Here at Twin Electrics & Plumbing, we’re building a great collection of guides on our two favourite subjects: innovative products and sustainability. You can’t find a better way of combining those two passions than energy-efficient lighting. Technology has led to significant innovations in lighting, but it’s not all about great gadgets. From architecture to solar, let’s look at our top 10 energy-efficient lighting tips.
1. Shine On – Harnessing The Power Of Solar
If you’re a regular reader of our Going Green blogs, you’ll know we’re mad about solar. It’s a big part of our business, and we’ve been installing and maintaining solar panels since they appeared on the market. At the moment, we’re enjoying outdoor solar lights. They’ve come a long way. Their capacity for storing energy has improved dramatically, and some models can now be hooked up to batteries for energy storage. To us, they’re a no-brainer, especially if you love enjoying your garden at night.
2. Essential Lighting – What Are The Best Light Bulbs To Energy?
We all miss the warm glow of the classic incandescent lightbulb. But there are ways to make modern bulbs emit warmer light, and the energy efficiency of LEDs makes them a necessity. LEDs are a whopping 75% more energy-efficient, making them cheaper for families and one of the first changes people make when they’re striving to become more environmentally friendly. These energy-saving bulbs are also a lot less hassle because they last ten times longer.
3. Common Sense – Minimise Power Usage With Sensors
Even the most dedicated greenie forgets to turn off lights. We’ve all walked into an empty room and realised the lights have been on for hours. But these days, you don’t need to be vigilant. Simply install sensors to control your power use. Modern sensors detect sunlight, and you can position them to ensure you always have light when you need it. Beyond your grasp of technology? Remember that your local electrician is usually familiar with most models and can take care of installation for you.
4. Look At The Bright Side – Using Sunlight
Architects have been embracing sustainability for decades, but energy-efficient lighting has become a priority in the past few years. That’s because property owners are becoming increasingly savvy. Intelligent design can dramatically increase or control natural light. If you’re past the point of construction, don’t worry. There are plenty of great options, the most common being skylights. If your roof tiles are getting close to their expiry date, you can also consider installing transparent tiles above shared spaces.
The most energy-efficient lighting is the sun. Make sure your architect uses natural light!
5. More Expensive Doesn’t Always Mean Better – Look For The Energy Rating
When you’re shopping for lights, particularly self-contained lighting solutions like lamps, check the energy rating. Energy ratings are constantly revised. For instance, at the time of publishing this article, the system is changing to update ratings on LED, halogen and incandescent lamps. The more stars, the less energy required, which is good for your budget and the environment.
6. Having A Lightbulb Moment – Check Your Lumens
How often have you bought a new lightbulb and taken it home only to find it’s too bright or dark for the room? It happens all the time. There’s no point changing your lifestyle to save the environment if you’re just throwing inadequate bulbs in a draw to gather dust. Shopping for energy-saving bulbs has become a little more technical, but it’s not hard to find the right light for your space. Read the info on the box to check: a/ lumens for the amount of light produced; and b/ CRI for colour accuracy. There’s no reason to make any compromises. The best light bulbs to save energy just happen to also be the best solution for creating the right mood.
7. Speed Of Light – Using Timers
If you’re a creature of habit, timers can be a godsend. They’re a great way of saving energy but can also help maintain healthy habits and motivate you. Just make sure your timers are set according to seasonal changes in light, and of course, ensure the lights aren’t activated when you’re travelling. It’s often worthwhile to get a professional electrician to set up timers and sensors unless you’re looking for a time-consuming hobby!
8. An Oldie But A Goodie – Training The Family To Be Energy-aware
We can all remember parents repeatedly reminding us to turn off the lights when we leave a room. It has to be the most enduring of all energy-saving habits. But it’s lasted because it works. Regardless of sensors, timers and energy-saving bulbs, nothing beats developing good habits. Being aware of lights is simply a matter of practice, and there’s usually an adult in the house who will remind you ten times a day if you don’t get it right!
Energy-efficient lighting goes beyond technology. Educating your close circle may have significant effects.
9. Aesthetics Or The Planet – Making A Few Interior Design Sacrifices
We all love to improve the look of our homes, but sometimes our choices of lighting fixtures can be a little self-indulgent. Halogen downlights are still quite fashionable, but they often require up to four times more power than a single lamp. We’re not saying you should eliminate halogen lights, but we recommend carefully considering whether they’re the right light for the space. It often comes down to choosing between your love of interior design or your love of the planet. Consider a ‘horses for courses’ approach and always be willing to compromise.
10. Taking A Dim View Of Waste – Save Money And Power With Dimmers
Even if dimmers weren’t great for energy efficiency, we’d still love them. It makes sense to have complete control of each room’s atmosphere, especially for Netflix n chill! But there are three great practical advantages of dimmers. Less light means less power which reduces energy bills. But dimmers can also dramatically improve the lifespan of lightbulbs. Just make sure you get a reliable electrician to set up your dimmers because faulty wiring could lead to a complicated repair.
The Golden Rule Of Energy-efficient Lighting – Don’t Replace It, Upgrade It!
There you have it! If you can at least consider each item on our list of top 10 energy-efficient lighting tips, you’ll be armed with enough knowledge to make savvy choices. The best time to make a positive change is when devices or fittings reach the end of their lifespan. Simply upgrade rather than replace. You may even find it’s cheaper to buy a superior product.
As always, get your installation done by reliable professionals. There’s nothing worse (and more expensive) than poor installation and maintenance. Twin Electrics & Plumbing has a dedicated in-house team of the best electricians in Melbourne. Get it done fast and get it done right the first time! We can usually get a technician to your home in an hour, so give us a call. We won’t let you down.
Remember to check our blogs for Going Green and Buy Smart guides. We publish regularly and always have the latest information on new products and cost-saving initiatives.