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2011 - Volume 1 Issue 2
Casas Bonitas
New Home Construction
Article: Bob Skolnick
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Lighting is a major consumer of energy in most households. The quantity of lighting, the placement of your lighting and the type of lighting will have a lasting influence on your energy consumption over the life of the home. Proper installation, especially ceiling can lights, will ensure a tight building envelope.

    "Care should be taken to
locate ceiling fans away
from lights or skylights to
avoid a strobe effect."

Jeffery Huff,
The Design Alliance

Designer’s Mart

Morrison Supply

Westside Lighting

Early considerations start with the orientation of the home to early morning and sunset sunlight and placement of all windows. New versions of Energy Star regulations taking effect in 2011 and 2012 will raise the qualifying criteria and define minimum standards. When planning your lighting scheme, the first step is to utilize passive solar through tubular skylights whenever possible. This element should be directed toward rooms most often used during the daytime such as laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, walk-in closets, garages and so forth. Even though you will need lights in all of these locations, not having to turn them on regularly is a good energy saver when taken collectively.

Purchasing Energy Star rated light fixtures also helps significantly. These light fixtures are designed to use significantly less energy than the standard light fixtures we have used for years. The use of energy efficient light bulbs such as (CFL) compact fluorescent lights saves you money and contributes to an Energy Star designation. The old standard incandescent lights will be eliminated from the market in 2011. Incandescent light bulbs should be converted to CFL bulbs. Many existing lighting fixtures only accept the screw-in style light bulbs associated with incandescent lighting. Screw-in style light bulbs are available in CFL bulbs so you do not have change the light fixture receptacle. Newer Energy Star light fixtures are made to accept the two prong twist-in CFL bulbs. CFL bulbs are made with a built-in ballast and are long lasting, more efficient and easy to install.

LED lighting, although around for forty years, is now being designed for specific residential uses such as under and above kitchen cabinets and for can lights in kitchens and bathrooms. Considered expensive in the past, the cost for LED lighting has dropped and will continue to become more affordable. What you cannot easily measure is the lower energy demand for LED lights and the long lasting life of the fixture and the bulb. It is an excellent and wise additional investment that will pay for itself in a reasonable amount of time and produce savings for the life of the fixtures and home. ///
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