Green lighting is about moving forward with the new – more affordable and environmentally friendly lighting options now available. LED lighting has trumped fluorescent as the new true Green Lighting option for being friendly to the environment and your budget.
Watt’s the big deal about LED Lighting?
That’s just it, watts and a lot less of them. The conventional 65 watt Edison Shaped bulb can now be replaced with a 13 watt LED Bulb which uses 80% less energy and lasts 25 times as long. Even the efficiency of the 16-18 Watt Fluorescent Curly Q’s are unable to beat the energy savings and durability of LED technology. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the harmful mercury content with an LED bulb. The lifetime of the new LED bulbs would require 25 incandescent or halogen bulbs to equal the same amount of usage. With less energy and materials required for each bulb, less fossil fuels are required to light up our world and our carbon footprint shrinks. If you are curious and want to check out your current light bulb energy consumption, take a look at National Geographic’s Light bulb Savings calculator or, you can call us and we’ll do a free lighting analysis/audit and provide you with a similar savings estimate.
Green lighting means no more hot air
Nobody likes hot air – not in our advertising, our homes, or our business. Incandescent and Halogen bulbs create so much hot air that it costs more to cool down the heated air during the summer months. The US Department of Energy has calculated that fifteen percent of a household’s HVAC electricity costs are directly attributed to the heat generated by Incandescent and halogen bulbs and for businesses it is as high as thirty percent. LED lights generate little or no heat and unlike its counterparts, you can actually touch the bulb even after a long, hot day of work. Incandescent bulbs will put out 85 BTU’s per hour compared to 3.5 BTU’s per hour for LEDs. What’s a BTU? It is the equivalency of one 4 inch match completely consumed by a flame. LEDs do a one-two punch on your electrical costs in reducing the direct amount of energy used as well as put out 96% less heat to be cooled by our energy gobbling air conditioners. All this just by replacing your bulbs and we haven’t even talked about the other technology that’s available.
Creative solutions for sustainable light
If saving 82% of your energy costs isn’t enough to call it “green lighting” – take a look at lighting control options that can help manage the actual time your lights are on. Dimmers, Occupancy sensors, and the combination of the two are a source of savings according to Taitem a Weatherization Assistance Program in New York – they state for Occupancy Sensors that “More than 50% more in additional savings can be had by reducing the off-delay time from 30 minutes to 30 seconds in corridors.” Dimmers are another source of savings in controlling your lighting. According to Lutron, dimmers by themselves can save up to 20% in additional costs, but the combination of Dimmers and occupancy sensors the savings can be as great as 60%. The US department of Energy also indicates photo sensors, and timers can be used as additional energy reducing measures. Lighting controls and LED technology used together in an integrated system called smart lighting, compounds the energy savings from dimmers, sensors, timers, etc. Businesses especially should take advantage of the cost saving and energy savings found with smart lighting technologies. Another area within the business world, eye catching lighting (string lights, neon, flood lights, etc.), all help bring in business off the street. A properly lit business and parking lot offer peace of mind in knowing that a place is not only safe at night but also clean, and inviting. There are LED Neon rope lights that offer the same brightness, consistency, less maintenance and reduces your energy consumption costs by up to 80%. Parking lot lighting is often lit up by energy hungry 1000 watt or 400 watt metal halide or high pressure sodium bulbs. Each of these bulbs can be replaced by LED retrofits that consume 80% less energy and could qualify as a Dark-sky Friendly because they direct all their light downward.
Go Green, GO!
If you’re really interested in having truly green lighting, then consider a passive solar strategy to maximize the use of the sun’s light and energy. Strategically place your windows in appropriate areas to maximize the amount of sunlight and make use of, or eliminate heat generated from the sun’s rays. If hiring an architect isn’t in the picture you can read up on similar passive solar ideas through the nonprofit organization Southface. At Birddog Lighting we installed the same LED lighting we sell and we installed a solar power system. With anywhere from 10-15 employees at a time and the appropriate desktop computer system for each – our power bill for an office and small warehouse is less than $50 a month. Some businesses that have gone out of their way to go as green as they can often seek out a LEED certification for business, the same can be done for your home. As they say it best, a certification increases the value and environmental integrity of your home or business. A LEED certification evaluates the whole building for its materials used, its systems used and its end use impact on the environment. The lighting you choose is just as important as making sure that you capture the natural light of the sun. An LED lighting project can come with a sizable investment – but with rebates available from many utility companies, your return on investment becomes very attractive and often times can be paid back within 6-12 months. If you are interested in finding out whether or not your utility company offers rebates, Birddog distributing offers a free lighting analysis to inventory all the bulb types for your home or business and calculate the energy usage and potential savings. Get green, stay green and SAVE Money!