The lighting we install in our home can pretty much make or break the overall feeling and mood in it. By this, we are not referring to the mere aesthetics of the lighting fixtures, but rather to the impact lighting solutions can have on the environment and, consequently, on our health. Everything, from the materials from which the luminaires are made, to the bulbs and power that we use, can contribute to the preservation of the environment. If you are looking for ways to make your home lighting more sustainable, here is what you can do.
Opt for repurposed materials
When buying a new lamp or chandelier, make sure you choose the one that is made from recycled and reused materials. Or simply use the materials you have lying around your house, like empty egg cartons, plastic bottles, or old paper, and DIY your own lighting fixtures. You can make string lights easily with cupcake liners, which serve as lampshades. Repurposed tin cans make excellent lanterns. Just remember to fill the cans with water and freeze it before you start carving the cans, or hammering the holes in them with a nail, if you do not want them to bulge inward.
Upcycling is fun
A great way to get rid of your children’s’ unused toys and props is to use them for creating unique and eco-friendly lighting designs. Instead of splurging money on expensive halo chandeliers, take a hula hoop, for example, and wrap colourful textile strips around it. Then do the same with Christmas tree lights, and you got yourself a new chandelier. Take a few empty wine bottles, cut the bottom off with a glass cutting tool and insert sockets into the bottles. Fix the bottles to a wood plank, which you can then suspend from the ceiling. Complement your table with a centre piece, made from mason jars, which also serves as a lamp. It requires no crafting skills since you can just place a scented candle in the jar.
Take up good habits
Even if your lighting fixtures are made entirely from repurposed materials, or you use the most energy efficient bulbs, it will all go into waste if you are keeping the lights on when no one is in a room. Turn the lights out whenever you are leaving a room, and especially in the evening, before going to bed. If the idea of constantly checking if the lights are on or off does not sound like much fun to you, you can install motion sensors to keep track instead of you.
Make a smart choice of light
Did you know that incandescent bulbs turn only about 5% of the energy they spent into light? The rest goes into heat. Replacing the bulbs in your home is the easiest and perhaps the most important change you can make. Compact florescent bulbs (CFLs) are a bit more expensive than the common incandescents, but they soon pay off the price difference. They last 10 times longer than the incandescent ones and will save you a significant amount of money on the annual level. According to Superlight experts, LEDs are just starting to spread in the market but the trends show that they will only be more popular. In terms of energy consumption and lastingness, they are even better than CFLs. They reduce the consumption of energy by more than 80% and last approximately 100,000 hours. Another advantage of LEDs is that they do not produce so much heat as the common bulbs.
What kind of bulbs do you use in your home?