Going Green

Eco-Friendly Lighting Breaking the Mold

According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, electric power plants are the largest U.S. industrial source of carbon dioxide emissions, a main cause of acid rain and global warming. A higher demand for electricity means more fossil fuels, like coal, oil, and natural gas are burned by plants to generate power. Besides replacing antiquated electric power plants with ones that use renewable energy sources, energy-efficient bulbs are a phenomenal way to reduce the amount of carbon emissions added to the atmosphere. As an bonus, energy-efficient bulbs lower your utility bills, making them a smart long-term investment!

LED Lights: A lighting giant in a tiny package, the lit LED bulb produces very little heat, so a greater percentage of electricity goes into generating light rather than wasting energy. Because LEDs lack filaments, powered instead by the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material, they outlast incandescent bulbs. An LED bulb can last ten years, or 10,000+ hours, and will dim at the end of their life rather than flicker or suddenly burn out. Incredibly hardy, they resist vibration and shock, making them a reliable light source.

Fluorescent Lights: Did you know that energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps use 66% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs for the same amount of light? What’s more, fluorescent compact bulbs last an average of 10 to 15 times longer than your heat-producing standard filament bulb. The fluorescent bulbs of today are a far cry from those loudly buzzing, sterile white creations recognizable from office lighting in the 80s, and compact fluorescent bulbs fit into many of the medium socket and candelabra lamps on our site. If wattage is throwing you off or making you second guess the brightness of compact fluorescent bulbs, don’t worry. Because fluorescent bulbs are remarkably efficient, a low watt fluorescent bulb brightens a room with the same intensity of a high watt incandescent bulb

Halogen Lights: Halogen bulbs are wonderful for long periods of use because their filaments, encased in quartz envelopes, produce bulbs of remarkable longevity. They also emit more light per unit of energy compared to incandescent bulbs, their bright pools of light perfect for reading a book or focusing on a work station.

Lighting and the Environment: Lighting is not only about illuminating a space so that you can see well. It is a decorative addition to your life that will affect the way you feel and function. Lighting also affects the environment in several ways. The amount of energy consumed by each light and the materials used to manufacture such lamping products both influence the environment.

Benefits of Eco-Friendly Lighting: By purchasing energy efficient lighting products, energy consumption is minimized. This will reduce the release of harmful emissions by polluting power plants. Efficient lamps generate and equal or greater amount of light as traditional incandescent bulbs while consuming only much less energy and generating much less cost.  Additionally, many new choice materials used to construct lamping products are environmentally friendly. Some manufacturers even go so much as to offer recycling programs for their products so that they can later be reused for the production of new lighting items.

Lighting and You: Lighting provides many benefits to one’s life other than simply allowing them to see at night.  For instance, lighting has a significant impact on health, comfort, safety, productivity, and performance. It has been proven that employees become more productive and perform well in an environment with proper lighting. At home, lighting can make a room romantic, relaxing, inviting, etc.

Your Electric Bill

  • One quarter of the United States annual electric bill, $34 billion, comes from lighting.
  • More than 20% of the electricity generated in the U.S. is used for lighting alone.
  • Approximately half of this energy is wasted lighting empty rooms or as heat produced by inefficient bulbs and lighting fixtures.
  • By using energy efficient lighting you can save up to 75% on your monthly electric bill.

Why are incandescent lights not energy efficient? Incandescent light bulbs are the most familiar type of light bulb used in almost all homes. This type of lighting, unfortunately, is also the most inefficient type of lighting. In an incandescent light bulb, electric current heats up a metal filament making it glow white-hot and give off light. The reason these bulbs waste energy is because only 5% of the electricity is actually used to produce light. The remaining 95% ends up as heat.

During the summer this heat causes your cooling requirements to go up and makes your air conditioner work harder. During the winter the extra heat might seem like a bonus, but it is a very expensive way to pay for a little extra heat.

Though Green Culture does sell products which can only use incandescent bulbs, we strongly encourage the use of compact fluorescent or halogen bulbs whenever available. We are, however, pleased that the product itself is made of eco-friendly ingredients.

Energy Saving Tips for Lighting:

  • Get in the habit of turning off lights when you leave the room. It’s so simple but so easily forgotten. Even if you are only leaving for a few minutes, it does make a difference. If you have trouble remembering, install occupancy sensors that automatically turn the lights off for you when you leave the room.
  • Make use of natural light during the day. Open drapes and curtains in your home. Install a skylight. Rearrange your room to take advantage of natural light. Try putting your favorite reading chair by the window. Nothing is more pleasing and efficient than natural light.
  • When redecorating or moving into a new place, paint the walls in your home a light color to make the best use of natural lighting. Also, with lighter walls, you can achieve a 25% reduction in the amount of watts needed to light that room.
  • If you can’t switch your old light fixtures over to compact fluorescent lights, make sure you use incandescent lights wisely. Higher wattage incandescent bulbs are more efficient than lower-wattage bulbs. So, if you have a light fixture that holds more than one bulb, you’ll save energy and money by using one 100-watt bulb, rather than four 40-watt bulbs.
  • Keep your light fixtures and bulbs clean and free of dust . You’ll get more light in the room and may be able to switch to a lower wattage bulb.
  • Concentrate light where it is actually needed and reduce background light levels. This strategy is called task lighting and is used in office buildings. Install lights to illuminate your desk or the kitchen table where you read the newspaper. Halogen lights are great for delivering light right where you need it.
  • Use dimmers to allow you to control the level of light in the room. Often you don’t need lights on at their full intensity to be comfortable. Never use a compact fluorescent in circuits that have dimmers unless the lights are specially designed for that purpose. Check the box the CFL came in for that information.

Information provided by eco-lights.com