If you are looking to go green at work and have started by placing recycling bins around your office or even providing an incentive to commute to work, there’s still more you can do. Another way to go green in your office is by updating your light fixtures. There are many benefits for doing so, including a reduction in your energy bill. Save the environment by switching to energy efficient lighting and by improving the lighting you may increase productivity.
Types of Light Bulbs
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs): CFLs are spiral bulbs that use a combination of argon and mercury vapor to create light. These light bulbs use 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs, which will be illegal as of December 31, 2014. There are some downsides to the CFL as they contain mercury and therefore have to be disposed of properly to avoid harming the environment. An interesting study at Stony Brook University also found that CFLs might increase cancer risks as they give off harmful UV radiation.
Light Emitting Diode (LEDs): The better choice when upgrading your lighting are LEDs. They last two to four times longer than CFLs. Unlike CFLs that give off heat, LEDs do not and thus have less energy loss. The added heat loss from CFLs may lead to larger utility bills for your office. LEDs are far more efficient; a 16.5 watt LED will give off as much light as a 20-watt CFL.
Save the Environment and Utility Expenses By Using LEDs
The United States Department of Energy estimates that by switching to much more efficient LED technology, we could see $265 billion in energy savings in 20 years. This will also cut down on our fossil fuel use as more efficient lighting requires less energy.
Wal-Mart has recognized the power of LEDs, reports Forbes. One of its Ohio stores is lit completely by LEDs. In their grocery section alone the company estimates a savings of 59,000 kilowatt-hours per year, enough energy to power five single-family homes. If a larger retailer like Wal-Mart can switch their lighting to LED, why can’t you?
Increase Productivity with Better Lighting
Improving the lighting in you office goes beyond environmental friendliness and energy savings. You can also increase the productivity of your employees by upgrading the lighting in your office. Natural lighting not only cuts down on energy savings but also keeps your employees happier. Just as important as letting the light in, though, is limiting light with shades and blinds to keep the office from getting too hot.