The Ecofriendly Kitchen: Light Your Kitchen Right

Smart kitchen lighting goes beyond replacing your old bulbs with more efficient models. Reducing energy consumed by lighting doesn’t have to be hard with a kitchen that’s designed for flexibility and uses their very energy-efficient lighting of natural daylight.

Look to your light switches as an important place to conserve money and energy, because turning unnecessary lights off or dimming them reduces energy intake.
Dimmers provide flexibility and conserve energy. Dimming a light by half may cut electric use by 40 percent. Dimmers also extend the life of the bulb. Note: Dimmers don’t utilize most fluorescent bulbs. Multiple switches provide flexibility, allowing you to turn on just the right amount of lights. At minimum, your general overhead lighting, accent pendants and undercabinet lighting should be changed separately. When planning your switches, also consider how you may use lighting for different times of day and various events.

Chr DAUER Architects

This kitchen is an top-notch example of fantastic lighting and certainly illustrates the three types of interior lighting:
Ambient: In this kitchen, the more recessed can lights and the hardly detectable uplighting in addition to the upper cabinets will be the ambient (or general) light source, which delivers an area with general lighting. Task: Here the pendants over the table and the undercabinet lighting will be the task lighting, which helps you perform specific tasks, such as cooking and preparing meals. Accent: This kitchen’s pendants also act as accent lighting, which generates visual interest.This kitchen additionally incorporates natural daylight with a skylight and a bank of windows at counter level.

Paul Davis Architects

Natural Daylight

Reduce your need for artificial light and benefit from natural daylight as a free method to illuminate your kitchen during daylight hours. Besides, who doesn’t love a stunning light-filled space?

North- and south-facing windows are optimal for bringing in natural light. Northern light is thicker and unaccompanied by glare or direct light (which brings with it heat). South-facing windows can present direct light, but that light isn’t hard to control with brief exterior overhangs designed to maintain direct light out during hotter months. The daylight (and related heat gain) from east- and west-facing windows is the toughest to control but may be counteracted with exterior window or plant coverings.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Natural daylight with no top cabinets. Among my favorite kitchen layout moves is the removal of top cupboards in exchange for more windows. I avoid conventional upper cupboards because the space below them even with undercabinet lighting — is often dark and less usable. Without upper cabinets in the kitchen, the full depth of the perimeter counters is more usable and the work surfaces are bathed in natural light during the day, meaning light fixtures can be kept off.

Moroso Construction

Natural daylight with top cabinets. Smart designs, like this kitchen, can avoid the openings of top cabinets. This kitchen employs bright, reflective surfaces and also an undercabinet window to maintain work areas bright during the day.

Tracery Interiors

Natural daylight with skylights. Introducing natural light doesn’t require investing in wall space for windows. Look (up) into skylights for a wonderful means to deliver daylight for your kitchen work surfaces. This kitchen includes no lights turned on, and the island is beautifully awash with bright all-natural light.

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

Natural daylight from remote sources. This kitchen doesn’t have access to windows or a skylight, but it’s light stuffed thanks to a clever design that borrows daylight from another story.

Venegas and Company

Light-Colored Surfaces

Surfaces, especially countertops, which are light colored and reflective will make the maximum use of the light cast upon them.

Charlie & Co.. Design, Ltd

Bulbs for Kitchen Lighting

Three types of bulbs, or lamps, since they are known in the lighting industry, are most typical in current kitchen layout:
Incandescent: Thank you, Thomas Edison, for allowing us to relegate candles to birthday cakes and intimate evenings, instead of having to use them for our primary lighting. Although incandescents were the lighting standard for decades, the lighting industry is fast moving away from multicolored bulbs — even creating some bulbs illegal. And for good reason: a 100-watt bulb is 2.1 percent efficient, generating about 2 g of light and 98 levels of heat. Compact fluorescent: CFLs are everyone’s go-to efficient bulb however, similar to eight-tracks or compact discs, their time together with us may be brief. While these bulbs use about a third or less of their energy an incandescent utilizes, CFLs are not simple to dim, contain mercury (although some mercury-free choices are available) and are being outperformed by LEDs. LED: Light-emitting diode lamps and fixtures need to be your brand new go-to for efficient artificial light, with increased efficacy over CFLs and a life span that’s six times longer. Costs have been plummeting as demand has risen.

The Federal Trade Commission is making it easier for consumers to compare lightbulbs by requiring labels on bulb bundles which are similar to nutrition labeling. The straightforward label offers everything you need to know, such as brightness (lumens), estimated operating costs, expected life length and light look (color temperature).

Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Lighting Lumens (Brightness)

With newer lightbulbs made to use less energy, wattage is no longer an effective way to gauge a bulb’s brightness, so the industry is changing from watts to lumens. This graph gives a simple guide to lumens based on equal incandescent bulb wattage.

Lighting Color Temperature

Color temperature is the way light seems to us warm, natural or cool. You can dramatically alter the character of a room with a lamp’s color temperature. Look for color temperature, known as “light look” on the brand new lighting fact labels.

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LED, CFL and Other Green Lighting Options
How to Choose and Use Ecofriendly Kitchen Appliances

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