Lighting for the Day and Night
We are getting close to the longest night of the year and it feels like nightfall is getting earlier and earlier in the day. This got me thinking about the efficiency of the lighting in our homes. Here are some quick ideas of things that you can do to make your lights and windows work better for you.
Replace your incandescent lights
Those bulbs (incandescent) now have CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) and LED (light-emitting diodes) options. Incandescent lights only convert approximately 10% of the energy it uses into light and the rest becomes heat. The new technologies can reduce the energy use of lighting by 50% to 75%. CFLs use less energy and last about 10 times longer than normal bulbs. And LED lights are even better than CFLs.
You may want to consider making an upgrade to these new types of lights. Bulbs are a little more expensive, but the cost of use and the extended life can make them comparable. I’ve also recently installed some cool LED light fixtures that have the LEDs built into the fixture. The fixture is very thin and easy to install. And, there was a switch on it to let me change the color of lighting from bright white to the warm yellowish colors according to my liking.
Make the most of natural light
It may be getting dark early, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the natural light that we have during the day. Open up the curtains and let the light in during the day. It not only brings in light for your room that you don’t need to pay for, it also brings warmth and beneficial vitamin-D too. Maybe December isn’t the time that some like to do home improvements, but things like skylights or light tubes can bring in additional light. If you feel that this is an option you would like to consider, I would caution that penetrations in the roofing such as these will create a chance for water to get into the attic so make sure that they are properly installed with appropriate flashing.
Another neat option is something called a light shelf. I’ve seen these in businesses but not very frequently in homes. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good option. These light shelves reflect light coming in through the window deeper into the home or building. The shelves may be interior or exterior.
Especially during this winter while we have Covid around and we are being encouraged to stay home a bit more, I hope that we can all feel better in our homes with more light and less costs.