So far in the series, we have covered:
- Provide “task” lighting (over desks, tool benches, craft tables, etc.) so that work and leisure activities can be done without illuminating entire rooms.
- Select the type of light bulb on the basis of its efficiency. Compact fluorescent bulbs will give an incandescent bulb’s warm soft light, while using 75 percent less electricity. They also last about 8 to 10 times longer. Use these bulbs in fixtures or lamps that are on for more than two hours each day.
- If you don’t like the “look” of compact fluorescent lighting, consider high-efficiency halogen lighting. For example, a 100-watt incandescent bulb can be replaced by a 72-watt or 70-watt halogen bulb. A 60-watt incandescent bulb can be replaced by a 42-watt or 40-watt halogen bulb.
- Consider using Light Emitting Diode (LED) light bulbs, especially in hard-to-reach fixtures. A 60-watt incandescent bulb can be replaced by a 12-watt LED bulb that will have a rated lifetime of more than 20,000 hours.
- Some compact fluorescent bulbs can be used with dimmer switches. Check the package to make sure they can be used with dimmers. Where possible, consider using dimmable compact fluorescent bulbs.
- The reflectance of interior surfaces has an important bearing on lighting efficiency. In home decoration, therefore, choose lighter colors for walls, ceilings, floors, and furniture. Dark colors absorb light and require higher lamp wattage for a given level of illumination. Light-colored surfaces should be kept clean to keep reflectance levels high.
- In lamps and fixtures having two or more sockets for incandescent bulbs, consider using a single large bulb in one socket rather than filling all sockets with bulbs of smaller wattage. A 100-watt bulb, for instance, produces 50 percent more light than four 25-watt bulbs for the same amount of energy. Using compact fluorescent bulbs will save more energy. Typically, a 23-watt compact fluorescent bulb can replace a 90- or 100-watt incandescent bulb.
- Many so-called “long life” bulbs emit significantly less light than a standard incandescent bulb of the same wattage. They should be used only where the long-life feature is advantageous, as in hard-to-reach fixtures, or where it is not possible to use compact fluorescent bulbs.
- When possible, locate floor, table, and hanging lamps in the corner of a room rather than against a flat wall. Lamps in corners reflect light from two wall surfaces instead of one and, therefore, give more usable light.
- Clean lighting fixtures regularly. Dust on lamps and reflectors impairs lighting efficiency.
- For large areas such as family recreation rooms, where high levels of lighting are required periodically but not 100 percent of the time, install fixtures on two or three separate circuits so illumination can be controlled by switching circuits on and off.
- When purchasing light bulbs, the wattage ratings tell you only the amount of power it takes to make a bulb work. The amount of brightness is measured in lumens. Larger wattage bulbs are usually more efficient, whether incandescent or compact fluorescent, producing more lumens per watt than smaller bulbs.