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February 24, 2012

Alli @ 11:58 am

Lighting – Energy Efficiency

A recommended approach to lighting your home

Especially in a multipurpose, highly trafficked room like the kitchen, lighting should be an integral part of the project, not an afterthought. Proper lighting improves the function, appearance and energy efficiency of your home and is also important to your comfort, health and safety. Yet homeowners and contractors alike often place more emphasis on decorative aspects or wiring considerations than efficiency and function.

Follow these strategies to ensure your lighting is as practical and energy-efficient as possible:

Develop a Lighting Plan  

A lighting plan should include both the location and the type of fixtures and controls. Along with the ambient lighting required by building codes, the plan should address decorative, task, focal, and safety lighting.

Instead of traditional incandescent lighting fixtures, opt for fluorescent fixtures that are Energy Star-qualified. Look for lamps with a higher Color Rendering Index (CRI)—at least 70 or 80—to avoid a glow and get a light closer to true natural light.

Recessed lights (aka “can” lights) that penetrate the ceiling should be IC-rated (insulation contact) so that they are resistant to fire and also prevent air leakage and energy loss. Other similar lighting fixtures should be caulked around the edge or gasket-ed to prevent air infiltration.

Filed under: Go Green