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Let There Be Light

Although lighting makes up only 8-10% of the typical kiwi family’s energy bill, this percentage can easily be reduced with a little thought and planning.

Keeping it real

Exposure to natural light has many often-stated health benefits but even with all the advertising recently around energy-efficient lighting, surprisingly little has been said about the benefits of natural lighting when it comes to efficiency.

For darker areas of the home, such as internal bathrooms, hallways, kitchens or rooms on the south side of the house, windows are either not possible or much less efficient. In this case, the solution is a Solatube Daylighting System. A Solatube is a tubular skylight device that can be installed even where a traditional skylight would not be an option, including rooms without direct roof access. It captures sunlight through a small dome on the roof top through a refractive, efficient tubing system, brings a superior amount of natural light into dark areas of the home, even on dull days without adding a cent to your electricity bill.

Bulbs versus fittings

There has been a wide focus on bulb replacements with the “energy saver” spiral bulb being widely promoted and sold. The issue however is that putting energy saving light bulbs into old style fittings creates frustrating dark spots and can produce reduced lighting levels. Most homeowners respond to this problem by installing higher wattage energy efficient bulbs, but these not only make the dark spot worse, they use more energy, defeating the original purpose.

Installing energy efficient bulbs is only half the story, the bulbs need to be matched up with purpose designed fittings. A 15-watt energy-efficient light bulb will produce a 41% gain in light output in a purpose designed fitting when compared to the same lamp in a standard incandescent fitting.

Saving power and money

The payback period for fitting out a whole home with the energy efficient lighting is approximately 8-10 months. This is based on a three bedroom house with 30 lighting fixtures and normal running hours at 20c per kilowatt hour. With efficient lighting options the average family can save up to $500 on their power bills every year.

Get Smart

When you want to make the change to more energy-efficient lighting, who can you turn to? Choose an electrician who is specifically trained in energy-efficient products, technology and installations.

Specialist electricians can provide advice and assistance on the best and simplest ways to reduce your electricity consumption, not only with lighting but in all areas of your home, saving you money and reducing your greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.

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