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.

 

How do you select the right outdoor lighting?

outdoor home lighting

Your choices in exterior lighting fixtures should exuberate your glowing personality by providing a special finishing touch to your home’s overall appearance. However, there are a few elements to consider when you’re selecting the right look — safety, security and style. While a beautiful display of outdoor illumination is a welcoming feature for any household, taking the proper steps to provide a little safety along your walkways and security in corners of your property is also a good way to take advantage of outdoor home lighting. Needless to say, regardless of your agenda in terms of a nightly glow, there are a few questions to ask yourself before you select the right lighting for your home.

“What style am I going for?”

It’s important to acknowledge that your home has its own unique look and undoubtfully you’ll want to select exterior lights that work well with its existing style. Firstly, is your structure modern looking or does it embellish a more traditional, timeless feel? Now, if you aren’t planning any renovations in the near future, you’ll want to stick with your current theme when you plan your outdoor home lighting scheme. Next, you’ll need to consider the colors in your stonework, siding and roofing. Earthy tones, such as beiges or greens, would look best with bronze, brass or copper lighting fixtures. However, if your home features black or grey tones, you should select fixtures that possess a black, pewter, chrome, nickel, zinc or white finish. Lastly, you’ll need to consider the proportions of your home when you’re selecting outdoor home lighting. How much space do you have between your driveway and the highest point of elevation on your outdoor ceilings? Lighting looks best when it sizes up the architecture, so, consider the height and width of your home before you purchase your fixtures.

“What do I want the light to embellish?”

Regardless of whether you’re wanting to use the light for aesthetic reasons, safety for your guests or as a deterrent for crime, the key to finding the right lighting is to select something that correlates with your objectives. Here’s a good rule of thumb to use when you’re selecting lighting:

  • Front porch area: Outdoor LED bulbs have a longer lifespan than the average halogen bulbs and also possess a higher range of illumination. While step-deck lights offer your guest a safe glow for their footing on route to your front door.
  • Exterior surfaces: If you’re looking for security and a pinch of glamor, place a few directional lights along the siding, high ceilings or narrow corners of your home. Not only do these fancy, durable fixtures highlight your home’s surroundings, but they also possess a striking appeal in terms of uplifting outdoor features.
  • Backyard or front yard: Your yard is a fun area to decorate with outdoor home lighting. You can illuminate your flowerbeds with some LED garden lighting, highlight the glow of your water features with some pond lighting or provide an elegant curve of light along your walkways with some path lighting.

“How bright do I want my outdoor lighting?”

More light does not necessarily correspond to better light in terms of exterior lighting. If you’re placing your light fixtures too close to the glass, the strong rays of illumination can often exchange a displeasing glare that doesn’t compliment your home aesthetically. That’s why placement has the power to make or break a perfect lighting scheme.

“How do I want to incorporate energy efficiency?”

Since electricity is something that we use every day, taking steps towards more energy efficient lighting is the very least that homeowners can do to help mitigate their carbon footprint. That being said, not only do LED bulbs offer a great means of outdoor illumination, they also last longer, are available in various sizes and styles and allow you to save money on your energy costs.

Did our guide help you to decide what outdoor home lighting you’ll need to purchase for your illumination makeover? 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.