Melissa Davidson, from The Lighting Warehouse offers some tips on how to do your bit for the environment when it comes to lighting.
Do we really use that much electricity by having our lights on at home?
Although it’s not in the same league as your geyser, pool pump, stove and tumble dryer, research shows that in terms of lighting and electricity consumption in your home, the kitchen, living room and outdoor lighting are the three biggest energy guzzlers. Fortunately, lighting is also one of the easiest ways in which you can save energy and cut down on your lighting bills.
What is the best environmentally friendly option for at-home lighting?
Although they’re quite pricey, LEDs are 90% energy saving. Due to lower energy consumption, there is a lower heat build-up and therefore a cooler environment. LED globes have a lifetime of between 20 000 to 50 000 hours and the components are completely recyclable.
Are there any other options besides expensive LEDs?
The easiest and cheapest way to save on your lighting bill is to switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). CFL’s are available in all shapes and sizes, they provide plenty of light and they use 80% less energy and last eight times as long as their incandescent counterparts. Furthermore, CFLs generate a lot less heat than incandescent bulbs, which means lower cooling bills in summer.
Do motion sensors make much of a difference?
Motion sensors are an inexpensive and highly functional solution and they are easy to install. Motion sensors can also be used for interior and exterior lighting so if you can't remember to turn off the lights in the pantry or stairwell; a motion sensor will switch them on automatically when you walk in and shut them off for you after a few minutes.
Tell us about task lighting…
You can save a lot of energy by concentrating light just where you need it and reducing background or ambient light levels. This strategy (task lighting) is widely used in office buildings, but it makes just as much sense at home. For example, you can install a track of LED under-counter lights to illuminate your desk or the kitchen table where you prepare your food – negating the need for ceiling lights.