Get Green with Style Blog

Definition and Product of the Week 09.11.2010

by Hilary Sopata

Each Saturday, we post a definition and a product of the week so that you can learn more about going green and what makes particular products green. This week, we’ll define BIODEGRADABLE and the product of the week is ECO FRIENDLY LIGHTING.  

Definition: BIODEGRADABLE (in our own words)  

If something is biodegradable, that means it will break down naturally and eventually become a part of the Earth’s natural cycles again.  Biodegradable items should not be put in landfills as they are not designed for biodegrading.  In order to biodegrade, the right conditions must exist.  Composting is one way to create the conditions for biodegrading. 

Product of the Week: ECO FRIENDLY LIGHTING

Instead of talking about a particular product, this week I want to educate you on eco friendly lighting.  Lighting can be broken down into the fixture itself and the lamp (the lamp is really what we call the light bulb.)  Choosing a fixture is much like choosing other types of furnishings: is it made from recycled materials, is it recyclable at the end of its life, is it made without harming people or the planet, and is it made locally?  The next consideration is the lamp (light bulb).  The fixture you choose should hold the light bulb you want.  Here are some common light bulb considerations:

Incandescent     This is a “regular” light bulb.  Also called an Edison Bulb after it’s inventor, it gives off a soft warm light, can illuminate in all types of temperatures, and is cost-effective.  This bulb burns out more quickly than other bulbs, and is therefore used mostly for residential use.

Fluorescent        We are becoming more accustomed to seeing this thin tube bulb swirled up in compact form and being used residentially.  It costs a little more than an incandescent version, but it lasts much longer.  The light quality is more yellow, so I don’t recommend it for use in bathrooms where you’ll be seeing yourself in the mirror.  I also don’t recommend it for any room where the lights are turned on and off frequently as this wears out the bulb more quickly.

Halogen               This small, high-class bulb has a great color.  It can turn off and on quickly.  It is very expensive, and care should be used to not touch the bulb with bare hands lest the oils of your skin get on the bulb and make it burn out more quickly.  Other than the cost which can be justified with a long life, this bulb burns hot making it a fire hazard in some cases and when used in large quantities, a stress on air conditioning.

LED                         LED stands for light emitting diode.  The bulb is small and lasts a long time like halogen bulbs.  It is also expensive.  We see this bulb being used more and more for outdoor use as well as for use in mini flashlights.  In fact, I keep one on my key chain.  These bulbs take a long, long time to burn out.  The light quality, while improving, has a definite bluish tint, so it is not a common light fixture for every day indoor use yet.

For more information about ordering this product or any of the products mentioned on our blog, contact Interior Visions Designs at 847.825.0450.


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