In our last post we spoke about choice of lightbulbs – health vs efficiency. Today, we will discuss a little bit more on making a conscious effort and the various options for indoor lighting.
You will certainly agree that lighting is a vital component of our everyday lives. It is important to not only to consider the impact of excessive energy usage from an environmental perspective but also to ensure your family’s wellbeing.
Make Use of Natural Light as Much as Possible
Why use artificial light at all when we all have access to our own free, bright, renewable source of light? Of course, we need artificial light to function at night, but if our homes were well designed in the first place, we would all have access to copious amounts of natural light through well-placed windows, skylights and translucent wall panels.
Sunlight, in moderation, has plenty of health benefits, including helping our bodies make vitamin D. This is something that can’t be produced by artificial light. Sunlight exposure also helps the body in maintaining its internal clock more efficiently, resulting in improved sleep and mood! So simply draw the curtains, open your doors and windows and allow all that natural lighting in.
Add a Window or Skylight
If you have the option to renovate, add a window or skylight. There are a lot of great translucent insulating building products which will allow you to let light into your home without letting heat in or out.
Maximize the light
You can maximize the light in a room by choosing light colors and reflective materials for your walls, ceiling and floor. Cool and light paint colors tend to reflect light more readily. Light-colored and glossy flooring options can reflect a lot of ambient light, brightening up your space. Mirrors on walls will also reflect light around the room and brighten your space exponentially.
Open floor plan
Most homes have open floor plans these days. One of its many benefits is the contribution to lighting efficiency, as an open floor plan allows light to flow freely throughout the entire space.
Change your Bulbs
1. Choose incandescent bulbs. They may not be the best in terms of efficiency but experts would agree that this is the safest in terms of health. Read our earlier post to know more.
2. If you need to use LED bulbs, try using one that does not have a transformer. If you can’t use incandescent bulbs, always pick LED instead of CFL as the former is certainly safer than the latter.
3. If you can’t avoid buying CFL, choose a double-encapsulated CFL. This helps protect you against the leak of mercury that may happen with ordinary CFL in case the CFL bulb drops.
Light dimming technology has continued to advance and you can see the benefits to both quality of life and to your utility bill. Dimming your lights not only uses less energy and voltage, but also extends the life of your light bulb. In addition, this means you are less exposed to harsh light during the night, helping you fall asleep more easily.
Use task lighting
Rather than lighting the whole room, simply light the space you are using. Lamps can help you avoid excessive overhead lighting by providing task and ambient lighting to your living room, bedside, or office space.
Lighting a painting, or a corner space or installing a reading light can be as useful as overhead lighting to save energy and bring the required ambience.
Switch off all lights at night
Darkness is essential to sleep! The absence of light sends an important message to the body that it is time to rest. Staying up late every night and/or sleeping with a nightlight switched on not only affects your health, but also consumes a lot more electricity than is necessary.
Watch out for more posts on Conscious interior spaces. If there is anything you’d like us to talk about, let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org