Turn Out the Lights!

This week at Solight Design we are focusing on the impact that our traditional indoor and outdoor lights can have on the environment. Residential outdoor lighting is one of the highest producers of carbon dioxide emissions with over 15 million tons of CO2 released each year from residential outdoor lighting alone. Most outdoor lighting emits more light than necessary and is used inefficiently. The most prominent places where outdoor lighting can be found are often the same places that don’t need to be lit throughout the entire night. Lots of outdoor lighting isn’t properly shielded, meaning that their light is reaching places where it is not needed or unwanted and causing light pollution.

In private residences, homeowners waste thousands of dollars each year on outdoor lighting that is often left on even after occupants go to bed. Keeping the downstairs, bathroom, and closet lights on all throughout the night can really add up in electricity bills.

Quick Facts:

  1. 15 MILLION TONS of carbon dioxide are emitted each year from residential outdoor lighting in the US

  2. Low energy light bulbs use less than 20% the energy of regular bulbs and last 15X longer

  3. Each American is responsible for 22 TONS of CO2 emissions each year

  4. Outdoor lighting costs the US $10 BILLION per year in electricity bills and accounts for 25-50% of local government's municipal energy costs.

Backyard lights can have a HUGE environmental and economic impact. While it may seem like many of these lights are government-run and out of individual control, there is a lot we can do to change this problem!

Here are some tips:

  1. Turn off your personal outdoor lighting when you are not outside! It's as simple as that!

  2. Switch to Solar Powered outdoor lights. There are many cheap and aesthetically pleasing options out there. SolarPuffs are a great option for when you want temporary and beautiful lighting.

  3. Ask your local government about installing light shields on all street lamps. This will not only reduce their electricity costs but will also cut down on light pollution that can affect your own home!

  4. Turn off all other lights in your homes and offices when you are not using them! If it's sunny outside, opt for natural sunlight instead of bright lamps.

  5. Don't turn on lights unless you absolutely need them! It's the summer which means that it's going to stay light outside for much longer. Take advantage of this natural (and free) lighting while you can!