Healthy Homes

A cheaper light in the dark

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:10

After you've transformed the climate of your home with radiant floors and energy efficient heating, it's time to focus on another area that could greatly decrease your carbon footprint in the world and your electric bill: lighting.The benefits of seeing the light

Something as simple as replacing the light bulbs in your house can have an accumulative effect that will warrant the hassle and cost of doing so in the long run. One of the most notable obstacles in converting your lighting fixtures' bulbs is the cost. Regular incandescent light bulbs are cheaper at first than the newer LED or CFL ones, but in the long run, they will more than make up the small price of switching them out.Energy.gov states that LED and CFL bulbs use anywhere from 25 to 80 percent less energy which, depending on how often you use the light, could make up the cost within the first year. Since these don't use as much energy, these lights can last as much as 25 times longer than regular incandescents, also contributing to overall savings.Most of the energy consumed by older light bulbs is converted into a substantial amount of heat, not illumination. Making the change to an LED or CFL could also work against your bills, especially in the summer, by reducing the strain on air conditioners to further cool rooms being warmed by older lights.Not much help from the government

The recent budget passed by Congress had an attachment on it restricting the U.S. Department of Energy from spending any money to carry out any of the energy-efficient standards in the country for light bulbs.The National Association of Manufacturers released a poll showing that 9 out of 10 probable voters support energy efficiency, despite their political preferences. Even with the support of industrial leaders and the common people, reforms have been slow.President and CEO of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, Evan Gaddis, said in a press release, "The results prove that energy efficiency is a winning topic with consumers. An investment in energy efficiency returns significant cost savings."There's no time like the present when it comes to reforming the effectiveness of your household. The sooner changes are made, the sooner you can start reaping the savings. Renovating your home to make it eco-friendly does nothing but benefit you and the world around you as well as making it easier to maintain.