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Lighting your home in a sustainable manner can be a daunting task. Whether you’ve just bought a brand new residence or are renovating an existing one, lighting your home is always a key element when it comes to creating atmosphere. When selecting a lighting scheme there are many decisions to make including style, colours, fabrics, bulbs, space and fixtures to name a few. Consequently, choosing eco-friendly lighting solutions can sometimes take a back seat.
So why is it so important to get your eco-friendly thinking cap on? Because opting not to light your home in a sustainable way can have serious repercussions. Few people realise quite how inefficient regular filament light bulbs are. They have a very short lifespan and need to be replaced regularly. Fabio Fanuli of Fanuli Furniture outlines that the need to constantly replace these bulbs “comes at the cost of not only the person who buys them but also the environment”. The bulbs are a disaster in terms of landfill sites, and the carbon emissions produced in the manufacturing process are a big problem.
The benefits of going sustainable can be narrowed down to three main points. First, sustainable lighting is a long lasting solution. Your children and your children’s children will benefit from the choices you make. Second, choosing to be eco-friendly will reduce your impact on the earth, something we could all probably think about a little more. And, third, it could save you a lot of money on your bills. “It is quite simple,” says New Zealand-based designer David Trubridge. “We are living beyond the means of the planet’s ability to support us. Either you care or you don’t. If you care about the lives of our children and grandchildren you will do what you can to reduce your impact. If you don’t care, you will go on living as you are now.”
So how do you get the eco-friendly lighting ball rolling? One way is to invest in compact fluorescent lights (CF lights), but as Fabio points out this isn’t entirely eco-friendly. “The setback is that they still contain mercury, which is toxic and therefore harmful to people, animals and the earth,” he explains. So while they may be energy efficient, they are not wholly environmentally friendly. One form of lighting that does tick all the boxes is LED lighting – LEDs are durable, have an incredibly long life and create less impact on the environment, not to mention reducing costs for the consumer in the long run.
All of this eventually boils down to our mindset, and in order to come up with a long-term solution to sustainable living, we need to change the way we think about it. But don’t worry, becoming eco-friendly doesn’t mean picking up sticks and running off to live in a hippy commune. There are some fabulous environmentally friendly designs that can enable you to achieve your dream lighting solution while making informed decisions. The combination of sustainability and style is an important aspect that you want to get right. As Fabio says, “Perfect lighting solutions for your home are ones that are both aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly.”
Renovate Magazine 2012
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