Orange County Green Lighting
How we light up the places we live and work makes a big impact on how we feel. It also makes a big impact on the environment. The type of bulbs, the kind of fixtures, the type of power, and the habits we keep can all add up to a very significant “greening”.
Lighting can comprise up to 60% of your electricity bill when using inefficient, and outdated light fixtures. Start with the fact that a conventional incandescent bulb converts only around five to ten percent of its consumed energy into light. The rest goes out as heat.
Our experienced Orange County electricians can customize a lighting system that will meet your needs and maximize your savings, and all while helping to conserve natural resources.
6 Great Green Lighting Tips
CFL: The better bulb
Compact florescent bulbs (CFLs) are those swirly little guys that look like soft-serve ice cream cones. Actually, they come in a myriad of different shapes, sizes, and colors of light. Economically speaking, they’re a great deal, too. CFLs cost a bit more than an incandescent, but use about a quarter as much energy and last many times longer (usually around 10,000 hours). It is estimated that a CFL pays for its higher price after about 500 hours of use. After that, it’s money in your pocket. Also, because CFLs release less heat, not only are they safer, but your cooling load is less in the summer.
Often used for residential security to light driveways and walkways, motion sensors or “intelligent” lighting systems have also become popular in commercial offices and industrial warehouses where hundreds or even thousands of lights might burn un-used round the clock. Controlled by monitoring sensors, the lights illuminate only when a presence is sensed and automatically shut off after a predetermined length of time, thus providing huge economical and environmental benefits. Even standard household dimmers are a good way to use less energy. As it pertains to our carbon footprint, every little bit helps.
Power adaptors, or “wall warts” as they’re affectionately called, are those clunky things that allow you to plug in additional cords. You’ll notice that they stay warm even when items plugged into them are off. This is because they, in fact, draw energy from the wall all the time. One way to green your lighting is to unplug wall warts when not in use, attach lights to a power strip and turn off the whole switch when not in use, or get your hands on a “smart” power strip that knows when the devise is off.
Get the LED out
LEDs are a definite Tree Hugger favorite. LEDs, or light emitting diodes, are a technology that allows for extremely energy efficient and extremely long-lasting light bulbs. LEDs cost a bit more than even CFLs, but use even less energy and last even longer. An LED light bulb can reduce energy consumption by 80-90% and last around 100,000 hours. It’s no coincidence that the Millennium Technology Prize went to the inventor of the LED.
Fluorescents last a long time, but when they’re dead, they have to be properly disposed of. CFLs, like all florescent bulbs, do contain a small amount of mercury, which means they definitely can’t be thrown in the trash. Every city has different services for recycling, so you’ll need to see what’s offered in your area.
As efficient as your lighting equipment might be, it doesn’t make sense to have lights on when no one’s around. Turn out lights in rooms or parts of the house where no one is. Teach your family and friends about it too and it will become second nature.