Did you know that a single 10-watt LED bulb used in place of a 43-watt halogen incandescent bulb will save you roughly 800 kWh of electricity over its lifetime? That might not sound so impressive, but imagine if your entire house was lit with LED or CFL lamps. The amount you could save by researching ethical methods for lighting your home is more impressive than you think.
Benefits of Using Energy Efficient Light
If you’ve jumped
on the LED or CFL bandwagon, you know you don’t have to shop for replacement
bulbs very often. When you do, it’s important to look at the Lighting Facts
label on the packaging. Energy Star bulbs must adhere to certain specifications,
including energy use, light output, and lamp life before they can be labeled as
incandescent bulb with an Energy Star bulb is good for the environment. This
action alone eliminates roughly 1000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, 4-6
pounds of sulfur dioxide emissions, and 8 mg of mercury on average. If your
electricity comes from a coal-fired power plant, you can double those
Benefits of Using Energy Star Bulbs
Not only do
high-efficiency bulbs help us conserve our natural resources and prevent
unnecessary waste from entering landfills, but they’re also economically
advantageous. Incandescent bulbs are inexpensive to buy, but that’s where the
savings stop. They are much more expensive to operate and must be replaced more
often than CFLs or LEDs.
You might spend
$5 to buy an LED bulb (versus $1 for an incandescent), but then only contribute
another $1 in electricity costs over the life of the bulb. LEDs
are rated to last up to 25,000 hours, while a standard incandescent is rated at
750 hours. Not only that, but the longer you use an LED each day, the faster
that bulb pays for itself.
Other Ways to
“Light” Your Home
There are other,
more ethical ways to light your home than simply changing your light bulbs.
Using environmentally-friendly candles is a perfect way to add mood,
particularly in the evenings or winter months. Be mindful to
stock candles that use natural ingredients rather than
paraffin which is neither good for the planet nor our health.
Alternatively, letting natural light in and making a few
adjustments to your living space to help spread that light around is another
approach. Natural light helps fight depression and contributes to a more open
and welcoming space.
painting your walls white to reflect light and brighten the room. If you’re in
the market for some new furniture, go with lighter colors. You don’t have to
choose a stark white; creams, beige and light grays will work too. If new
furniture isn’t in your budget right now, look into purchasing a light-colored
couch or chair cover instead.
metal decorations can bounce light around as well. Even though dark wood
cabinets are beautiful, they don’t reflect light very well. Lighter woods like
oak, maple, birch, ash, or hickory are better choices. You’d be surprised how
painting your old cabinets a light color will improve the ambiance in your
choosing ethical ways to light your home isn’t just about the light bulbs. LEDs
and CFLs certainly play an important role, but there are other ways to produce a
cheery, energy-efficient home. All it takes is a little research and a creative