Every day, a larger segment of the population is making the transition toward adopting more ecologically friendly choices in every aspect of their lives. There is a great deal of talk about making our day to day activities and things we consume more ‘sustainable’ or to ‘reduce our carbon footprint’. One of the easiest ways to do to do this is in the area of how we light our homes.
A decade ago, the push was to switch consumers from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents. These bulbs lasted longer, used less energy that in turn helped consumers save money. However, these new bulbs had issues. They could not be used on a dimmer switch, for example, and the light was much more ‘harsh’ for consumers in comparison to earlier light bulbs. Also, the compact fluorescents or CFL’s were not without environmental concerns such as trace levels of mercury leeching into the ground and underwater aquifers once they are disposed of and reach the landfill if they burn out, or are broken. Even mercury vapor which can dissipate through the air can affect workers and cause poisoning over a period of time.
The most earth friendly and economically viable answer to the issue of home lighting is LED bulbs and lighting. LED lights are up to 90% more efficient than incandescent bulbs; they come in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet every household need and can last up to 20 years. The amount of waste not reaching the landfill was one positive aspect, but the fact that LED bulbs do not contain any mercury whatsoever is an added boon to the environment.
Other eco-friendly choices for lighting are lights that are powered by either rechargeable batteries that make use of a house current, or utilize the energy of the sun for charging the battery pack. LED emergency lamps, including security lights and outdoor LED lights that illuminate walkways, entries and landscapes are also good choices for the environment that also add a bit of security to the home and discourage would-be criminals from your property.
Of course, one of the best ways to be more environmentally friendly in terms of lighting the home is to utilize daylight. The best part of this is it is completely renewable, and it is free! Making use of the light from windows, skylights, and even reflected light from natural sources can add real warmth to your home. Consider altering your schedule if possible by getting up earlier and staying up less in order to take advantage of the hours of natural light. When you do this, you may find yourself reaching for the light switch less and saving more cost and making even less of a carbon footprint.