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Let There Be Light... That Saves You Money

Let There Be Light... That Saves You Money By Laura Horwitz
HIPhome Columnist
December 31, 1969

With Earth Day celebrated this month, many home owners wonder about "going green." What you may not realize is that becoming eco-conscious and environmentally responsible can actually save you significant money on your energy costs.

When undergoing kitchen or general home remodeling projects, consider replacing your lighting with more cost-effective options:
  • Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs): the most common multi-functional energy efficient bulbs, these last up to 13 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb and only use about ¼th of the electricity. This means each one you use in place of an incandescent light can save you $50 in electricity costs over the lifetime of that bulb. Replacing the entire light fixture with one designated for CFL bulbs makes them last even longer and lowers the cost of replacement bulbs. According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, "if all the households in the US replaced five 100-watt fixtures with 23-watt CFL fixtures, the electricity saved would power more than 3 cities the size of New York City, day in and day out."
  • Day Lighting: When remodeling, consider increasing the number or size of windows in each room and adding skylights when possible to decrease your electricity demand. Studies have shown that exposure to natural sunlight increases well-being and productivity. And daylight produces less heat per unit of illumination than electrical lights, which can reduce your air-conditioning bills too.
  • Solar-powered outdoor lights: with zero operating costs, these lights store solar power during the day to enable them to run at night, even in cloudy conditions.
  • Using dimmers on lights make the bulbs last 20 times longer and can save you 40% in energy.

Lighting, especially in high traffic areas like the kitchen, accounts for 5-10% of the total energy used in an average home. Simple changes not only help save the environment, but help save you money too. It's one situation where everyone wins.

Sources

About the Author
Laura Horwitz has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for five years in both London and the US. She had a monthly landscaping and tips column for the Sussex County magazine RH Review, and her articles have also appeared in Film Focus, 6 Degrees Film, and BizBash magazine.



*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.
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