Posted January 9, 2013 by Jennifer Kane in Home Decorating

Eight ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency through lighting

It&rsquos effortless to instantly trim your energy consumption and increase the eco-friendliness of your home. The crucial to straightforward energy savings is lighting. Although for numerous property owners and renters, knowing how and what to do to increase their property&rsquos lighting energy efficiency can be confusing.

To alleviate that confusion, the American Lighting Association (ALA) provides eight straightforward energy-saving actions:

1. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFLs). To make an instant effect on your energy consumption &ndash and your utility bill &ndash swap out your most-utilised incandescent bulbs with CFLs. &ldquoIt&rsquos the easiest way to commence enhancing your energy efficiency,&rdquo says Joe Rey-Barreau, education consultant for the ALA and an associate professor at the University of Kentucky&rsquos School of Interior Design. If you have not utilized any residential CFLs in your home, you might be shocked at their range and versatility. The newest CFLs do not flicker like those of old, and they have a lot much better color good quality than even just a couple of years ago. A close appear at the color temperature listed on the bulb package label can assist you get the correct product. &ldquoWhat happens is that individuals purchase a color temperature that&rsquos as well cool, and they definitely hate it,&rdquo says Rey-Barreau. Instead, choose a bulb that&rsquos labeled &ldquoresidential color,&rdquo &ldquowarm&rdquo or &ldquosoft white.&rdquo

2. Replace dimmable incandescent bulbs with dimmable CFLs. As the color range of CFLs has improved, so has their capacity to be dimmed, says Rey-Barreau &ndash and dimmable bulbs are a verified way to reduce energy use. Nevertheless, even though the technology has come a extended way, CFLs nonetheless do not have the dimming range of incandescents. &ldquoAt about 20 to 30 percent, the CFL will shut off,&rdquo says Rey-Barreau.

three. Buy name brands. It is frustrating to invest in a longer-lasting bulb only to have it burn out rapidly. To avoid that, get recognizable brands for improved quality and color.

four. Revamp outdoor fixtures. Your outdoor lighting fixture may be lovely, but it may possibly be an power guzzler, also. Start outside as you slowly replace fixtures with far more energy effective versions. Appear for those that use either CFLs or light-emitting diodes (LEDs), or these that activate using a motion sensor or photocell.

5. Acquire Power Star-qualified fixtures and bulbs. Power Star is a U.S. Department of Energy certification most recognized on appliances &ndash although also used on lighting fixtures and bulbs. &ldquoAny time somebody buys a product that has the Energy Star label, they&rsquoll know it has each efficiency and good quality verified,&rdquo says Rey-Barreau.

6. Retrofit recessed lighting with LED fixtures. Recessed fixtures can be easily replaced with super energy-efficient LED versions &ndash with out any messy construction. &ldquoYou just take off component of the existing fixture, and the replacement fixture fits into the old housing,&rdquo says Rey-Barreau. &ldquoLED fixtures have a high initial cost, but the fixture will last literally the lifetime of the project.&rdquo

7. Replace your below-cabinet lighting. With long life and super high efficiency, some LED lighting also provides relatively simple installation, which includes pucks and strips utilized as below-cabinet lighting. As an added bonus, LED lights will not give off the undesirable heat of incandescents.

8. Be realistic in your expectations. Although upgrading some or all of your lighting is a great way to improve your power efficiency, it is not a one-stop solution. &ldquoOne of the items often misunderstood is that folks assume if they replace all of their incandescent lighting with power-effective versions they are going to save this enormous amount on their electrical energy,&rdquo says Rey-Barreau. They will save, of course, but because lighting only accounts for about 10 percent of all electricity consumption, the quantity saved will be relative to that. The most savings comes over the long term with continued lower utility bills and fewer burned-out bulbs.

Pay a visit to your local ALA-member retail showroom to see the newest items and to speak to an professional about how to improve the energy efficiency of your lighting. To uncover your closest ALA-member lighting showroom, pay a visit to www.americanlightingassoc.com.

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Jennifer Kane