One of the busiest rooms in the house, the modern kitchen is often a hub of family activity. Whether preparing meals, washing dishes, reading the morning news, or finishing homework at the table, the average family spends more time in the kitchen than any other room in the house. With such a high concentration of energy hungry appliances, the kitchen also consumes a disproportionate amount of electricity. Replacing all your appliances with a full-blown kitchen remodel can be prohibitively expensive, but installing eco-friendly kitchen lighting is an inexpensive solution that is easy to implement, good for the earth, and good for your wallet.
The standard incandescent light bulbs that most people are familiar with are a thing of the past. Their tungsten filaments waste an exorbitant amount of energy through the heat it takes to make the filament glow brightly. For more eco-friendly kitchen lighting, it’s easy to replace them with a compact florescent lamp (CFL). You’ve probably seen them at the store – those funny looking corkscrew bulbs. Though initially a bit more expensive than an incandescent bulb, they use, on average, only 1/3 of the power to produce the same amount of light, so you’ll save on your electric bill. Also, they last eight to fifteen times longer than an incandescent, so you’ll spend less on replacement bulbs.
Another option for eco-friendly kitchen lighting is to use LED bulbs. The availability of LED kitchen lighting is growing, and LED bulbs offer a number of advantages over even CFLs in terms of energy consumption, bulb disposal, and design aesthetic. Since the kitchen is a place where people tend to spend a good deal of time, it’s important that the lighting is pleasant. LED bulbs make great eco-friendly kitchen lighting because they are compatible with dimmer switches, so that you’ll have ample light for cooking and mood lighting for dinner. They can be installed in most traditional light fixtures, with added customizability beneath cabinets for task lighting, or recessed within the ceiling for overhead lighting.
One of the best ways to give your kitchen an inexpensive facelift is to invest in new fixtures for your new bulbs. Many companies are now designing beautiful fixtures for eco-friendly kitchen lighting made from recycled, reclaimed, or repurposed materials. Highly artistic shades for pendant lights made from recycled cardboard, glass, or even yogurt lids give a second life to these materials, and to your kitchen.
Next time you’re busy preparing a meal, or helping your children finish their homework, consider the drastic improvements you could make with eco-friendly kitchen lighting. Taking this small step toward green living can make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable, and the planet and your wallet will thank you.
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