The lighting of your home is so important. The proper lighting schema can make tasks easier to do, create a mood, highlight artwork and the wonderful features of your home, and keep your home warm and inviting on even the darkest days.
New strides in technology has made it easier than ever to save money on lighting costs, but to really save, you’ll need to employ a little knowledge, too, or you may actually spend more money in your quest to save money. Here are four ways that you can light your home for less.
1. Off or On?
Many people wonder if they should shut off lights every time they leave a room, even if they are planning to return to it within the half hour. Does turning your lights on and off use up more energy than simply leaving them on? The answer is no. Feel confident about shutting off the lights every time. Not only will you save money, but you will also start to develop the habit of switching the lights off automatically.
The exception to this strategy is when you have fluorescent lights. These types of bulbs tend to burn out faster when they are turned on and off frequently.
2. Change the Bulbs
Of course one of the biggest ways that you can save on lighting costs is to swap out the old incandescent bulbs for CFLs and LEDs that are qualified by Energy Star for their efficiency. Personally, I would recommend LEDs if you have children, since they do not pose the mercury hazard that CFLs do. Even though CFLs and LEDs cost more to purchase, they last longer and cost less to use, so you still save a significant amount of money using them. They are many new designs that mimic traditional incandescent bulbs.
3. Decorate for Light
How you decorate your home may influence how much light you need and even how often your lights are turned on. A light paint color will automatically lighten up a room and reflect more light. Make sure the paint has a a satin or eggshell finish, because the reflective surface will also bounce more light.
Strategically placed mirrors will also gather and reflect more light into your rooms. Place them to reflect the light coming in from windows, open the curtains and enjoy.
Keep lamps and bulbs clean and dust free, and you may find that you can use lower wattage bulbs or less lamps to light up your home.
4. Go High Tech
If you or other members of your family often forget to turn off light switches, you can solve the problem without any more guilt or nagging. Simple install occupancy-sensor switches on those lights that tend to get left on most frequently. These devices will automatically shut off the lights in a room a few minutes after the last person leaves it. You can also use these switches in area where your hands are typically full, such as a laundry room or a hallway.