June 02, 13
Energy Efficient Lighting
- Energy Efficient Lighting
It makes good sense, especially in today’s uncertain economic climate, to consider ways of reducing your monthly energy bill. It is estimated that most households across the planet could reduce their energy costs by at least one-half, simply by choosing more efficient, smarter lighting technologies.
Inefficient incandescent lighting is gradually being phased out in preference to the highly efficient, long-lasting fluorescents and LEDs. Of course, natural lighting from the sun is the most economical, cleanest lighting solution. Skylights take full advantage of the sun’s exterior bounty, and light tubes, which trap sunlight and redirect it to dark interiors are becoming increasingly more popular.
To better understand the advantages of today’s lighting options, see the brief descriptions below:
Also referred to as passive lighting, this approach is obviously the best choice, whenever possible, for both the earth and the wallet. A well-placed skylight or window can do wonders for illuminating a room with welcoming, natural light. Consider also the use of light tubes for directing sunlight to specific dark areas inside. Cheap and practical, at least during daylight hours, light tubes avoid certain chronic problems normally associated with skylights.
HSL – Hybrid Solar Lighting (Hybrid Lighting)
This method of sustainable energy uses stored sunlight directed through bundled fiber optic cables to illuminate a dark interior. The natural light is collected from the roof into flexible optical fibers. The energy thus collected is directed into hybrid lighting fixtures, which mix artificial lighting with the collected solar energy. Solar technology not only uses natural sunlight to illuminate a room, it also compensates when sunlight is blocked. (These systems are meant for rooms that have access to the roof.)
LEDs – Light Emitting Diodes
Providing more than 50 times the duration of incandescent bulbs, LEDs are a superior option for energy efficiency. Although the output of illumination is somewhat lower, the cost for LED lighting in the long run is low, and gradually coming down to meet the market demand more accessibly.
These low-voltage bulbs are most frequently employed as downlights for effect, rather than principle illumination. They provide only 12 volts, as opposed to the normal 240-volt in-home, bulb, and are not considered as cost-effective, since they use 50 watts on average and as much as twenty times more energy as a regular CFL (compact fluorescent lamp).
CFLs – Compact Fluorescent Lamps
Fluorescent lighting technology is the standard of the industry today, and CFLs are by far the most popular type. Extremely energy-efficient, they can last up to ten times as long as an incandescent globe, requiring only 20% as much energy. Modern CFLs are adaptable to nearly all light fittings and offer flicker-free lighting and unparalleled value. These bulbs now come in different color temperatures, as well as practical options in size and shape.
These long-lasting, energy-efficient lighting solutions are mainly used for garages, kitchens and workshops. Custom fittings are required to install fluorescent tubing, but they are even more economical than regular CFLs.
Conversion to fluorescent lighting from incandescent is now generally recognized as the optimal solution for home or workplace illumination.