17 October 2007

It's All In the Lighting

Fall in Florida is far from the crisp New England days that turn the leaves gorgeous colors and make you craving hearty comfort food like beef stew, pumpkin pie, and clam chowder. One thing that has been surprisingly similar are the long stretches of overcast gloom that Hurricane Season brings.

Starfishdoc of Sanity Made Simple recently blogged about how a little bit of sun goes a long way when it comes to improving your mood. Taking heed to her advice, I moved a few more lamps into our living room to counteract the doom and gloom outside. The wise doc also asked if I could find some attractive options for using fluorescent lighting in the home.

Since most people do not have strips of industrial fluorescent ceiling lighting in the home, I would recommend Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs instead. CFLs are more energy efficient, last longer, and work in the same lamps as traditional incandescent bulbs. The old, coiled CFL bulb has been given a makeover and should now be more appealing aesthetically.


Before

After

Here are some tips from EnergyStar.gov website on choosing the right CFL for you:

1. CFLs perform best in open fixtures that allow airflow, such as table and floor lamps, wall sconces, pendants, and outdoor fixtures.

2. Check the lumen rating to find the right CFL. The higher the lumen rating, the greater the light output. The chart below will help:


EnergyStar.com

3. Color also matters: Beating off the doldrums will be best achieved higher intensity bulbs that are a cooler blue or white color and best simulate daylight. These are bulbs mostly designated for task lighting and are labeled 3500K, 4100K, 5000K, or 6500K. (K= Kelvin, a measure of energy)

Closed, compact CFLs can be found at your favorite neighborhood chain superstore (a al Target, Home Depot, etc.) A quick search on the Lowes website yielded this: Sylvania 16W CFL .

If simply changing out light bulbs can help improve my mood as well as give me a warm fuzzy about doing my part for the environment, count me in!

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