Saturday, July 07, 2007

Green Kitchen: Green Light

This headline caught my eye: The green kitchen: Green light
If you have a newish kitchen, I'll bet a pound to a pumpkin-seed that it has recessed ceiling lights using halogen spotlights.
Yep, that's our kitchen, with one spot over the sink and the other over the space containing the microwave and boombox. The one over the sink is connected to the light fixture that hangs in the middle of the kitchen and they're on a dimmer. Dang, that sink light goes out often!
...low-voltage halogen bulbs "are spotlights, like a torch. They just push light on to the floor." That's why so many are needed. "Ordinary light bulbs produce 10 lumens [the standard measurement of light output] per watt. Low-voltage halogen bulbs produce 20 lumens, but that compares with a minimum of 60 lumens per watt for compact fluorescent bulbs."
Compact fluorescent bulbs?
low-voltage halogen might be using 1kW of energy where a couple of compact fluorescent bulbs could do the same job at 40 watts.
I googled compact fluorescent bulbs and found the EnergyStar site. This is a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL):

If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.
Ah, so that is a Green Kitchen!

EnergyStar has suggestions for choosing the right CFL:
  • CFLs perform best in open fixtures that allow airflow, such as table and floor lamps, wall sconces, pendants, and outdoor fixtures.
  • For recessed fixtures, it is better to use a reflector CFL than a spiral CFL since the design of the reflector evenly distributes the light down to your task area.
  • If a light fixture is connected to a dimmer or three-way switch, you'll need to use a special ENERGY STAR qualified CFL designed to work in these applications. Make sure to look for CFLs that specify use with dimmers or three-way fixtures.
So now I know that using CFLs will save money and be good for the environment and will work with the dimmer.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery
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