Switching to compact fluorescent
light bulbs (CFLs) can drastically decrease your utility bills, but there are
many other simple solutions when it comes to efficient lighting. Save more with
daylighting, light emitting diode (LED) bulbs, dimmers, motion sensors and by
addressing high “phantom” electrical loads.
Energy Efficient Lighting and Appliance Usage
Electricians and “green”
lighting specialists go far beyond light bulb replacement. Some of their energy
saving techniques use LED light fixtures, natural daylight, dimmers and motion
Typical homes can save 50
percent or more on electric bills by replacing and redesigning their home
lighting system. This can create huge savings, since lighting often accounts
for 10 percent of total home energy consumption.
How to Use Skylights and Daylighting Efficiently
“Daylighting” forgoes expensive
solutions like solar panels in favor of natural sunlight. This
environmentally-friendly strategy is proven to improve mood, reduce eye fatigue
and - of course - decrease energy consumption. Most regions have 1,500 to 3,000
hours of available daylight to take advantage of every year. Why spend
electricity when the sun is shining?
Modern daylighting systems use
optics to capture, transfer and deliver natural light effectively into the
home. You can retrofit your existing house with daylighting strategies and even
protect interior surfaces from harmful ultraviolet rays. Unlike older skylight
systems, there’s little risk of leakage. This is one of the most dramatic
changes you can make in the interior of your home for minimal cost. And the
best part? The sun won’t send you a bill at the end of the month.
If you’re going to install
skylights instead, the best way to incorporate them into the design of your
home will depend on your region. If you live in a cold northern climate, your
best bet is to design your daylighting on the south side of your home. This
will allow light to penetrate into your home throughout the winter months. In
sunny climates, however, homeowners often choose to place skylights on the
north side of their home because it will reduce the amount of heat gain through
their windows, while still allowing plenty of light into their homes.
The efficiency of the windows
and skylights you choose for your home is also important because without
properly sealed, energy efficient windows, your home could potentially lose and
gain significant amounts of heat through and around the windows. Look for windows
with low U-factors and low solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC). A retrofit
contractor will be able to help you figure out the best way to incorporate
daylighting systems or skylights into your home for more natural lighting and
to reduce energy usage.
Ready to start your project?
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