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Green Light

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Published On : 02-13-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
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Lighting is a major source of energy consumption in a residence. There are a few simple things that can reduce your dependency on the light bulb.

  • Windows in the right places. It's best to put more windows facing south to absorb as much sunlight as possible. Windows on the other sides of the house help as well, but not as much. Make sure you get well insulated windows. The more efficient, the more expensive, but only up front.
  • Light shelves on all south facing windows. A light shelf is a reflective surface located near the top of the window that bounces the light toward your ceiling and farther into the house. There are both exterior and interior light shelves, and it works best if you install both systems.

  • Florescent and LED lighting. The incandescent light bulb is inefficient. You'll save quite a bit of money by switching to florescent, and even more with LED systems. Again, they are more expensive up front, but pay for themselves pretty quickly.

  • Dimmers. Make sure you put dimmers on as many lights as possible. Not only can you change the ambiance of any room, but you can control the amount of energy you are using.

Just a few tips on lighting. Hope this is helpful. If your builder doesn't know much about green design, just ask me and I'll find the answers for you. There are also plenty of online sources out there. Look for sources that aren't so biased. There are manufacturers out there that exaggerate their 'greenness'. I can help a bit with that one too. I'll work to post articles about green design periodically. You can also see more info at www.houseplans.info.

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