Lighting that's green
Lighting a home or office building uses lots of energy and this energy results in increased greenhouse gases. The good news is that it isn't hard to reduce the amount of energy required to light up your home or office and, while going green may not be at the top of your list at the moment it can make a difference to both your home (or office) and your wallet.
Natural light is free
Why should you pay for lighting when you can make use of what Mother Nature provides for free. Frameless windows, skylights and solar tube lights offer the homeowner a simple, yet effective way to fill a home with natural light.
For the average homeowner, Solar tubes offer the most affordable way to let more natural light into a home. Quick and easy to install, solar tube lights can be fitted to provide natural light to dark rooms and reduce to necessity to switch on artificial lighting. The design of a tube solar light allows sunlight to be reflected into a home to provide natural - free- lighting. Smaller in size than most other types of skylights, solar tube lights are considered an eco-friendly option for lighting a home as there is less heat loss over the surface area and minimum UV penetration.
Frameless glass systems can replace existing brick walls and allow far more natural light into a home than traditional windows. When combined with an adjustable awning on the exterior or adjustable blinds on the inside, the homeowner can adjust the amount of natural light according to the time of day, or season.
Frameless glass doors are manufactured using toughened glass (8 to 10mm thick) that can be installed in various configurations. Toughened glass is designed to more resistant and extreme loads are needed to break this glass, which breaks into small harmless pieces should breakage occur. Fitted with effective seals, frameless glass doors are draught-free and watertight and offer increased sound insulation when compared to traditional window systems.
Skylights are a popular option for homeowners wanting to increase the amount of natural light into the home and can minimise cooling, heating and lighting costs when properly installed. When choosing a skylight keep in mind that the size of a skylight can impact both illumination and temperature. A general rule of thumb is that a skylight should be less than 15% of the floor space of a room that has few or no windows.
Having a skylight fitted will allow an abundance of natural light into the home, and modern skylights, when properly installed, are both weather- and leak-resistant, making them an ideal home improvement project for a home that lacks natural light. Plastic and glass skylights can be glazed to improve their energy efficiency – different types of glazing include heat-absorbing tints, double glazing and low emissivity coatings.
A fixed skylight cannot open and close but a vented skylight is one that can open and provide added ventilation for a home. This is an ideal choice for rooms with little or no ventilation, and areas in your home that are hot, such as attic or loft rooms for example. While most vented units crank open manually using a purpose-built pole, you can have them motorised to open electrically at a push of a button.
Regular cleaning with water and a mild detergent will ensure that a skylight continues to provide illumination and reduces the risk of permanent staining.