For obvious reasons, natural daylight is the greenest way to illuminate any space. For most people this can be achieved through strategically placed windows and skylights, but not every space has the same direct access to the sun. Fortunately, there are several different technologies that do not require direct sunlight to function, but still remove electricity from the picture. Light transmitting systems place a light gathering receptacle on your roof which uses fiber optics to redirect the natural sunlight into your home or other spaces.
Increased natural daylight can also be achieved with mirrored devices (also known as heliostats) that redirect the sun's rays from your lawn or garden into your home. A single heliostat
directed through a window or skylight can deliver the equivalent of 40 100-watt incandescent bulbs. Both of these options are a great way to add light to any dark room, but as you can imagine, neither option works after the sun goes down.
When it comes to energy efficiency, the easiest way to start cutting down your monthly bill is through your home’s lighting. By making simple changes to the types of bulbs you’re using, you can be more eco-friendly while saving yourself a pretty penny. Due to all the changes the green lighting industry has undergone in just the last few years, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with all the options that are available. But fear not – if you’re looking for some insight into the wealth of green lighting alternatives available today, this handy guide will give you the basic foundation you need to upgrade your bulbs and reap the financial and environmental benefits of energy-efficient lighting!
SOME IMPORTANT LIGHTING TERMS
Watt: This unit measures the power that is needed for a certain application – for instance you need 100 watts to run a 100 watt light bulb. Technically, this is defined as the amount of Joules per second.
Volts: A unit of measure that expresses how many electrons flow through a given circuit. For example, if you compare this concept to the water in pipes, it is equal to the water pressure, or more specifically, how fast or slow the water is flowing. Generally speaking, the US standard for homes is 110 Volts but in Europe it is 220 volts.
Lumens: These units are used to measure the power of light that is perceived by the human eye. These measurements are intended to gauge the varying sensitivity of the human eye to different wavelengths of light,
Kelvin: This unit is used to measure temperature. In relation to lighting it is the most important number to look at to determine the color of fluorescents and LEDs. The lower the Kelvin temperature the warmer the color of the light, and the higher the temperature the more blue and cool the light is.