Diane Pham

6 Green Lighting Tips That Will Help You Cut Your Energy Bill

by , 02/02/11

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Energy Efficiency and Good Health

Time and time again, studies (such as this piece published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2004) have shown that exposure to natural light affects your vitamin D and immune system, serotonin and melatonin levels, as well as your circadian rhythms, sleep cycle and hormones. In fact, scientists at the UNC School of Medicine recently published a study in which they pinpointed the key connection between light signals and circadian rhythms. The study is anticipated to give insight on how light influences molecular signals in our bodies to affect a broad array of biological processes ranging from the sleep-wake cycle to cancer growth and development.

In addition to the aforementioned studies, the lack of proper lighting can lead to issues such as depression (S.A.D.), immune problems, and your susceptibility to life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and cancer are exacerbated – particularly as related to Vitamin D absorption. Researchers from the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego have found that 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal cancers could be prevented each year worldwide, if vitamin D3 levels were increased.

Only within the last couple years have we seen the building industry begin to embrace green lighting that’s not only cost and energy-efficient, but also concerned with issues related to human health. However, with heightened awareness, today’s consumers are increasingly able to tailor various lighting options to meet their individual needs.

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15 Comments

  1. carlaadler February 24, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Great piece of information. Thanks for sharing.

  2. citizen7 February 14, 2011 at 7:23 am

    I’m a fan of that “Sunlight Direct” system. All the advantages of daylighting; with none of the drawbacks of radiant & thermal solar heat gain.

    Direct sunlight, conversely, is too hot & too bright for comfort & efficiency.

  3. roof guy2 February 1, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I’m not a big fan of flourescent lighting either and have noticed how it affects your mood when working in an office all day under it. I think LED lighting is incredible minus the cost but you know it’ll last darn near forever so I may start marketing it to my remodeling customers here in charlotte nc. if i can keep them healthy and happy they just may need me more or refer me. lol..just kidding

  4. hillbillet January 31, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I’m glad the site is starting to talk about how humans are affected by different types/wavelengths of lighting. For years, industry has been pushing flourescent bulbs on us, telling us how “green” they are. But in a landfill, they are toxic. In your daily life, they cause depression, sleeplessness, headaches, mood changes, and can worsen skin, mental, immunological and neural disorders. Students perform more poorly and miss more school when the classroom is lit with flourescent lighting. It is so bad that trip to Walmart can put a lupus patient in the hospital. What might be saved in the cost of a bulb is more than paid in loss of quality of life – and medical bills.

  5. fair trade products January 29, 2011 at 10:53 am

    @Yuka Yoneda: it makes you feel better because you know that you do your part to save the world. Doing a positive thing can give you positive energy back! :)

  6. angelraphael January 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Can anyone tell me what the name of the bulb/fixture is in the first picture of this article? The picture has the Philips log on it and the light bulb/fixture is an odd shape?

  7. Kestrel January 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Ah yes, let there be light. Loving the unique ideas on ways to bring more of it into your life.

  8. David Brodeur January 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I really like the room painting idea to get the most from your natural light. I’m definitely going to apply that when I get around to painting my room.

  9. Andrew Michler January 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Quite a bit of information to digest, shows how complex (and critical)lighting decisions can be.

  10. Rebecca Paul Rebecca Paul January 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    This is a great post! I’m constantly frustrated with how the lighting is set up in my apt. This will definitely help me make the right choices moving forward

  11. adamschw January 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Wow that was a supper informative look at the role light plays in our lives! I know I’m not getting enough of it during this dreary NYC winter! I need a vitamin D boost.

  12. Jasmin Malik Chua January 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks for the great tips!

  13. Brit Liggett January 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    This post is great! I definitely like the “mood lighting” suggestion, in my apartment we’ve got a lot of that. In fact one room in our place is entirely lit by candle light – soy candles of course – everyone should try some candles from time to time, they are really soothing.

  14. Jessica Dailey January 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I am all about using mood lighting. The ceiling lights in my apartment are unnecessarily bright. Plus, less light makes it feel cozier!

  15. Yuka Yoneda Yuka Yoneda January 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I like how this post highlights how better lighting can make us feel better too – not just how much energy and money we can save.

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