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Lighting

Lighting is an important component of your whole-building design. Lighting includes both electric lighting and natural lighting from the sun, or daylighting. Although daylighting in homes is not a large source of energy savings, it can dramatically increase the comfort and livability of the home. Where daylighting isn't practical, you should consider installing energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy efficient lighting fixtures and controls.

Homes that incorporate these features not only use less electricity, but also stay cooler in the summer because less heat is being generated by lights. Light bulbs also create uneven heat loads in your home, which makes constant and even temperature control harder to achieve.

  • Lighting technologies include:
  • Lamps- lighting sources, like fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs

  • Ballasts- used with electric-discharge lamps such as fluorescent lamps, ballasts transform and control electrical power to the light

  • Luminaires (Fixtures) - complete lighting units that contain the bulbs and, if necessary, the ballasts

  • Lighting Controls- devices such as timers and sensors that can save energy by turning lights off when not needed

  • Daylighting- the use of natural light in a building.

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Figure 103: Lighting affects most aspects of our lives.

  • Fact:
  • Increasing your lighting efficiency is one of the fastest ways to decrease your energy bill. Replacing 25% of your lights in high-use areas with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can cut your lighting energy bill about 50%.

  • Consume 75-80% less electricity.

  • Change your light bulbs 10 times less frequently.

  • Cut torchiere operating costs by up to 85%.

  • Reduce the fire hazard associated with halogen torchiere lamps.

 

Best Features: Lighting includes both electric lighting and natural lighting from the sun (also known as daylighting). Although daylighting in homes is not a great source of energy savings, it can dramatically increase the comfort and livability of the home. Where daylighting isn't practical, you should consider installing energy-saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and other energy efficient lighting fixtures and controls. In selecting your lighting system, be aware of the following:

  • When choosing a CFL, it is important to know the size, brightness, color, and quality.

  • CFL torchieres operate at a cool 100°F vs. the 300-500°F of halogen torchieres.

  • Economics, health, and aesthetics all favor the maximum practical use of daylighting.

  • Task lighting can save you lots of energy. Focus more light where you need it, and lower the lighting levels in the rest of the room.

  • Dimmers, timers, and sensors ensure that lights are turned on only when and to what degree they are required.

Save Money: Don't be fooled by lower-wattage incandescent light bulbs bearing labels like Energy Choice, Watt Miser, Supersaver, Long-Life, and Econo-Watt. Choose CFLs and skinny "T-8" lamps (most efficient tubes) instead, and use 75-80% less electricity. These energy efficient lighting choices fit in standard light fixtures and offer the same or better light with less heat.

  • Combine "T-8" lamps with special electronic ballasts and better reflectors and lenses for a state-of-the-art lighting system.

  • Choose an Energy Star® CFL torchiere rather than a halogen lamp to enjoy the same brightness for up to 85% lower operating costs and a greatly reduced danger of fire.

  • Don't substitute two lower-wattage bulbs for one higher-wattage bulb.

  • Avoid long-life (2,000- to 5,000-hour) incandescents--they are less efficient than standard incandescent bulbs.

  • You can paint and carpet your rooms in lighter colors to reflect higher levels of light, enhance the distribution of daylight, and reduce the need for electric lighting.

  • Periodically wash or wipe light fixture reflectors, diffusers, and/or lenses.

  • Use reflector-type lamps in your can lighting.

  • Choose downlights or track fixtures rather than standard bulbs. Otherwise, more than 50% of the light may be trapped inside the fixture.

Increasing your lighting efficiency is one of the fastest ways to decrease your energy bills. If you replace 25% of your lights in high-use areas with fluorescents, you can save about 50% of your lighting energy bill.

Indoor Lighting: Use linear fluorescent and energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in fixtures throughout your home to provide high-quality and high-efficiency lighting. Fluorescent lamps are much more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last 6 to 10 times longer. Although fluorescent and compact fluorescent lamps are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, they pay for themselves by saving energy over their lifetime. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when purchasing these products.

Outdoor Lighting: Homeowners use outdoor lighting for decoration and security. When shopping for outdoor lights, you will find a variety of products, from low-voltage pathway lighting to high-pressure sodium floodlights. Many lights can be controlled with motion detectors, so they only turn on when they are needed. Some stores also carry lights powered by small photovoltaic (PV) modules that convert sunlight directly into electricity; consider PV-powered lights for areas that are not close to an existing power supply line.

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