Green Home Tips - Lighting

Here are tips on saving energy, cutting down carbon emissions and preventing further global warming.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) now often replace incandescent lamps. The mostly twirly bulbs (they also come in other shapes) are typically two to ten times more expensive in purchase price compared to incandescents but compensate for their long lifespan (more than ten times) and energy efficiency (savings up to 75%). They also produce 75% less heat, which means less energy is needed to cool the house. In actual monetary savings, this works to USD30 over each bulb’s lifetime. CFLs however emit dimmer light towards the end of the lifespan. CFLs contain mercury, a toxic compound, that requires safe disposal. Even leading brands contain up to 5 mg of mercury -  though it may seem a small amount, this can still harm wildlife and people should the bulbs break or be dumped on the ground or in lakes.

Light-emitting diodes or LEDs are more energy efficient than traditional lamps and today we can use them as reading lamps, garden lights and room lights, beyond indicative uses such as torch lights and signals. Compared to CFLs, LEDs do not contain mercury. 

Incorporate natural lighting in building plans and in home decoration.

Try using tea candles or aromatic oils to give out a soft glow in a dark room.

Switch off lights when leaving the room even if you’re just stepping out to grab a cuppa. For CFLs, however, switching on and off for less than 5 minutes reduces their lifespan. But I will go ahead to switch them off anyway as I will save on energy consumption.

Have a green tip? Feel free to add on to the list by commenting below.

Also in this eco-living series:

Green Home Tips - Electrical Appliances

Green Home Tips - Food and Cooking

Green Home Tips - Cars

Green Home and Office Tips - Computing