As you make adjustments to your home to make it more energy efficient, remember to include updating the lighting to your plan. Artificial lighting is required in most if not all areas of your house. By evaluating the light solutions you already have and use, you can reduce the amount of energy you’re using. You can lower your carbon footprint and your utility bills making just a few simple updates.
Evaluate Your Lighting Needs
Walk through your home and around the external premises to identify your current lighting needs. Where are you using light, and is it effective? Some light sources might no longer serve a purpose, so they can be removed or replaced with low-energy lighting. For example, if the kids are grown, and the outdoor pool is seldom used, you may want to remove or tone down the poolside lighting. If they’re on a timer or motion detector system, perhaps change them to a switch.
Additionally, the types of lights required in each room often vary, so there is no reason to use the same type and wattage of bulbs for all areas. You will probably need a lot of light in the kitchen, but perhaps you don’t in the office. Make sure the wattages you’re using match the needs of the room.
Install Efficient Light Sources
Consider switching out the light bulbs used throughout your home. Several types of newer lighting, like compact fluorescent bulbs, are energy efficient and still outlast traditional incandescent bulbs. Alternately, LED bulbs are cooler and safer while still being very bright. These are good to use somewhere where a child or pet might try to grab or knock over the light fixture.
Compare several types of light sources to find those that are best suited for your home lighting needs based on each area’s usage, the location in the home, the number of windows in each room (if any), and other factors.
Make Use of Natural Light
To decrease energy use for lights in your home, optimize natural light sources. Keep the blinds or drapes open to let in sunlight through the window and the patio glass door. Avoid flipping on the lights in a room you enter as an automatic response before checking to see if natural light will be adequate for your purpose. You might want to rearrange your home so that rooms with a lot of natural light can be used in lieu of energy-based light. For example, put your kids’ playroom or your office in rooms with large windows.
There are also many things you can do to invite more natural light into your home. Simple changes like repainting the walls or adding mirrors can reflect the natural light inside your home to make it more effective in brightening the space.
Use a Dimmer or Timer Switch
Your home’s light sources do not usually need to be fully on day and night. Develop the habit of turning off lights when you leave a room, even if it is just for an hour or two. Use a dimmer switch to lower the light level when a room or area is only partly used or limited light is required. Set a timer on your night-time lights so that they turn off at a certain time rather than waiting until you get up.
Take a proactive approach to managing your lighting energy for greater efficiency and lower costs. With minor efforts like these, you can save energy and money.