Let there be "Green" Light

An article on "Green Lighting"

By S. Gupta


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solar education How we illuminate the places we live and work in greatly affects our mind and mood. The concept green lighting essentially refers to using power saving lights at homes and offices in a way that consumption of energy is low. In fact, is part and parcel of the modern style of green living because how we light up our rooms has an impact on the environment.

It is worth noting that the conventional incandescent bulbs converts only about 10% of the energy consumed by it into light, and the rest is wasted as heat. But the green lighting system makes use of low-watted, energy efficient light bulbs that consumes very little power. Green lighting covers all aspects of lighting - the kind of power, the kind of bulbs, the kind of fixtures as well as the kind of habits we have with respect to our use of lights. Hence it has become a potential business opportunity for ecopreneurs as it needs a professional with reasonable knowlegde of the subject to be able to devise a very practical and economical green lighting system.

The advocates of green living say that the greenest light is sunlight - absolutely eco-friendly and totally free ! Needless to say, the very first step of implementing a green lighting system is to make sure that nature's best source of light makes its way into the rooms through open blinds, skylights, south-facing windows (or north-facing for people living in the southern hemisphere) or even via fibre optic pipes if the other options are not available.

A change of habit is recommended for people of the household or employees of an office where green lighting system is to be installed. It is necessary to inculcate the habit of switching off lights when nobody's likely to be around in a room where lights are on. Power adapters that are attached to lamps and light fixtures - and remain warm even after devices are turned off - should be unplugged after use. And for green lighting to be a way of life, the ones who already have this good habit should teach others to develop it.

Indispensable to an impeccable green lighting system is the use of renewable energy. Lighting needs energy and for green lighting to be eco-friendly to the hilt, it should use green energy - wind, solar or bio-gas. Where available, pull renewable energy from the grid and where possible, generate it on your own.

Green lighting systems employ Compact Florescent Lights or CFLs and Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs. CFLs - which cost more than normal incandescent lights - use less energy and are expected to last for 10,000 hours. LEDs use lesser energy - lesser by about 80% - and can be expected to last for 100000 hours !

Again, electrical devices like dimmers and motion sensors are also used in green lighting systems. A dimmer is an electrical component used to adjust light levels from almost dark to fully lit by turning of a knob, and a motion sensor is a device that can catch the movement a person entering a room or specific area and switch on the light instantly. The light goes out after a specific period of time. Green lighting systems may use motio sensors in places that get little foot traffic.

Any ecopreneur willing to start a green lighting business may consider making lamps from natural materials - like felt, cloth or wood - or recycled or reused materials - like plastic, metal or glass.

Finally, a green lighting system would be incomplete if the ecopreneur installing the system does not provide guidance on how to dispose of the waste products after the lighting devices go out of use.

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