Let’s face it. Some of us have trouble with change. Maybe you’re that homeowner who still has an incandescent bulb in every light fixture, or only uses a single ceiling light to illuminate an entire room. Honestly, I don’t blame you. Especially with all the new innovations in the past few years, it’s really hard to keep up!
Here’s the problem: things change whether we want them to or not. New legislation has begun phasing out those tried-and-true incandescent bulbs, and many states are starting to adopt new efficiency standards. Eventually, everyone will have to upgrade.
The good news: there’s a magical world of simple lighting options out there that will not only bring you up to date with current lighting standards, it’ll save you money and even improve your lifestyle. Here are 4 painless ways to bring your home out of the dark ages, without changing too much:
1. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs
Yeah, you still buy incandescent bulbs – what of it? Well, come January 1, 2014 no incandescent bulb will be manufactured or imported into the US. So what’s a homeowner to do? This issue is a fairly easy one to fix, because there are plenty of terrific replacement light bulbs out there, like LEDs and CFLs. Even though these bulbs initially cost more than an incandescent, they’ll last way longer and use way less energy. A standard household (A19) CFL has a rated life of up to 7 years, and many A19 LEDs can last up to 23 years. You won’t even have to think about replacing your bulb for a very, very long time – now that’s what I call simple!
2. Install a Dimmer
Did you know that setting up a dimmer switch in your home can save you a lot of money every year? If you dim a light bulb by 10%, you’ll save 10% of the cost of energy to power that bulb, and double the bulb’s lifespan. If you dim a bulb by 50%, you’ll save 40% on energy, and your bulb will last 20 times as long! (Just let that soak in for a minute). Plus, a dimmer can let you transform the look of your room with just a simple button. You can change your living room from a peppy game area to a romantic retreat faster than the blink of an eye. Your bathroom can wake you up in the morning with bright lights, and also keep you feeling quite Zen in the evening with a dimmed, spa-like ambiance. The possibilities are endless.
3. Add a Few Choice Task Lights
While there’s no legislation requiring task lights in the home, they’re a simple way to increase safety and beauty in the home. Installing a few linear fixtures or puck lights under your cabinets will help you see the countertops in your kitchen more easily. Good kitchen lighting can help prevent cutlery mishaps, and allows you see dirt that might otherwise hide in the shadows. (Plus, layering the lights in your kitchen makes the place look quite pretty). Other places a task light might come in handy – near a desk, workbench, or favorite reading chair. It’s really important to have adequate lighting when you’re focused on detailed work, as to prevent eye strain. Sometimes, a single ceiling fixture just won’t cut it.
4. Take it Outside
When the weather’s nice, lounging outside on decks, porches, and patios can be a lovely way to spend the evening. But, if you’re getting by with a single flood light, you might actually be in danger. Adding a few step lights and deck lights close to the ground will help you and your guests navigate safely around your outdoor oasis without risk of tripping and falling. (And they sure make the place look nice on warm, lazy nights). Also, if you’re dealing with an outdoor light that attracts hundreds upon thousands of annoying insects, consider switching to an LED light source. Since they don’t emit UV rays, the bugs aren’t attracted to them.
Bio: Annie Josey is a blogger for Pegasus Lighting, a nationally recognized lighting retailer specializing in innovative light sources like LEDs. Annie is committed to helping every homeowner conquer the new age of lighting technology. For more lighting tips, you can connect with Annie on Google +.