What are your lightbulb choices?

energy efficient lighting

There are many reasons to rethink the lighting scheme of your home. Perhaps you’re looking for a budget-friendly energy solution in order to put some extra savings back into your wallet? Or maybe 2019 will finally be the year to start making the switch to a more energy efficient lighting solution? Regardless of why you’re into shaking things up, evidently, the right use of light bulbs in and around your home has the ability to provide an embellished, ambient appeal, can prove to be cost-effective and has the power to offer you an eco-friendly, energy solution. After all, who doesn’t want to do their part to take care of the environment? Now, let’s take a look into your light bulb options.

What are your lighting choices?

If you’re looking for some lighting options that exhibit all of the qualities you’re looking for in a lightbulb, halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are a few common choices that possess varied abilities to offer you savings and energy-efficiency while also exuberating a beautiful, aesthetic glow of illumination during their lifetime. They all possess their own unique design to withstand weather elements, such as rain or snow, as well as their ability to work diversely as an exposed fixture. But which bulb is the right choice for you?

Halogen Incandescents

These round, traditional-looking lightbulbs have remained the most common light source over the years — probably because they’re often the cheapest options.

The way halogens work is they possess a capsule inside that holds gas around the filament, which increases their performance and efficiency. They come available in a wide assortment of shapes and colors and can be used with dimmers if you’re looking to illuminate an area with a particular aesthetic look. These bulbs possess many advantages, but in terms of technology, halogen bulbs are a little behind with the times and there are many more energy efficient lighting solutions that overshadow the competence of their current abilities. Needless to say, if you’re looking for a cost-effective energy solution that you can depend on, halogen bulbs may be your best lighting option.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)

CFLs are longer, curly versions of the long tube fluorescent lights that you may already have lighting up your kitchen or garage. The typically use less electricity than traditional incandescents and although are costlier upfront, they pay for themselves in the longevity of your energy savings. The average CFL bulb uses about one-fourth of the energy and lasts ten times longer than a more traditional incandescent bulb that puts out a similar amount of light. CFLs also come in a range of shapes and colorful tones that allow them to diffuse light into every featured direction. They are recyclable and an excellent eco-friendly solution for those who care about the environment and their everyday waste.

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

LED bulbs are a state-of-the-art technology that possesses semiconductors that convert electricity to light. At one time they were only known as the indicators for traffic lights, but now LEDs (typically white) provide illumination in many applications of our everyday lives — including many of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly developing technologies. Commonly, LEDs use 25%-30% and last eight to 25 times longer than a traditional halogen bulb.

LEDs come in a variety of wattage, can be used as reflector bulbs in recessed fixtures, small track lights, desk lamps, kitchen undercabinet lighting and many elements of an outdoor lighting scheme. They are incredibly versatile, durable and perform well in cold environments. LED products as also common in pathway lights, step lights and porch lights. While they are little more expensive, they save you money in the long-run and emit a very low dose of energy use. As with any other electronic product, prices are expected to come down in future as the technology changes and more advanced products enter into the energy efficient lighting market. Needless to say, if you want the best of the best in terms of savings and efficiency, LEDs bulbs are the ultimate lighting investment.

Which form of energy efficient light do you plan to use to achieve your lighting goals? Tell us in the comments section below.

 

Are you on top of your outdoor lighting safety?

outdoor lighting safety

Outdoor lighting radiates far more prominently in the winter months, where the daylight is scarcer and the constant wind and rain make for gloomier, grayer skies. Although illumination is an essential home adornment, as a homeowner, it’s important to familiarize yourself with all your lighting gadgets in order to prevent any accidental short-circuiting or unexpected fires. That’s why as a responsible lighting connoisseur, you should take a few minutes to enlighten yourself and become acquainted with these outdoor lighting safety tips.  

Never use a damaged cord

Whether you haven’t found the time required to replace it, or you simply were out shoveling the snow and pulled the cord too hard, it’s incredibly easy and common to damage an outdoor extension cord. If your extension cord is run-down at either end or is starting to fray in the middle, you may receive an electric shock when you go to plug in into your lights. Also, even though it seems secure, you’re not exercising appropriate outdoor lighting safety by using electrical tape. It’s much easier, and more prudent, to just purchase a new, dependable extension cord.

Use timers on your outdoor lights

Timers are not only a great eco-conscious tool that you can to help you save money, but they’re also a marvelous way to ensure that your home is secure with lighting. The timers can be set to shut off your outdoor lights when the sunrise in your area is expected and vice versa for when the sun goes down. Not to mention, the best part about lighting timers is that you’ll never have to leave the comfort of your home to turn on your outdoor lights.

Don’t overuse your outlets

Plugging an excessive amount of lighting into a single outlet has the ability to wear down and even trip your breaker. As an outdoor lighting safety measure, be sure to check that the electrical devices you’re plugging it do not exceed the recommended watt load.

Utilize your GFCI outlets

Many modern-day homes possess ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets on their exterior. The benefit of these outlets is that there is electric shock protection, which aids in keeping you safe around wet environments. The GFCI outlet trips when there is an electrical current on an unintended path. So, considering it’s only the start of winter, utilizing these exterior outlets are an incredibly advantageous way to promote outdoor lighting safety.

Are there any other outdoor lighting safety methods that you use? Please share them with us in the comments section below.

 

5 ways to decorate your porch for the holidays

 directional lighting

Decorating for the holiday season is an incredibly exciting way to embellish your stylish taste in home decor. So, when you’re preparing your setup of unique, festive touches, don’t forget to deck out your front porch in order to really make it feel like a home for the holidays. Shake things up by mixing in a few natural elements in with your lighthearted, jolly Christmas accents and make the front of your home is a heartwarming invitation for all your joyous guests. That being said, you have the rest of December to take advantage of these decorating tips and to let the holiday cheer spill out of your home by making your front porch extra merry and bright.

Decorate an outdoor Christmas tree

Although your holiday resources, such as ornaments and tinsel, are most likely all used up after decorating your meticulous, indoor Christmas tree, if you have any left over, a second tree on your front porch would be an easy way to embellish the outdoor of your home. Not only does an outdoor Christmas tree curb the appeal of twinkling lights, but it also adds to the festive spirit and draws attention to your beautifully decorated home.

Now, if you don’t want the hassle of dragging out a secondary tree, perhaps consider decorating the trees directly in front of your porch instead in order to provide a contrasting balance of lights and decorations.

Use symmetry to your advantage

To achieve an element of cohesive style, decorate your porch considering the use of symmetry. Match the wreaths and garlands on each side so that spectators can easily follow a visual pathway through your outdoor design.

Fill the outside of your home with warm lighting

Directional lighting is one of the best additions that you can add to any outdoor illumination project. You can use it as a way to direct light from your home into the darker corners of your property or simply allow it to up light a garden feature. Directional lighting would work well to highlight all of your Christmas decorations that you have spread across your porch and lawn. While path and area lighting would also be a good addition to brighten up your outdoor walkways. After all, how are your guests supposed to make their way to your beautifully illuminated porch if they can’t see where they are stepping in the first place. Outdoor lighting plays a huge role in decorating for the upcoming winter season and for the holidays.

Get crafty with your decor

A decorative lantern can serve as a perfect centerpiece to your outdoor porch decor. Fill the lantern(s) with some shiny ornaments and bulbs and top it off with a little greenery, a bow or some ribbons. This is a fun, easy and unique way to add a pop of cheer to your front door.

Wrap Christmas lights tastefully

Swaddle your porch with some added Christmas glee when you wrap Christmas lights around the banister or the outline of your front door and windows. Not only does it provide an aesthetic visual framework, but it also lights up your outdoor area so it can be seen from further away. How cool is that?

How do you plan to use Christmas decorations and directional lighting to dress up your front porch for the holidays? Tell us in the comments section below.