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Artificial lighting is a significant contributor to green house gas emissions as well having a negative impact on internal environment quality.


Lighting contributes to around 25% of the electrical costs of a home.

Every 1000 watts of power you use creates 0 .97 of a kilogramme of green house gas! That is only 10 standard incandescent lights on for one hour! And don't forget, power costs are only increasing! 30 % in NSW this year alone.

The over use of artificial lighting is a response to the poor design of our built environment which includes our homes. If you design your home using sustainability as a framework, then generally you would include passive solar design principles as a design and operational framework. This would reduce or negate the need to have lights on during the day.

Passive solar design principles greatly increase the ability of daylighting to light your home.

Artificial Lighting should only be for night time use and the correctly designed home would provide that ability to the home occupant by using passive solar principles and other energy efficient design criteria.


It is also important to remember that lighting creates heat. Any air conditioning system design must include the heat generated from lighting in its load calculations.

If you have for instance 10 recessed halogen lamps in your ceiling of your lounge room each one of those uses 50 watts of energy which in turn is creating heat.

Those 10 x 50 watt globes produce in total 500 watts of heat which is the equivalent of running a 1 bar radiator continually. In summer that means that with those lights being used you are not only lighting your room during the day, or night, you are also heating it up. Then you may be using an air conditioner to cool it down and it has to work harder to negate the heat loads of those lights. We can see from this example that we are contributing on more than one way to energy consumption and therefore green house gas emissions.

The type of lighting you use is very important as is the design of the lighting.


The location and the ability to light a room as required in specific areas rather than lighting a whole house all the time is important to consider.

There are assorted lamp and globe types available that are energy efficient while producing more lighting ability or LUX as it is known.



A 15-watt compact fluorescent globe provides slightly more light than a 60-watt standard incandescent globe or a 50-watt halogen globe (halogen globes are just another form of incandescent globe).
Standard incandescent and halogens waste energy because about 90% of the electricity they use is turned into heat, not light.

The compact fluorescent will last about 10,000 hours, compared to about 1000 hours for an incandescent, and 2000 hours for a halogen globe, so one compact fluorescent will last as long as 10 incandescent globes or 5 halogen globes Most energy efficient globes also have an increased life span and can actually reduce the number of lights you need in one space thereby reducing installation and maintenance costs

Another important component of sustainable design and its interaction with artificial lighting is that reducing artificial lighting and changing the types of globes you use makes a significant contribution to improved environment quality.

The reduced flickering, glare and increased daylighting advantages that come from minimising your artificial lighting is shown in many reports around the world to improve the health benefits of occupants.

In addition lighting control and management is another major component of sustainable home design Using cost effective lighting controls means there is lights on where they are needed .In addition task lighting or bringing lighting to where it is needed will reduce lighting waste.

Halogen globes are not energy efficient.
They are termed low –voltage because they have a transformer that steps the power rate down form 240 volt to 12 volt. The transformer itself uses power and creates heat and the lights create a lot of heat, have low globe life and use a lot of relative power to heat a small area.

The energy /lighting /sq metre ability is poor.

Great for featuring your wall painting, terrible for the environment and your power bill. It is now possible to buy low energy halogen globes that fit into your down lights and reduce consumption down to around 8-11 watts per unit.

Changing your lighting to a more efficient system offers the following advantages:

  • Reduced energy loads

  • Reduced green house emissions

  • Reduced maintenance

  • Reduced fixture quantity

  • Reduced air conditioning running costs

  • Reduced air conditioning capital cost

  • Reduced glare Improved internal environment quality

    Changing the reliance on inefficient artificial lighting provides multi benefit from the one item. This is the basis of sustainability.



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