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A Guide To Saving Money And Energy With Green Lighting

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs use 10% of the energy that a standard bulb needs and they last 10 times longer. So, change your light bulbs. And if you want to know how to go green in a bigger way with lights, check out the new LED bulbs. They can be twice as efficient as the CFL bulbs...

Why You Should Choose An Energy Saving Light Bulb

When people refer to an energy saving light bulb, they are generally referring to a CFL or Compact Fluorescent Light.  A Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb is designed as an alternative to standard incandescent light bulbs.  Because of this, a Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb will fit into any standard light socket designed for incandescent light bulbs.

An energy saving light bulb, putting out as much visible light as a standard incandescent, will use less power and last longer.  Even though energy saving light bulbs cost more than standard incandescent light bulbs, they can save you as much as $30 over the period of their use.  This is usually a substantial savings above and beyond the increased cost of environmentally friendly light bulbs.

Of course, green consumers are more interested in the energy conservation achieved by using an energy saving light bulb instead of a standard incandescent light bulb.  This reduction of energy use, however, is directly related to the cost savings of a CFL in comparison to incandescent lighting.

An energy saving light bulb is rated to last as much as nine to eighteen times longer than the standard incandescent light bulb.  They also use 75% to 80% less energy than their incandescent counterparts.

Apart from using an energy saving light bulb, another source of green lighting are LED lights or Light Emitting Diodes.  These energy saving light bulbs are not really light bulbs at all but are semiconductor light sources.

Until recently, LED lights have not really been used as a room lighting source because of strict current and heat management requirements.  Great progress is, however, being made in room lighting applications for LED.  An LED lighting source is longer lasting and uses less energy than the standard incandescent light bulb.  While they have presented cost issues for room lighting, the technology has been causing their efficiency and light output to grow dramatically.  This is expressed by the fact that a doubling of output has been occurring about every thirty-six months since the 1960s. 

Solar indoor lighting is a less known lighting option for the home.  Its advantage, of course, is that it uses solar power to create indoor lighting as opposed to power from off of the grid.  There have been many recent developments in the technology of indoor solar lighting, but one of the simplest forms of indoor solar lighting is using portable lamps.  These lamps are very similar to many of your typical outdoor solar lights.

The indoor lights resemble a standard table lamp and can be placed in any location good for collecting sunlight during the day.  The lamps have small solar panels and collect the light and transfer the energy to a rechargeable battery.  At night, you turn on the light, using the battery to power it.  During the day, the solar panel collects the sunlight and recharges the battery.  In this manner of operation, indoor portable solar lamps are very much like green outdoor lighting, with which most of us are very familiar.

So, you can see that there are many types of energy efficient lighting systems out there to help you generate light without using the power grid.  Choose what best suits your current needs, from indoor solar lighting to an energy saving light bulb, and do your part to create light while conserving energy.

Green Lighting

Green Lighting Book - This Guide is perfect for do-it-yourselfers interested in energy-efficient lighting. The book shows anyone using residential or commercial lighting how to implement upgrades to reduce energy costs while maintaining or even improving the quality of the lighting. Green Lighting includes methods for calculating payback and return on investment, and a complete source for energy-efficient products available worldwide.

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Green Light Know How - Your Guide To Energy-Saving Light Bulbs

It's human nature. We're always eager to explore the newest product, especially the ones touted to improve our lives. At the same time, we can be skeptical about new product technologies, and it can be hard to decide what, and whether, to buy. This is certainly the case with energy-saving light bulbs. The Energy Independence and Security Act, passed in December of 2007, started the clock ticking on the end of the inexpensive and reliable incandescent light bulb. While it's true that a few bulb manufacturers have flirted with the idea of nudging the energy efficiency of Mr. Edison's classic up enough to meet the law's requirements, it now appears likely that U.S. consumers will need to convert to 21st century green light bulbs for most uses starting in 2012.

The mainstream media has been full of news about the coming light bulb revolution. In the last week of May alone, both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times ran high profile articles addressing emerging trends on CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) and LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs.

Since they cost more than traditional bulbs, most people buy energy-saving bulbs for two main reasons: they save money in the long run and they're better for the environment. Specifically, because green light bulbs use much less energy to produce the same amount of light, they reduce harmful gas emissions from coal-fired power plants (which generate 50% of the electricity used in the United States).

So consumers should immediately replace all their incandescents with energy-saving light bulbs, right? Well, not so fast. With lighting, quality matters especially in our homes where we gather, read, cook, eat, celebrate and entertain. There's a perception that green light bulbs require sacrificing light quality. Don't believe it. Many eco-friendly light bulbs cast soft, beautiful light. And no one should feel guilty about not switching out every fixture containing a regular light bulb. Invest first in replacing the bulbs used most frequently. Savings will be bigger and pay back periods shorter with this approach. And truth be told, there are scenarios where the best bulb is the old-fashioned incandescent.

7 Keys to Choosing the Best Green Light Bulbs for Your Home or Office

Choosing from the many energy-saving light bulbs on the market today can be tricky. Gone are the days when all that mattered was bulb wattage and shape.

By keeping these seven simple guidelines in mind, you'll be on a path to making smart decisions about what to buy to meet your needs for energy-saving light bulbs in this new green age:

1. Pay more, not less - to save money in the long run, your new green bulbs should be able to last for several thousand hours. If you buy the cheapest ones you can find, the odds are greater that they won't.

2. Pick your spots - if a fixture is completely enclosed or is lit for less than 15 minutes at a time and less than two hours a day, CFLs are a poor investment. Low energy, mercury-free halogens are available that are worth a look in these situations. Wait until the existing bulb burns out (or hold onto it for later use - see #6).

3. Nobody likes the blues - the bluish light cast by many fluorescent tubes is not appealing to most homeowners. When buying CFLs and LEDs choose "warm white" or "soft white" labels for color that will look pleasingly familiar. Energy-saving light bulbs labeled "cool white," "natural light," or "daylight" are blue-hued and best for targeted applications like reading, task lighting and exterior fixtures, not for living areas, atmosphere or accent lighting.

4. Dimming - most CFL and LED bulbs can't be used with dimmer switches. Look for green light bulbs that are boldly labeled "dimmable." And while the industry has made great strides in recent years, most energy-saving light bulbs do not dim as well as traditional incandescent bulbs. However, the big energy savings are compelling for most homeowners. Making the switch to dimmable CFLs or LEDs in a busy family kitchen can be a real money saver, including reduced cooling costs because neither type generates as much heat as incandescents. Last point: the dimmer switch should be compatible with the green light bulbs you buy.

5. Let's do the twist - spiral or "twister" CFLs are the least expensive type. If these green light bulbs are hidden behind a shade (though not totally enclosed), buying a spiral lamp will cut the payback period versus glass covered CFLs.

6. Stay out of the closet - most closets need short bursts of instantaneous light. This is usually true of powder rooms, basements, attics and garages. Among energy saving bulbs, CFLs in particular aren't suited for this purpose. Traditional bulbs (or again, low energy halogens) are best in these scenarios until something better comes along.

7. Innovative, intriguing, expensive - mercury-free LED bulbs are the future of lighting, case closed. These green light bulbs use less electricity than even CFLs and they last 30,000 hours or more. However, current prices per bulb are as high as $100, which means the payback period for most home-based uses is too long to justify the price. If you are curious about this new technology and live in an area with high retail electricity costs, you might consider LED replacement bulbs for one or two fixtures that get a lot of use (6+ hours per day). Re-read Key #1 before you invest in these types of energy-saving light bulbs.

Ignore the Naysayers - Green Light Bulbs Are Here to Stay

One last point: mercury makes CFLs (and fluorescent tubes for that matter) work. Some serious people, including syndicated columnist George Will, say we should avoid energy-saving bulbs for this reason. We disagree. Coal-fired electricity generation is the largest contributor of mercury to the environment. Through reduced electricity consumption, a single CFL will keep a lot more mercury out of the environment over its lifetime than it contains. Still, releasing any mercury into the environment is a bad idea, so it's important to recycle CFLs when they stop working. Recycling your used bulbs is getting easier all the time.

Visit http://www.lamprecycle.org for resources.

Green light bulbs are here to stay. This is good news for our wallets and our world because the cheapest, cleanest kilowatt of electricity is the one that is never produced in the first place. Become smart enough to buy the right energy-saving bulbs and don't look back.

About the Author: Peter Ellinwood. Peter Ellinwood, the founder and owner of GreenPoma, an online retailer of hard-to-find, energy efficient lighting products, has an extensive background in product management and marketing. He spent 25 years in the insurance industry in Boston, Baltimore, and Annapolis, but decided to use his existing knowledge of marketing for a greater purpose - offering eco-friendly light bulbs along with great advice and simpler ways to go green. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Peter_Ellinwood

 

Green Lighting - Useful Information

Good News on the Green-Lighting Front - Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Are Here to Stay

"Energy efficiency isn't just low hanging fruit, it's fruit lying on the ground." - U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, June 26, 2009

In December 2007, then-President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act into law. Among other things, this law opened the door for energy-efficient light bulbs to gain market share in the U.S. However, several commonly used lamp types were exempted under the Act. On June 26 of this year, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced a new set of efficiency standards for General Service Fluorescent Lamps (GSFLs) and Incandescent Reflector Lamps (IRLs). The rules will go into effect in the second half of 2012.

Since these two lamp categories represent 45% of total lighting electricity consumption in the U.S., new energy-efficient light bulb rules are significant. Vast amounts of electricity, and the harmful emissions attributable to its production, will be saved over the decades ahead. This represents good news for the American wallet and the environment we all share. Green light bulbs are here to stay.

Green Light Bulbs for Downlight Fixtures

The rest of this article will focus on the opportunities to save energy with state-of-the-art incandescent reflector bulbs, even before the new efficiency standards go into effect.

The current minimum efficacy (in lumens per watt) standard for PAR20 and PAR30, 120 volt, 75 watt IRLs (established in 1975) is 12.5. The new rules that take effect in 2012 are applicable to the same lamps and increase the minimum efficacy to 16.0 and 18.9 lumens per watt, respectively. This increase in the standard represents a 28% and 51% increase in efficiency, respectively.

Eco-friendly light bulbs, which meet the newly announced 2012 standards, are already on the market (though they're not easy to find). The savvy reader will suspect that a Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) can easily surpass the new efficacy rules for IRLs. And they'd be correct...CFLs typically produce 40 or more lumens per watt, making them much more energy efficient than the more popular halogen variety. But there's a catch: the light cast by CFLs and some other green light bulbs, while satisfactory in the home or office, is inferior to halogen light in terms of its ability to crisply render colors and fine details.

A Small Business Case Study: The Merits of Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

A small, green, retail business owner wants to reduce electricity costs and carbon emissions without sacrificing the light quality needed to properly showcase merchandise. In terms of switching to the right energy-efficient light bulbs, what can the owner do now?

Facts: 

  • Single location, green home-goods retailer in central New Hampshire occupying 300 square feet of space
  • 36 recessed cans, mounted on 4 tracks, are used to light the store
  • Fixtures accommodate 3.75" wide reflector-type bulbs (PAR30, R30 etc.)
  • 28 cans contain green light bulbs (R30 CFLs) using 15 watts each for general lighting
  • 8 cans, mounted in a track which lights an alcove occupied by a paint-chip display for eco-friendly paints, contain PAR30 long neck halogen lamps of 75 watts each (note that these 8 lamps consume 59% of lighting electricity in the store).

Challenge: The owner wants to improve the energy efficiency of the alcove lamps without sacrificing the crisp, flattering light of the halogen lamps currently in use.

Recommendation: Replace 75 watt PAR30 long neck bulbs with 48 watt GE Long Life HIR(TM) PLUS PAR30 long neck lamps. These energy-efficient light bulbs yield output of 850 lumens, 90 lumens less than the existing lamp. The owner found this reduction to be acceptable after testing the new lamps for several days.

The new bulb produces 17.7 lumens per watt, making it 42% more energy-efficient than the old lamp. Furthermore, it is 5% more energy-efficient than Secretary Chu's just-announced standards for a 48 watt, 120 volt, PAR 30 (16.8 lumens per watt).

Finally, these lamps have a 40% longer life expectancy than the old, a redeeming merit due to the typical higher price tags of energy-efficient light bulbs. This advantage will reduce replacement costs and boost overall savings.

Savings Forecast Using Green Light Bulbs

New Hampshire is a high cost electricity state with a commercial rate of 15.6 cents per kilowatt hour as of March 2009 (citation: US Energy Information Administration). The store owner estimates 2,000 hours of annual use for these new energy-efficient light bulbs. At a retail price of $15.38 per lamp, she expects to virtually break even after one year. And over two years, during which time she would have had to replace the original 75 watt bulbs, she expects to save $155, or 30%, using green light bulbs to light her alcove with the eight fixture track.

The newly announced efficiency standards for GSFLs and IRLs are welcome news for those concerned with reducing harmful gas emissions stemming from electricity generation. And according to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, these green light bulbs will save U.S. consumers $1 to $4 billion per year starting in 2012.

Manufacturers of energy-efficient light bulbs and their forward-looking distributors are ahead of the curve however. It is therefore possible for home and business owners with downlight fixtures to immediately start phasing in green light bulbs, without sacrificing the great light quality they enjoy from IRLs.

About The Author: Peter Ellinwood, the founder and owner of GreenPoma, an online retailer of hard-to-find, energy efficient lighting products, has an extensive background in product management and marketing. He spent 25 years in the insurance industry in Boston, Baltimore, and Annapolis, but decided to use his existing knowledge of marketing for a greater purpose - offering eco-friendly light bulbs along with great advice and simpler ways to go green. To learn more about GreenPoma or to make a purchase, please visit http://www.greenpoma.com. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Peter_Ellinwood

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Green Lighting - Electricity That Drops Down To Light Up

ENERGY STAR gets the LED out

On September 30, 2008, ENERGY STAR put their Solid-State Lighting (SSL) Program into effect. This means you can eventually buy ENERGY STAR qualified solid-state lighting. How soon? Manufacturers first need to submit lighting products and get them ENERGY STAR qualified. Once done, you'll be able to pick them up for your own lighting projects.

We give you some notes to get you up to speed on solid-state lighting. When you hear solid-state lighting, think LEDs (light emitting diodes). That's what we'll talk about . . .

How Do LEDs work?

Kind of like plunging in a roller coaster

LEDs differ from traditional light sources in the way they produce light. In an incandescent lamp, a tungsten filament is heated by electric current until it glows or emits light. In a fluorescent lamp, an electric arc excites mercury atoms, which emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation. After striking the phosphor coating on the inside of glass tubes, the UV radiation is converted and emitted as visible light.

Electricity makes a wire glow in incandescent lamps and makes atoms emit ultraviolet light in fluorescent lamps, which the tube then converts into visible light. So far, so good?

In an LED, electricity flows through a semiconductor chip's junction which has holes in it. The electricity falls into these holes and releases light. Kind of like when you take a plunge in a roller coaster and release a loud scream.

What Color Is Your Parachute?

You get different colors from LEDs depending on the material of the diode:

  • red - aluminum gallium arsenide
  • blue - indium gallium nitride
  • green - aluminum gallium phosphide
  • white - the red, blue, and green colors combined

Since there's no test at the end of this, forget about the high tech materials and remember red + blue + green make white. Oh, you know that already? That was easy.

What's So Different About LEDs?

Compare these against incandescent and fluorescent lighting:

  • Directional light emission - directs light where it is needed.
  • Size advantage - can be very compact and low-profile.
  • Breakage resistance - no breakable glass or filaments.
  • Cold temperature operation - performance improves in the cold.
  • Instant on - needs no "warm up" time.
  • Rapid cycling capability - lifetime isn't affected by frequent switching.
  • Controllability - compatible with electronic controls to change light levels and color characteristics.
  • No IR or UV emissions - LEDs intended for lighting do not emit infrared or ultraviolet radiation.
Where Can You Stick It?

You already can see some places where this will work for you ("cold temperatures" - refrigerated environments):

  • Undercabinet lighting
  • In-cabinet accent lighting
  • Adjustable task lighting
  • Refrigerated case lighting
  • Outdoor area lighting
  • Elevator lighting
  • Recessed downlights
  • Accent lights
  • Step and path lighting
  • Cove lighting
  • Spaces with occupancy sensors
  • Food preparation areas
  • Retail display cases
  • Art display lighting

And The Energy Efficiency: What's The Bottom Line?

Warren Buffet-sized returns on investment

The bottom line is looking up. In fact, you'll see quadruple-digit returns on your investment. You may know that compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can last up to 10 times longer and use 75% less electricity as incandescent lamps. Check this out:

Life:

  • Incandescent: about 1,000 hours
  • Comparable CFL: 8,000 to 10,000 hours
  • LEDs: 30,000 to 50,000 hours

Energy Efficiency: LEDs are comparable to CFLs, and getting better due to technical improvements. LEDs look even better when you consider that 50% of incandescent or fluorescent recessed light is lost inside the fixture; LEDs produce directional light. To you and me, that means no light loss and twice the efficiency in those applications.

The Return On Your Investment: lasts 30 to 50 times as long as incandescent, while using 1/8 of the energy. If that was your car, it would last 300 to 500 years instead of 10, and drive you from LA to NY and back to LA on one $80 tank of gas. Then, in 300 years, your descendants later sell it on Ebay as an antique and make a pot of money. Yep, Warren-Buffet sized investment returns.

About The Author: Cinnamon Alvarez

Where You Can Get More Info?

Just follow the link below to get info laser focused on energy efficient lighting that's easy to read and very practical: And now I would like to offer you free access to powerful info on energy efficiency that's easy to read and cuts through all this "green" information clutter -- so you can literally start making positive changes today. You can access it now by going to: [http://www.a19.com/pub/articles]. From Cinnamon Alvarez: Founder, A19 -- woman-owned green manufacturer of hand-made ceramic lighting fixtures. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cinnamon_Alvarez

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Green Lighting Products - Browse Online

Buying energy efficient lighting online allows you to research and compare different products and prices before you buy.

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