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Eco lighting solutions

woman changing_lightbulbs_18_05_12Reducing your carbon footprint is something we should all be thinking about on a daily basis, and one of the easiest ways to get the ball rolling is by changing your lightbulbs.

Lighting accounts for nearly 8% of a typical household’s electricity bill, so by installing energy efficient light bulbs for your home, not only are you cutting down on your carbon footprint, you’ll be saving on your energy bills too.

Compact fluorescents or CFLs generally represent a typical low energy bulb. They are widely available and are cost effective replacements for traditional incandescent bulbs. They generate high quality lighting, while using significantly lower energy than traditional bulbs. They also last a lot longer. LEDs are typically used as energy efficient replacements for halogen lights. They generally cost more than CFLs, but last longer, use less energy and may be a more cost effective option for the home in the long term.

One of the issues with low energy light bulbs is that they normally take some time to reach full brightness. New technologies are constantly improving and so there are new energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs that can reach full brightness in a few seconds. All LEDs reach full brightness as soon as you turn them on, much like incandescent light bulbs. LEDs are typically a more expensive option than compact fluorescent bulbs and most are incompatible with traditional light fittings in the home. It is possible to replace bulb fittings with LED compatible ones so you can have LED lighting throughout your house.

Apart from changing your bulbs, check your lampshades. Dark lampshades can greatly impact lighting efficiency. The wrong lampshade can trap up to 50% of a bulb’s light output. Introducing more transparent lampshades, that let out more light in your home is another step towards an environmentally friendly home with lower energy bills.

Picture credit: Shutterstock

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