Light Well: Indoor and Outdoor Lighting Ideas for the Home

Maximize comfort and producitivy, minimize energy use and save money with these room-by-room lighting tips.

| October 2010 Web

Green Lighting book cover

"Green Lighting" is a do-it-yourself guide that makes it easy to upgrade residential and commercial lighting to reduce costs and environmental impact while maintaining the quality of the lighting.

Photo Courtesy McGraw-Hill

The following is an excerpt from Green Lighting: How Energy-Efficient Lighting Can Save You Energy and Money and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by Brian Clark Howard, William J. Brinsky and Seth Leitman (McGraw-Hill, 2011). The excerpt is part of Chapter 8: Lighting Best Practices and Daylighting. 

While it’s possible to choose a lighting scheme based on detailed calculations of square footage, bulb output in lumens, angles of light, and other factors, it’s also true that lighting is highly intuitive. For the most part, it’s relatively easy, and affordable, to change the lighting in rooms. Simple adjustments include swapping out bulbs and shades, adding or subtracting floor lamps, or changing your curtains. In other cases, more intensive changes may be needed, such as rewiring fixtures or adding a window or skylight to let the free sunshine in.

In general, it’s best to light rooms with a number of sources rather than from a single lamp, whether it is an overhead or based on the floor or wall. By using several sources, you help to reduce glare and harsh shadows and have more flexibility.

Let’s take a look at some ways to maximize comfort and productivity, as well as energy savings, in your home or business.

Indoor Lighting Strategies 

Here are some general tips for smarter, more efficient lighting:

mother earth news fair


Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!