Energy Efficiency comprises all changes that result in a reduction in the energy used for a given energy service like heating, lighting or any level of activity. This reduction in the energy consumption is not necessarily associated to technical changes, since it can also result from a better organization and management or improved economic efficiency in the sector. The importance of energy and energy conservation is well known. Though there are more than hundred reasons why energy should be conserved just as there are more than thousand ways in which energy can be conserved.
Lighting & illumination is one utility which is common to all consumer sectors and hence it is vital target for affecting improvement. As far as energy saving is concerned, it is best that any action start from the house itself. Some very simple ways to achieve energy efficiency at home are listed below.
The first and most important step is to regulate usage by making sure that you do not keep the lights switched on unless absolutely necessary. You can segregate general and task lighting, and ensure that task lighting is switched on only when specific tasks are to be carried out. General lighting can be fixed with automated switch off censors so that these get switched off when there is no activity in a room.
A critical aspect of light which has not been utilized well enough is sunlight. You need to use sunlight to the maximum. To ensure this, you can keep the curtains open till sunset. Sunlight not only gives light but also sanitizes your home; hence it is of great benefit. Use of energy efficient lamps like CFL instead of contemporary incandescent lamps can help you save energy to a great extent. CFLs and LED lighting help you reduce energy consumption by up to 25 percent and this reflects not only in your electricity bills but also on the emissions of green house gases, thereby reducing pollution. You could even contemplate use of dimmers to reduce the intensity of artificial light as the sunlight is used.
By designing buildings suitably, indirect sunlight can be used to provide illumination during day time, without increasing the heat load. Cross ventilation ensures that you do not have to switch on the air conditioner even if you were to use the benefits of direct and indirect sunlight. Tailor made shafts or ducts can be provided in a building to bring daylight as a source of lighting inside the building, thereby, minimizing need for artificial lighting. Décor of the house also plays a very important role in minimizing artificial lighting. Usage of bright colors inside can also reduce usage of lighting as sunlight tends to get reflected from bright shades and create more lighting.
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