Contrary to popular opinion, making your home more environmentally friendly will actually save you money in the long term. Many people shy away from green modifications and changes because they believe them to be ‘too expensive’. However, the initial cost should be offset against the savings you will make on your energy bills, particularly now that gas and electricity prices have risen steeply over the last couple of years. One area where eco-friendly planning can really make a difference is in the lighting options you choose for your home.
Eco-Friendly Light Bulbs
Compact fluorescent bulbs cost a little more than their incandescent equivalents, but use a quarter of the energy and last much longer, usually around 10,000 hours. A CFL bulb will pay for its slightly higher price after 500 hours of use, and from then on it will be saving you money.
Light Emitting Diodes, or LEDs, are energy efficient and extremely long lasting light bulbs. They are becoming more affordable now, and a single LED bulb can reduce your energy consumption by 80/90% and last around 100,000 hours. Although most LED lamps have bulbs already built into them, you can buy bulbs separately. It is predicted that the cost of LED bulbs will continue to come down over the next few years.
Green Materials and Accessories
Eco-friendly lighting isn’t all about the bulb you use. Try to find lamps made from natural, reused or recycled materials like metal, glass or plastic. You can even purchase lamps made from reclaimed traffic signal lenses or wine bottles. One of the biggest energy drains in the home is when appliances, including desk lamps and table lamps, are left on when they are not in use. If you’re guilty of forgetting to switch appliances off, you may wish to consider purchasing a rundown timer, a gadget that looks like an adaptor socket. It automatically cuts the power to your appliance after a pre-set period of time, so that less energy is wasted.
Make the Most of Daylight
The best light source that any of us have at our disposal is completely free. The sun offers us full-spectrum light all day, so make the most of it by keeping blinds and curtains open during the daytime. If you’re willing to make some more substantial changes, you may want to think about having a couple of skylights installed, or adding more windows to the south-facing side of your home.
From time to time we have guest articles. Today’s article was written by Vickie Harrison.
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