Lighting: the Controlling Factor
While we’re all waiting for the next generation of LED lamps to sweep in and save the planet, here is an off-the-shelf truth. State-of-the-art, environmentally friendly, energy-saving lighting products that provide good visual acuity are available right now.
The secret is in the controls. There are very sophisticated lighting control systems on the market and I’ll discuss them in a future post, but what I’m talking about today are dimmers–the familiar tool we’ve all been using for years.
According to Lutron, just one of the many dimming manufacturers, dim a light 25 percent and you cut electricity costs by about 20 percent, and bulbs last 3-6 years on average. Even halogen or incandescent lamps can last at least three times longer. In fact, a dimmed halogen bulb will usually last longer than a switched, screw-in compact fluorescent bulb and provide energy savings, smooth control, and great lighting quality.
Lighting accounts for nearly 20 percent of the average home’s electricity bill, so dimming can have a big impact. Use Lutron’s dimmer benefit calculator to pick your dimmer, set the number of bulbs, wattage per bulb, and the hours they are used each day and see your savings. The calculator also allows you to see how you can create ambiance in a room as you dim.
Check it out and take control.
Top image: Lutron lighting at the World Bar at the Trump World Tower in New York. Photo by Tuca Reines.