Let there be light. And there was light. But then the power went out and you were in the dark. Want to stay there? Then start preparing now to change the lighting scheme of your home to make it more efficient. Little changes here and minor additions there can create a home in which lighting can still be incorporated as a decorative element while also allowing for less aesthetic purposes like keeping you from tripping over yourself on those dark journeys to the bathroom and kitchen in the middle of the night.
Dust Your Bulbs
Do you ever stop to take the time to dust or clean your lightbulbs? Probably only as much as the time you take to dust the furniture on which a lamp sits, if that much. Think about how thick dust can build upon a flat surface and how, after weeks or months without attention, it becomes more difficult to see the surface through the dust. Now apply that to light bulbs and think of the effect that a thick cover of dust has on the light you are actually receiving. Depending on how dusty the area gets and how long the bulb lasts, you could potentially be losing close to half the light you are paying for in terms of the electricity needed to power that light. Get all the light you are paying for by taking the time to give every bulb in the house at least a quick going over with a feather duster. In rooms with significant dust accumulation, take even more time to clean the bulb with a rag.
Two Bulbs are Better Than One
In rooms and areas of the house where you have to depend on illumination for the sake of your own safety, consider doing away with a single bulb fixture and replace with a double-bulb fixture. Not only do two light bulbs provide twice the light, you also enjoy the insurance that comes with an unexpected blowout. When a bulb blows at the flip of a switch in a dark spot like the basement or attic, you won’t be left totally in the dark unless the second bulb decides to blow out in tandem.
Dominant Hand Placement
You should try to place the switches that turn on light fixtures and lamps in a location that takes advantage of your natural hand dominance. You can probably more easily locate a switch in the dark on the right if you are right handed and on the left if you are left handed. Likewise, situate lamps on tables and nightstands to take advantage of what nature decided for you.
When considering the replacement of an existing light fixture, always give serious consideration to going with one that has three-way capability. The three levels of illumination provide versatility as well as the opportunity to cut back on your lighting bill. You may tend to think of three-way lighting only in terms of lamps in the living room, but you will find yourself taking full advantage of this versatility once you start adding it to the rest of the house.
Fluorescence For Long Term
Any room that is dark enough to require lighting for extended periods should be illuminated with fluorescent bulbs rather than incandescent. Fluorescent bulbs don’t produce as much heat as incandescent bulbs, last longer before burning out and will provide a softer light during the day .
If you have a large area that can be adequately illuminated with a single bulb, you will likely get off cheaper going with that than using several smaller bulbs. You may not necessarily see any saving in terms of energy use, but you will certainly save money by buying fewer bulbs and needing fewer lamps. One single source of lighting is also easier to get to and can potentially free up valuable electrical socket space.
Corner the Market
You can corner the market on energy efficiency by placing lamps in the corners of rooms. This location takes advantage of the natural reflective power of light by bouncing it off two walls rather than just one. Increase efficiency by painting your walls a light color and covering with opaque lampshades or no lampshades at all.