The UK became the first major world economy that took steps to completely end its contribution to global warming by 2050, thus, committing to a ‘net-zero’ target. In its efforts, in January 2021, the Ministry of Housing announced fresh eco-legislation. The law passed sets out plans for all new domestic buildings in the UK to be constructed following strict energy efficient standards. Hopefully, this would result in a plan for all new homes to be ‘zero carbon ready’ by 2025.
How can you as a homeowner contribute? There are many ways. The viessmann.co.uk points out that by 2050, the average net-zero home could feature the following:
1. Altering the building makeup to have increased levels of insulation, better natural ventilation and improved use of natural light.
2. Solar panels, handy energy storage system found in the garage, with converted energy that can be safely and efficiently stored and used at different times of the day, controlled by smart Wi-Fi enabled tech, while the artificial lighting will make use of efficient LEDs.
3. Green spaces, even wall mounted greenery that’s designed to remove toxins.
4. More sustainable materials, both inside and outside, like durable bamboo flooring.
5. Smart wastewater collection system takes rainwater from the roof and stores it in tanks accessible for home use. This water can be used to flush toilets and other things that doesn’t require very clean water (garden watering), instead of the usual water supply to avoid water wastage.
While these changes may occur in the near future, it is not a bad idea to begin as early as now in conserving energy, water, and/or making your home a little greener. For starters, using better, eco friendly outdoor lighting is a good step.
Outdoor lighting makes your home safe and secure. Shadows are eliminated, and that makes it harder for criminals to hide. Walkways are illuminated, so your guests won’t hurt themselves with an unfortunate fall. However, you want to choose eco-friendly lights that are beautiful in the garden and good for the environment. Here are a few options to consider.
Let the Sun Charge It
The sun provides you with free energy, and you can put it to work for you with beautiful solar lights. Solar lights can be placed anywhere around the home, and you won’t have to run any extra wires. Appropriate for planting beds, patios, pathways and even driveways, the lights add beauty to your home at night and make it less attractive to criminals. However, they cannot be used in areas that remain shaded throughout the day. They also won’t take a full charge during periods of rain and overcast skies.
Motion Lights for Security
You don’t necessarily want the lights burning throughout the night. Solar lights may not charge sufficiently to remain illuminated throughout the night, and running regular lights that long can drive your bill up. However, motion lights are an excellent option for making the home more secure. Turning on when there is movement in the area, motion lights should ideally be used around entry doors to deter criminals while still being easy on the environment.
LED Bulbs for Long Illumination
Invest in exterior lighting with LED bulbs to enjoy an illuminated yard throughout the evening. LED lights require a fraction of the electricity, and they can be left on all night long without raising your carbon footprint. Available in the most popular outdoor lighting fixtures, they are readily available. Hardwired with low voltage lines, they are also affordable to install. Since they aren’t dependent on the sun, they can be installed anywhere around your property including in shaded areas. Consider seeking professional advice from landscaping expert such as PPG in Australia to make sure the light effects will fit in well with your landscaping design.
Upgrading Existing Lights
If you already have outdoor lighting, you can make what you have more energy efficient. Purchase LED bulbs to replace spotlights and other bulbs that use more energy. You won’t have to spend the money on a new fixture, but you will see a pleasant reduction in your lighting bill. LED lights are preferable to traditional incandescent and floods because they use less electricity and last much longer.
Avoid Fluorescent Bulbs
Fluorescent bulbs are popular because they take less electricity. However, they carry their own risks for the environment. These bulbs contain mercury, and just one teaspoon of this hazardous substance can contaminate a 20-acre lake. Leading to neurological damage if consumed, mercury is harmful to the environment and your family.
When you are ready to add beautiful outdoor lighting to your home, choose eco-friendly options that will help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
Options like LED lights and solar options cost less money to operate and will last for years to come. However, their best feature is that they are safe for the environment and your family. It’s also one of the simplest ways to go green as early as now.