lighting such as bulbs, downlights or LED panels for when you do need to switch the lights on.
There are so many options with LED lights now available for your gardens too or even as strips for staircases and in all sorts of other amazing designs.
It’s not only LED bulbs can be installed in our homes. In fact, using LED lighting is way more interesting and diverse than just bulbs. Strips are probably one of the most exciting ways to use LED lights. They can be installed in all sorts of different places from alcoves, under cupboards, on stairs and more.
LED it out – friendly lighting
The most efficient and the most promising in the future seems to be LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). They don’t heat like incandescent bulbs and they last much longer than any other known environment friendly lights.
These ones are one of the most expensive fixtures upfront to your lighting remodelling, but they are actually cost-effective as they have longevity. Our LED lighting in our home is supposed to last a lifetime – the electrician predicts we’ll never have to change them as they’ll never run out!
The LEDs are not only environmentally friendly but also can have nice design and functions like Hue LEDs. These are clever lights that connect to smartphone apps and can change to all sorts of different colours instantly!
Even our downlights in our home can switch colour from warm white to cool white with the flick of a small switch on every downlight, concealed under the casing. Now we don’t need to change bulbs to change the lighting colour and ambiance in our living room!
LED lighting – the saviour of nature?
They are really saviours of nature and our money. The LED in your lamp is so long-life (about 30,000 – 50,000 hours) that its lifespan can often surpass the lifespan of your lamp.
As mentioned above, our new downlights in our home should outlive us!
This reduces the need of replacing light bulbs every few months which reduces landfill waste and therefore harm to the environment. As mentioned above, LEDs do not leach harmful chemicals in the environment. Unlike the typical fluorescent lamps where inside is 4 to 5 milligrams of mercury, LEDs do not have any chemical which can be hazardous for nature or public health.
There are also a few more benefits to LED lights that you might not have thought of:
- LEDs are less likely to attract bugs into your home as they emit little to no UV light and miniscule heat.
- Research suggests that garden LED lighting is good for plants’ growth as they stay cool and don’t emit a lot of heat.
- LEDs are even a great choice as a grow light to grow plants indoors!
- LED lighting can be combined with technology to be controlled and changed from our smart phones.
Choosing green lighting is good for our planet and ourselves. But why not take it one step further?
Going smart is another great way to make our lighting at home even better, both for us and the planet.
Installing in our home gadgets like motion sensor lighting, smart switches or automated lighting systems, will help to reduce energy wastage.
Smart switches and other smart lighting systems can be controlled by remote, including apps on our phone for the ultimate user friendliness.
It means that even if we are at work, we can turn off the lamps or any lights we forgot to turn off before going out!
Also you can set up different configurations and you can have your lights programmed to turn on and off depending on your habits. They can be used as a security feature for your home to deter burglars when you are away.
Smart managing of lighting translates into less energy consumption which helps our environment.
Can’t go smart? Do this instead
If going smart is a luxury you can’t afford when it comes to lighting, then traditional tips to save energy still work.
Remember to turn of your lights when you leave a room for a long time and when you leave the house.
Lights on timers are great for areas like the garden, driveaway and even porch. Then you don’t need to remember to turn them off.
In the house, you can also install dimmer switches for when the lights need to be lower, such as in the evening, so you can use less power and save money in the process.
Another way to save energy and use less lights? Don’t be a creature of the night!
Staying up late and waking up late, particularly in the winter, means you are relying more on artificial light during your waking hours. Instead, get a good night’s sleep during the actual dark hours and wake up when the sun rises, or soon after. Make the most of natural daylight for improved concentration and lower energy bills!
Don’t forget about natural light
Of course, LEDs and CFLs are fantastic light sources, but still they will never be natural light.
True, we can set our light to colder colours, closest to natural light, but it is still not the same.
At night we require artificial light but in the daytime we should use as much of the natural daylight as we can.
Add a window or skylight for natural friendly lighting
We can all have access to huge amounts of natural light through well placed windows, skylights and translucent wall panels.
It is free, safe and green energy.
Getting as much natural daylight as possible is also great for our health, especially our mental health as it boosts our wellbeing and mood.
Every home should use more natural lighting than artificial. You could also consider solar tube skylights as an alternative option. These neat little tube like windows can direct natural light into hard to reach areas where normal skylights aren’t suitable.
The best thing you can do in the daytime is to place your furniture strategically so you make the most of the daylight, keep your blinds open and use the natural light to brighten your day.
Use reflection and light colour schemes to maximise daylight
One trick to make a room seem brighter and lighter is to choose light colours for a room. White will almost make the walls bounce the daylight around the room.
If you have a north facing room that seems dingy then opting for light colours and furniture can make a huge difference compared to dark colours that amplify the dinginess!
Large mirrors on walls can also open up a space and reflect light to make a room seem brighter or to reflect a window and its view into a room. They can also make a room feel more spacious and airy.
Go even greener with solar panels
Want to take it to the next, next level and go even greener with your lighting?
You’ve already switched to LED bulbs and have smart systems installed, so what next?
The next green step would be to create as much of your own energy as possible at home to power your lights. And to take it a step greener, you can install batteries to save the energy you don’t use in the day from the sun, so you can then power your lighting during the night using free energy too.
Being eco friendly – yay or nay?
It’s nothing new that people started to think about environmental conservation and how we can each lessen our impact on Earth. Thanks to social media, many people have developed awareness about the seriousness of what everyone can do to change the environment, from small steps light choosing an LED bulb to larger commitments like solar panels.
Most of us are already aware of environmentally friendly processes such as recycling to minimise the amount of waste we produce and reducing our carbon footprint. Being more sustainable in the home is entirely possible and easier to do than ever before with advances in eco-technology which even makes it modern and trendy to be green through cool smart home systems we can control from our phone!
Eco lighting is entirely possible and using the many methods mentioned in this article, you can be eco-friendly and save money when choosing green lighting options.