• 214-507-3415
  • ted@planotexashandyman.com

Category ArchiveEnergy Efficient Lighting

How To Buy LED or CFL Bulbs for Your Home

How to buy LED or CFL bulbs for your home – Plano Texas Handyman has created this light bulb buying guide to help you make an educated decision when it comes to updating the bulbs in your home. We hope our color temperature chart and light bulb brightness chart help you to choose your next LED or CFL bulb. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for here, we encourage you to contact our company at 214-507-3415 to discuss your options for perfect lighting. Plano Texas Handyman is your lighting and technology expert, visit our website for all our capabilities. How to buy LED or CFL bulbs for your home.

Buying light bulbs is just one element defining the perfectly lit home. When you upgrade light fixtures both inside and on the exterior. you need to be acutely informed on the terminology and what it means to the interior living space. How do you interpret lumens, which is the brightness of the bulb? How do you interpret the Kelvins of the color of the bulb? Should you choose LED lights of CFL light (compact fluorescent). We try to answer the questions below:

First, Choose LED or CFL

As consumers are becoming more conscious of their energy usage and its effect on their wallet, they’re finding that one of the easiest ways to save money on their utility bills is by switching their incandescent bulbs to energy efficient CFL’s or LED bulbs. LED’s are more efficient than CFL’s and their lifetime hours can be 2-10 times longer than CFL’s, based on the model. In the long run you will save more with LED’s. How to buy LED or CFL bulbs for your home

How to Determine Brightness in Lumens

We typically think of the brightness of a light bulb in wattage. However, wattage simply represents the amount of energy needed to use the bulb. The lumens scale indicates the brightness of a bulb and should be used when selecting your new LED or CFL bulbs. To save the most money on your electric bills, replace your bulbs with the lowest wattage for the desired lumens (brightness). We make it easy for you by listing the comparable incandescent wattage on every light bulb product page.  

Incandescent Brightness Chart
CFL Brightness Chart
LED Brightness Chart


What is Kelvin?

Light color, or color temperature, is measured using the Kelvin scale. CFLs and LEDs are available in warm colors (low k) to match the yellowish light of incandescent bulbs, but you can also choose cooler colors (high k) with whiter or bluer light. Please see the color temperature chart below for further reference. How to buy LED or CFL bulbs for your home

Color Temp Chart

How to Pick LED or CFL Bulb Shape

Learn More About Lighting

Lighting your home or business comprises around 15% of your overall energy bills. On average, $200 is spent each year to light your home. These numbers may not seem like a lot, but consider this: you can cut that expense at least half with little cost and almost no effort on your part. By simply replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs you can significantly lower your home’s energy costs. Want more savings? Install dimmers on your switches to make those new light bulbs last even longer and extend your savings. If you sometimes forget to turn off the lights, add motion sensors or timers to your indoor and outdoor lighting to make sure you’re only using energy and spending your money when and where you need it. Making a few simple, cost-effective changes to the lighting you already have can help you on your way to illuminating your life with savings.

Ready to make the switch? Plano Texas Handyman is here to help make it easy for you. The light bulb lumens chart / wattage chart below will help you understand which CFL or LED bulb is comparable to your current incandescent bulb. Simply take your current incandescent watts and select the corresponding CFL or LED bulb equivalent on the lumens brightness scale. Pay close attention to lumens, since this number indicates the brightness, or light output, of the bulb. To save the most energy, choose the bulb with the lowest wattage suitable for its usage. How to buy LED or CFL bulbs for your home

Choosing the Right Color – The Kelvin Scale

Light color, or color temperature, is described using the  Kelvin scale(K). CFLs and LEDs are available in warm colors to match the yellowish light of incandescent bulbs, but you can also choose cooler colors with whiter or bluer light. A lower kelvin number mean the light appears more yellow; higher kelvin numbers mean the light is whiter or bluer.

CFLs and LEDs are made to match the color of incandescent bulbs at 2700-3000K. If you prefer a whiter light, look for bulbs marked 3500-4100K. For bluer white light, look for bulbs marked 5000-6500K.

Want to know more about your lighting choices before you make the switch? We have all the additional information on CFL and LED light bulbs you’ll need to determine what best fits your needs below.

LEDs

LED’s come in a wide variety of sizes and fittings. The most common are:

  •    Globe: Just like the globes you already have, but more efficient. For use in bathroom vanities, pendant fixtures and other areas where the bulb is visible.
  •    Semi Globe: Can be used in any fixture you would place a globe, these eliminate light waste by directing the light forward from the fixture.
  •    Capsule/A-shape: These maintain the same looks as incandescent bulbs and are often used in fixtures where the bulb is visible.
  •    Reflector: As these provide directional lighting, they are ideal for ceiling fans, recessed cans and tracking lighting.
  •    Candle/Flame Tip: These are perfect for wall sconces, some ceiling fans and fixtures and covered outdoor fixtures where candle lights are desired.
  •    Outdoor: Wet-rated, meaning they can be used outside in exposed fixtures without damage to the bulb or fixture. Most are reflector shaped, making them perfect for outdoor flood lights.
  •    3-Way: Just like incandescent 3-way bulbs, these can switch between 3 light levels, making them ideal for many table and floor lamps. Only use LEDs that are specifically designated for use in 3-way sockets for optimal savings.
  •    Dimmable: Made especially for use in dimmer switches for the most efficiency and savings. Avoid using non-dimmable LEDs with a dimmer switch, their lifespan will be reduced.
  •    Portable: These handy little lights are small enough to fit in your pocket but powerful enough to provide you with the light to need where you need it.
  • How to buy LED or CFL bulbs for your home

‘Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are a Solid-State Lighting technology, or an SSL. Instead of emitting light from a vacuum (as in an incandescent bulb) or a gas (as in a CFL), SSLs emit light from a piece of solid matter. In the case of a traditional LED, that piece of matter is a semiconductor. The movement of electrons through the semiconductor material illuminates the tiny light sources. The color of the light in the LED is determined by the energy gap of the semiconductor. A small amount of heat is released backwards into a heat sink; in a well-designed product, LED’s are basically cool to the touch. LED’s powerful enough for room lighting are more expensive than incandescent bulbs and CFL’s; however, they offer many advantages including the lowest energy consumption of all light bulbs, longer lifetime, smaller size, faster switching, greater durability, reliability and do not need to be recycled.

LED’s are an excellent choice for lighting your home or business. They provide the same quality of lighting that you’re already used to while using the least power of any light bulbs and helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. LED’s last up to 6 times longer than CFLs and 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs, reducing waste. This means that making the switch to LED lighting can save you $200 or more in energy costs per bulb. 

Contact our company, Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 to discuss your options for perfect lighting. Plano Texas Handyman is your lighting and technology expert, visit our website for all our capabilities. How to buy LED or CFL bulbs for your home

Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money – Light your home using the same amount of light for less money. An average household dedicates about 5% of its energy budget to lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. You could also try switching energy provider at https://www.moneyexpert.com/gas-electricity/ to make sure you’re getting the best deal. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $45 each year. New lighting standards took effect in 2012, and money-saving options such as halogen incandescent, CFL, and LED lightbulbs are available today. For high-quality products with the greatest energy savings, choose bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR. Of course this isn’t the only change that you can make to increase your home’s energy efficiency. In fact, you’d be surprised at how many improvements can be made to cut costs, increase efficiency, and reduce environmental impact. If you’re interested then you might want to have a look at chipglennon.com for more ideas.

Call Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for more information on adding energy efficient lighting or visit our website for all our capabilities. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

New Lightbulbs: What’s the Difference?

Traditional incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy to produce light and are no longer manufactured.

  • 90% of the energy is given off as heat
  • That lost energy is money we are throwing away

Newer energy-saving lightbulbs provide the choices in colors and light levels you’ve come to expect. The new lights are also much more efficient — so they save you money. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

What Are My Lighting Choices?

You have many choices in energy-efficient lighting. The most popular light bulbs available are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although they can initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, during their lifetime they save you money, because they use less energy. You can find these in most hardware and home improvement stores as well as at FSC Lighting.

Controls such as timers and photocells save electricity by turning lights off when not in use. Dimmers save electricity when used to lower light levels. Be sure to select products that are compatible with the energy-efficient bulbs you want to use.

If you have outdoor lighting that is left on for a long time, using CFLs or LEDs in these fixtures will save a lot of energy. Most bare spiral CFLs can be used in enclosed fixtures that protect them from the weather. CFLs and LEDs are available as flood lights. These models have been tested to withstand the rain and snow so they can be used in exposed fixtures. Also look for ENERGY STAR-qualified fixtures that are designed for outdoor use and come with features like automatic daylight shut-off and motion sensors.

Halogen Incandescents

Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money – Halogen incandescents have a capsule inside that holds gas around a filament to increase bulb efficiency. They are available in a wide range of shapes and colors, and they can be used with dimmers. Halogen incandescent bulbs meet the federal minimum energy efficiency standard, but there are now many more efficient options to meet your lighting needs.

CFLs

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are simply curly versions of the long tube fluorescent lights you may already have in a kitchen or garage. Because they use less electricity than traditional incandescents, typical CFLs can pay for themselves in less than nine months, and then start saving you money each month. An ENERGY STAR-qualified CFL uses about one-fourth the energy and lasts ten times longer than a comparable traditional incandescent bulb that puts out the same amount of light. A typical CFL can pay for itself in energy savings in less than 9 months and continue to save you money each month. A CFL uses about one-third the energy of a halogen incandescent.

CFL bulbs are available in a range of light colors, including warm (white to yellow) tones that were not as available when first introduced. Some are encased in a cover to further diffuse the light and provide a similar shape to the bulbs you are replacing. If you are looking for a dimmable bulb, check the package to make sure you purchase a CFL with that feature.

Fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, and they should always be recycled at the end of their lifespan. Many retailers recycle CFLs for free. See EPA’s website for more information. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

LEDs

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are a type of solid-state lighting — semiconductors that convert electricity into light. Although once known mainly for indicator and traffic lights, LEDs in white light, general illumination applications are one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing technologies. ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20%–25% of the energy and last 15 to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs they replace. LEDs use 25%–30% of the energy and last 8 to 25 times longer than halogen incandescents.

LED bulbs are currently available in many products such as replacements for 40W, 60W, and 75W traditional incandescents, reflector bulbs often used in recessed fixtures, and small track lights, desk lamps, kitchen undercabinet lighting, and outdoor area lights. They come in a variety of colors, and some are dimmable or offer convenient features such as daylight and motion sensors. LEDs work well indoors and outdoors because of their durability and performance in cold environments. Look for LED products such as pathway lights, step lights, and porch lights for outdoor use. You can also find solar-powered outdoor lighting. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

While LEDs are more expensive, they still save money because they last a long time and have very low energy use. As with other electronics, prices are expected to come down as more products enter the market.

Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money– First lets look at the benefits of installing energy efficient lighting and later we will examine the up-front cost to upgrade and then the annual energy savings. Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 to discuss the installation of your Drip Irrigation System. Visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information. Installing Energy- 5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting.

It’s no secret the cost of electrical energy continues to rise and will inevitably continue to do so in the future. At the same time, the demand for electricity continues to increase, taxing our existing electrical infrastructure to the margins of their design limits. We need more power, but in order to get it, we need new transmission and distribution infrastructure — but that’s just the beginning.

Efficiencies need to improve. Smart grid and microgrid strategies need to be deployed, and energy storage needs to be maximized. The list goes on and on. The problem is all of these propositions require a large amount of capital, which seems to be in short supply these days. Therefore, the quickest and least expensive way to generate more electricity is to not consume it in the first place. One way to use less energy is to install newer and more energy-efficient lamps, luminaires, and controls. Even lighting systems that were deployed just five years ago could benefit from newer lighting technologies and/or better control strategies.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that about 461 billion kWh of electricity were used for lighting by the residential and commercial sectors in 2011. This was equal to about 17% of the total electricity consumed by both of these sectors and about 12% of total U.S. electricity consumption. Residential lighting consumption was about 186 billion kWh — or 13% of all residential electricity consumption. The commercial sector, which includes commercial and institutional buildings and public street/highway lighting, consumed about 275 billion kWh for lighting — or 21% of commercial sector electricity consumption in 2011. Installing Energy- 5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

The good news is lighting has become more efficient over the last decade and continues to evolve. Not only have lamps and luminaires become more efficient, but so have lighting control systems. Installing new luminaires and lamps — or retrofitting existing luminaires and lamps — is standard practice for the electrical industry. However, installing lighting controls to save energy has sent many electrical contractors and technicians back into training mode.

1. Energy Savings – Lamp/luminaire and lighting control strategies are driven by the need to save energy and by the adoption of energy codes like the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1, or state standards like California’s Title 24. As lamp efficacies improve, energy codes are driving down the number of watts per square foot used to light any give space within a building. Add in effective lighting controls, and you can drive down energy consumption even further. On the voluntary side, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), has had a profound impact on driving energy-efficient lighting design as well. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

There are other benefits for installing a well-engineered lighting system. Although the following benefits may appear to be less quantifiable, in reality, they are no less important than saving energy. First is the effect that a lighting system has on improving the productivity, recruitment, and retention of the customer’s employees. The second is green and zero net energy branding opportunities. A 2015 research study, found an average 3.2% increase in productivity from lighting improvements. The same study also revealed that a 1% increase in productivity equates to 100% reduction in energy costs. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

2. Large choice of lighting technology – Lamp and luminaire choice is usually driven by customer request in consultation with an architect, lighting designer, or both to meet occupancy requirements. However, in some cases, the electrical contractor may become the specifier of the lamps and luminaires to reduce costs for the customer (value-engineering). Electrical contractors involved in design/build projects have greater influence over lighting selection. Because most design/build electrical contractors are not lighting designers, learning something about basic lighting design benefits everyone involved.

Just like the lighting designer, the electrical contractor needs to understand the customer’s lighting requirements. In the case of value-engineering or design/build scenarios, realize that the customer may be relying on your expertise when it comes to lamp/luminaire selection, layout, and control. Some basic questions to ask the customer include: What is the major task(s) that will be performed in the space (e.g., task lighting)? What surfaces or objects need to be lit (e.g., focal lighting)? What types of fenestrations will the space contain (e.g., daylighting)? Is any lamp/luminaire going to be used as an architectural or decorative feature (e.g., decorative lighting)? What is the mood of the space, or what are the navigation requirements within the space (e.g., ambient lighting)? In some designs, energy savings and increased productivity may be gained by separating task lighting from ambient lighting and using innovative control strategies.

3. Lighting has become understandable – The proper selection of the lamp and luminaire begins with understanding something about the qualities of a light source, which are determined by the method used to produce the light. Light sources range from incandescent and halogen to fluorescent and HID to light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Lamps are rated in lumen output, watts, and lumens per watt or efficacy. Lumen output is the total light output of the lamp. This does not include fixture lumens only lamp lumens. (It’s important to understand the difference when evaluating LED lamps and luminaires.) Efficacy is the measure of how efficient one light source is when compared to another. The more lumen output per watt of power consumed, the more efficacious the lamp is. When purchasing lamps, think lumens, not watts. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

4. Quality – The quality of light is also a measure of its color accuracy and the color of the light itself. Color accuracy is a measure of how well the light source can render the colors of an object. This is known as the color rendering index (CRI), which is measured on a scale of 0 (very poor rendering) to 100 (perfect rendering). The color of the light the lamp produces (whether the light appears warm, neutral, or cool) is a function of its color temperature. The lower the color temperature, the warmer (more red) the lamp appears; the higher the color temperature, the whiter or cooler the light source appears (more blue). This is known as the correlated color temperature (CCT), as shown in the Figure. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

Other areas of concern when selecting a lamp are its operating temperature range, lamp life, lumen maintenance (how much light output diminishes over the life of the lamp), directionality, dimmability, starting time, and life-cycle costs. All lamp qualities need to be understood to provide the customer with the desired end result. This implies that you, as the electrical contractor, understand how all lamps generate their light and what their operational characteristics are. Control strategies will be predicated on the operational characteristics of the lamp and occupancy requirements. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

The goal is to have a better understanding of the nature of light — not necessarily to become a lighting designer. However, if you are providing design/build services or value-engineering a lighting system, understanding some basics of lighting design will help a great deal. Many lighting and lighting control manufacturers provide basic online training with regard to understanding the nature of light, lamp characteristics, luminaire selection, and the correct switching or dimming control devices and topologies. Many lighting manufacturers also offer webinars and training courses, some of which are free. Staying on top of the latest training resources in the lighting arena will go a long way toward maximizing your next energy-efficient installation.

The annual savings to upgrade to energy efficient lighting

Energy Savings – Assuming you have a 2500 square foot home, with a total of 25 – 60W incandescent bulbs (lamps, fans and bath fixtures), 15 – 65W BR40 spot lights (can lights), and 4 – 4? 40W t40 fluorescent bulbs (closets and laundry).

The total out of pocket cost to replace these bulbs with LED lighting would be approximately $485.00, including professional installation. Installing Energy-Efficient Indoor Lighting Systems

The total annual savings realized based on .11c/kwh would come to $240.00 annually in energy usage, up-front, the payback seems to be 2 years! However, you must consider the longevity and useful life of the asset, LED bulbs last on average 14.7 years compared to 2.1 years for standard incandescent. Essentially, you will have to replace incandescent bulbs 7 times. The bottom line is that over the life of the LED product (14 to 15 years), you will save over $3200.00 in energy usage and bulb replacement.

This analysis is done for a 2500 square foot home, do the math, many homes in Plano Texas are much larger. Your savings could be enormous.

Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 to discuss the installation of your Drip Irrigation System. Visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information. Installing Energy – Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

Energy Efficient Home Designs

Energy Efficient Home Designs

Energy Efficient Home Designs

Energy Efficient Home Designs – Learn how to save money and cut your utility bills with these simple and cost effective household energy saving tips.  Call Ted with Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for more information on a Energy Efficient Home or visit our website to see our full capabilities.  Energy Efficient Home Designs.

Home energy savings are indeed possible, particularly if you pay attention to your household appliances. So roll up your sleeves, and take a look at these energy-saving steps recommended by the Department of Energy.

Who knows? This may be the year you finally log some dollars in the plus column, instead of making alarmingly high “contributions” to the utility company.  Energy Efficient Home Designs

Water heater savings
Take a bite out of the 18 percent the average homeowner pays for water heating. Here’s how to save on water-heating costs:

When replacing your water heater, invest in a high-efficiency system. Set the water heater to 120 degrees. (Most systems are pre-set to 140 degrees.) Wrap insulation around the first few feet of pipes that come in and out of the water heater. The insulation will reduce energy loss as hot water flows through the pipes.  Energy Efficient Home Designs.

Energy Efficient Lighting
First lets look at the benefits of installing energy efficient lighting and later we will examine the up-front cost to upgrade and then the annual energy savings.  Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 to discuss the installation of your Drip Irrigation System. Visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information.

It’s no secret the cost of electrical energy continues to rise and will inevitably continue to do so in the future. At the same time, the demand for electricity continues to increase, taxing our existing electrical infrastructure to the margins of their design limits. We need more power, but in order to get it, we need new transmission and distribution infrastructure — but that’s just the beginning.

Efficiencies need to improve. Smart grid and microgrid strategies need to be deployed, and energy storage needs to be maximized. The list goes on and on. The problem is all of these propositions require a large amount of capital, which seems to be in short supply these days. Therefore, the quickest and least expensive way to generate more electricity is to not consume it in the first place. One way to use less energy is to install newer and more energy-efficient lamps, luminaires, and controls. Even lighting systems that were deployed just five years ago could benefit from newer lighting technologies and/or better control strategies.  Energy Efficient Home Designs

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that about 461 billion kWh of electricity were used for lighting by the residential and commercial sectors in 2011. This was equal to about 17% of the total electricity consumed by both of these sectors and about 12% of total U.S. electricity consumption. Residential lighting consumption was about 186 billion kWh — or 13% of all residential electricity consumption. The commercial sector, which includes commercial and institutional buildings and public street/highway lighting, consumed about 275 billion kWh for lighting — or 21% of commercial sector electricity consumption in 2011.  Installing Energy- 5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting.

The good news is lighting has become more efficient over the last decade and continues to evolve. Not only have lamps and luminaires become more efficient, but so have lighting control systems. Installing new luminaires and lamps — or retrofitting existing luminaires and lamps — is standard practice for the electrical industry. However, installing lighting controls to save energy has sent many electrical contractors and technicians back into training mode.  Call Ted with Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for more information on a Energy Efficient Home or visit our website to see our full capabilities.  Energy Efficient Home Designs.

Water conservation
You can save on water heating bills and water bills by adopting a less-is-more mindset. You can adjust your patterns of usage around the house, for example, by taking shorter showers, but it also helps to install low-flow showerheads and aerators throughout the home. These devices reduce the flow of water through them. When you turn on the hot water, the demand is less, reducing usage.  Energy Efficient Home Designs

Here are a few other water saving tips:

• Run only full loads when using your dishwasher or clothes washer.

• Avoid using longer-running cycles on your appliances, which will use more water. Opt for shorter washing cycles, but be sure to test these cycles to see if they do as good a job cleaning the dishes as the appliance’s “normal” cycle.  Energy Efficient Home Designs.  Energy Efficient Home Designs

Kitchen money saving tips
Dishwashers, refrigerators, stoves — these are all appliances people use in the kitchen that can contribute to high energy bills — unless you know how to switch on the energy savings:

• Consult the dishwasher manual, and make sure it’s set to the lowest temperature possible (which is generally around 120 degrees).

• Before loading the dishwasher, dry-scrape food off of the dishes, instead of running them under water. You’ll save on water and you won’t have to run the system as long to remove food buildup.

• Avoid using the dishwasher’s soak or pre-rinse features.

• When you can, stop the dishwasher before it reaches the drying cycle, and open the door a bit instead to let dishes air dry.

• Use ideal refrigerator settings to lower energy consumption. The freezer should be kept at 0 degrees, while the ideal temperature for the fridge is between 37 and 40 degrees. If your fridge doesn’t display the temperature, place a thermometer in the space to get an accurate reading.

• Keep an eye on the fridge door’s seal. Leaks increase energy consumption.

• Use a properly sized pan on the stovetop.

• Opt for the toaster when heating food up or even cooking smaller food items. It uses less energy than the oven.

• Regularly clean the stovetop; the burners will work more efficiently when they’re clean.  Energy Efficient Home.

Laundry energy saving strategies
Keep energy costs down by following these strategies for laundry:

• Hang-dry clothing when you can.

• If you must wash or dry a small load, make sure the settings match the size of the load.

• Always remove lint from the lint trap after drying a load of laundry. A clean lint trap promotes optimal air circulation in the dryer, which will improve drying times.

• If the dryer has a cool-down feature, use it. This feature shuts off the heating element a few minutes before the cycle is expected to end, but the heat in the dryer will remain.

• Make sure the dryer vent is clear, and have a professional inspect and maintain it every year or two. Lint buildup in the dryer is a fire hazard, too. Energy Efficient Home.

With these tips for saving energy, you’ll be set to keep more of your hard-earned dollars over the year, and every year thereafter. When your entire family adopts energy-savings strategies, you’ll also get peace of mind, knowing you’re contributing to a greener environment and conserving natural resources. Energy Efficient Home.  Energy Efficient Home Designs

Energy Saving Strategy For Your Home – Learn how to save money and cut your utility bills with these simple -household energy saving tips.  Call Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for more information on a Energy Saving Strategy For Your Home or visit our website to see our full capabilities. Energy Efficient Home.  Energy Efficient Home Designs

home energy

Making your Home Energy Efficient

Making your Home Energy Efficient

Making your Home Energy Efficient – Builders often refer to the exterior of a home as the “envelope” or the “shell.” Sealing the envelope or shell against air infiltration (air leaking into the house from outside) and air exfiltration (air leaking from inside the house to the outside) helps reduce your energy expenditure for space heating and cooling. Besides, no one likes to live in a drafty house.

In this article, we’ll show you a variety of ways you can seal leaks and improve insulation to make your home cozier and more energy efficient. Once you’ve sealed and insulated the weak areas, the work doesn’t stop there. We’ll show you how routine cleaning and water conservation can increase energy efficiency and save you even more money on your energy bills. Begin the improvement process with the following basic sealing guidelines to help you secure your home’s exterior. Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities. Contact Plano Texas Handyman for more details

Baseboards and Floors – Gaps are often left between baseboards and hard floors, such as tile, hardwood, or laminate flooring. These gaps can be successfully and neatly filled with latex caulk, thus preventing air from entering the home at foot level. Making your Home Energy Efficient

Weatherstripping Doors – While windows attract most of the attention when it comes to energy efficiency, doors can play a major part in what can go wrong — or right. Doors have a particularly difficult role to fill. Not only do they need to open and close smoothly and easily, but they also have to seal tightly to keep out drafts, and must have at least some insulative value to keep cold at bay.

There are many different options on the market that can be used to upgrade a door’s existing weatherstripping. Some of the most effective are types that contain a vinyl bulb or padded strip set into the edge of a conventional wood doorstop. The wood part is nailed to the doorjamb and is flexible enough to conform to even a badly warped wooden door. The vinyl bulb or strip seals out air movement, but is gentle enough that the door’s function is not affected. Energy Efficient Homes, Making your Home Energy Efficient

Sealing Windows – Owners of older homes that still have their original windows are often dismayed by the amount of cold air leaking through those old windows during the winter. There are several ways of dealing with this problem that don’t involve a lot of time or money. Speaking of which, those who own conservatories are notorious for being energy inefficient, it would be a good idea to consider something similar to LEKA Roof Systems to improve the energy efficiency of the conservatory and by extension your home overall.

One option involves using a caulk gun and “weatherstripping caulk sealant” or “temporary” caulking to seal up the cracks between the window and window frame. Weatherstripping sealant is caulk that is designed to stick in place nearly as well as regular caulk but can be peeled off when it is no longer needed. It is available inexpensively in regular caulk tubes and comes in a clear color. It is nearly invisible when in place and removes easily without damaging either paint or clear finishes.

Switch from incandescent to fluorescent – Although compact fluorescent bulbs cost more initially, the end result is considerable savings. This is because fluorescent light bulbs last 8-12 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Even using a mix of fluorescent and incandescent lighting throughout your home can have an impact in overall energy usage. Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities. Contact Plano Texas Handyman for more details Energy Efficient Homes

The big difference between CFLs and incandescent bulbs is how much energy it takes to use them over time. CFLs use about 70% less energy than incandescent bulbs. They also last years longer than traditional bulbs, and only cost about a dollar more per bulb. Energy Efficient Homes, Making your Home Energy Efficient

However, one of the biggest drawbacks of CFLs is that it takes a few moments for them to warm up and reach full brightness. That means they’re not ideal in spots where you want lots of light as soon as you flip the switch, such as a dark, steep basement stairway. They also cannot be used with a dimmer switch. Energy Efficient Homes

Now consider that those savings are from just one bulb. Think about the number of lights in your house — some fixtures, like chandeliers or ceiling fans, probably even use three bulbs or more. If you replaced 20 incandescent bulbs with LED light bulbs throughout your home, you could save up to $3,260 over their 23-year lifespan (and that’s assuming utility rates don’t rise).

Eliminating Ice Dams – If you have ice dams forming on your roof during the winter, it means that heat is escaping the house and leaking into your attic. Ice dams are the manifestation of energy inefficiency in a home. They are the result of poor air sealing, a lack of insulation, and inadequate ventilation in an attic.

Warm air travels upward because of its natural buoyancy. As it reaches the ceiling in the top floor, it seeks ways to rise even higher through cracks and gaps in the ceiling and walls. Some of those pathways are obvious; many others are not. Openings around and through recessed canister lights, whole-house fan installations, attic-access hatchways and pull-down stairs, and electrical boxes in the ceiling and walls all provide conduits from the house into the attic. Additionally, heat is conducted upward through the top-floor ceiling through inadequate attic floor insulation. The result of the air leaks and conducted heat is an accumulation of warm air in the attic. Energy Efficient Homes

Attic Sealing and Insulation – Most every attic has at least some insulation in it, and that’s fine. Insulation helps prohibit heat loss. It doesn’t stop airflow, however, and that’s a problem. The insulation lying on attic floors often conceals a very large problem — cracks, gaps, and holes through which pressurized air from the house below is driven into the attic.

These fissures take many forms: holes drilled into the wood framing where wiring runs from a room below up into the attic; lighting fixtures and electrical boxes; areas where the tops of partition walls in the room below intersect with the attic-floor framing; bulkheads over kitchen and bathroom cabinets; exhaust vent fans; and fireplace and heating equipment chimneys and flues. It’s a long list, and it’s likely you can find fissures in your own attic that aren’t even mentioned. Energy Efficient Homes, Making your Home Energy Efficient

These days most attics don’t have enough insulation or have insulation that isn’t working as well as it should be. An upgrade — one that will pay off every year and in every season you live in your home — is only one messy afternoon away. Yes, you can and should add more insulation to your attic. It’s one of the best ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency.

R-factor is a numerical indicator of an insulation’s efficiency at retarding the flow of heat. The scale goes from low to high; higher R-numbers mean a given insulation is better able to stop heat from moving from one place to another. Current building codes recommend an insulation R-factor of R-38 for attics in most of the country. That would be about 10 to 12 inches of fiberglass batting or blown cellulose fiber insulation. Bear in mind that R-38 is actually the minimum recommended standard for attic insulation. Proposed energy codes would increase that number to R-50.

Cleaning Refrigerator Coils Regularly – The coils underneath and behind a refrigerator are dust magnets. Refrigerant is pumped and circulated through the coils as a fan blows room air across them. The moving air removes heat from the refrigerant inside the coils. As the fan sucks air from underneath the refrigerator, it brings along with it dust and dirt that stick to the coils. Removing the access panel from the lower front of the refrigerator can reveal a startlingly filthy sight if the coils haven’t been cleaned in a while. Energy Efficient Homes, Making your Home Energy Efficient.

Contact Ted at Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415. Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and read about all of our capabilities. Contact Plano Texas Handyman for more details

5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting

5 Reasons to Use Energy Efficient Lighting

5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting

5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting – First lets look at the benefits of installing energy efficient lighting and later we will examine the up-front cost to upgrade and then the annual energy savings. Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 to discuss the installation of your Drip Irrigation System. Visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information. Installing Energy- 5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting.

It’s no secret the cost of electrical energy continues to rise and will inevitably continue to do so in the future. At the same time, the demand for electricity continues to increase, taxing our existing electrical infrastructure to the margins of their design limits. We need more power, but in order to get it, we need new transmission and distribution infrastructure — but that’s just the beginning.

Efficiencies need to improve. Smart grid and microgrid strategies need to be deployed, and energy storage needs to be maximized. The list goes on and on. The problem is all of these propositions require a large amount of capital, which seems to be in short supply these days. Therefore, the quickest and least expensive way to generate more electricity is to not consume it in the first place. One way to use less energy is to install newer and more energy-efficient lamps, luminaires, and controls. Even lighting systems that were deployed just five years ago could benefit from newer lighting technologies and/or better control strategies.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that about 461 billion kWh of electricity were used for lighting by the residential and commercial sectors in 2011. This was equal to about 17% of the total electricity consumed by both of these sectors and about 12% of total U.S. electricity consumption. Residential lighting consumption was about 186 billion kWh — or 13% of all residential electricity consumption. The commercial sector, which includes commercial and institutional buildings and public street/highway lighting, consumed about 275 billion kWh for lighting — or 21% of commercial sector electricity consumption in 2011. Installing Energy- 5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting.

The good news is lighting has become more efficient over the last decade and continues to evolve. Not only have lamps and luminaires become more efficient, but so have lighting control systems. Installing new luminaires and lamps — or retrofitting existing luminaires and lamps — is standard practice for the electrical industry. However, installing lighting controls to save energy has sent many electrical contractors and technicians back into training mode.

1. Energy Savings – Lamp/luminaire and lighting control strategies are driven by the need to save energy and by the adoption of energy codes like the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1, or state standards like California’s Title 24. As lamp efficacies improve, energy codes are driving down the number of watts per square foot used to light any give space within a building. Add in effective lighting controls, and you can drive down energy consumption even further. On the voluntary side, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), has had a profound impact on driving energy-efficient lighting design as well. 5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting.

There are other benefits for installing a well-engineered lighting system. Although the following benefits may appear to be less quantifiable, in reality, they are no less important than saving energy. First is the effect that a lighting system has on improving the productivity, recruitment, and retention of the customer’s employees. The second is green and zero net energy branding opportunities. A 2009 research study, “Green Goes Mainstream: How to Profit from Green Market Opportunities,” authored by Jerry Yudelson, Yudelson Associates, Tucson, Ariz., found an average 3.2% increase in productivity from lighting improvements. The same study also revealed that a 1% increase in productivity equates to 100% reduction in energy costs. 5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting.

2. Large choice of lighting technology – Lamp and luminaire choice is usually driven by customer request in consultation with an architect, lighting designer, or both to meet occupancy requirements. However, in some cases, the electrical contractor may become the specifier of the lamps and luminaires to reduce costs for the customer (value-engineering). Electrical contractors involved in design/build projects have greater influence over lighting selection. Because most design/build electrical contractors are not lighting designers, learning something about basic lighting design benefits everyone involved. These can be coupled with a great new energy quote from Usave (https://usave.co.uk/energy/) will only amplify the benefits.

Just like the lighting designer, the electrical contractor needs to understand the customer’s lighting requirements. In the case of value-engineering or design/build scenarios, realize that the customer may be relying on your expertise when it comes to lamp/luminaire selection, layout, and control. Some basic questions to ask the customer include: What is the major task(s) that will be performed in the space (e.g., task lighting)? What surfaces or objects need to be lit (e.g., focal lighting)? What types of fenestrations will the space contain (e.g., daylighting)? Is any lamp/luminaire going to be used as an architectural or decorative feature (e.g., decorative lighting)? What is the mood of the space, or what are the navigation requirements within the space (e.g., ambient lighting)? In some designs, energy savings and increased productivity may be gained by separating task lighting from ambient lighting and using innovative control strategies.

3. Lighting has become understandable – The proper selection of the lamp and luminaire begins with understanding something about the qualities of a light source, which are determined by the method used to produce the light. Light sources range from incandescent and halogen to fluorescent and HID to light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Lamps are rated in lumen output, watts, and lumens per watt or efficacy. Lumen output is the total light output of the lamp. This does not include fixture lumens only lamp lumens. (It’s important to understand the difference when evaluating LED lamps and luminaires.) Efficacy is the measure of how efficient one light source is when compared to another. The more lumen output per watt of power consumed, the more efficacious the lamp is. When purchasing lamps, think lumens, not watts.

4. Quality – The quality of light is also a measure of its color accuracy and the color of the light itself. Color accuracy is a measure of how well the light source can render the colors of an object. This is known as the color rendering index (CRI), which is measured on a scale of 0 (very poor rendering) to 100 (perfect rendering). The color of the light the lamp produces (whether the light appears warm, neutral, or cool) is a function of its color temperature. The lower the color temperature, the warmer (more red) the lamp appears; the higher the color temperature, the whiter or cooler the light source appears (more blue). This is known as the correlated color temperature (CCT), as shown in the Figure. 5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting.

Other areas of concern when selecting a lamp are its operating temperature range, lamp life, lumen maintenance (how much light output diminishes over the life of the lamp), directionality, dimmability, starting time, and life-cycle costs. All lamp qualities need to be understood to provide the customer with the desired end result. This implies that you, as the electrical contractor, understand how all lamps generate their light and what their operational characteristics are. Control strategies will be predicated on the operational characteristics of the lamp and occupancy requirements. 5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting.

The goal is to have a better understanding of the nature of light — not necessarily to become a lighting designer. However, if you are providing design/build services or value-engineering a lighting system, understanding some basics of lighting design will help a great deal. Many lighting and lighting control manufacturers provide basic online training with regard to understanding the nature of light, lamp characteristics, luminaire selection, and the correct switching or dimming control devices and topologies. Many lighting manufacturers also offer webinars and training courses, some of which are free. Staying on top of the latest training resources in the lighting arena will go a long way toward maximizing your next energy-efficient installation.

The annual savings to upgrade to energy efficient lighting

5. Energy Savings – Assuming you have a 2500 square foot home, with a total of 25 – 60W incandescent bulbs (lamps, fans and bath fixtures), 15 – 65W BR40 spot lights (can lights), and 4 – 4? 40W t40 fluorescent bulbs (closets and laundry).

The total out of pocket cost to replace these bulbs with LED lighting would be approximately $485.00, including professional installation. Installing Energy-Efficient Indoor Lighting Systems

The total annual savings realized based on .11c/kwh would come to $240.00 annually in energy usage, up-front, the payback seems to be 2 years! However, you must consider the longevity and useful life of the asset, LED bulbs last on average 14.7 years compared to 2.1 years for standard incandescent. Essentially, you will have to replace incandescent bulbs 7 times. The bottom line is that over the life of the LED product (14 to 15 years), you will save over $3200.00 in energy usage and bulb replacement.

This analysis is done for a 2500 square foot home, do the math, many homes in Plano Texas are much larger. Your savings could be enormous.

Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 to discuss the installation of your Drip Irrigation System. Visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information. Installing Energy- 5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting.

Energy efficient lighting

Energy Efficient Lighting

Energy Efficient Lighting – Light your home using the same amount of light for less money. An average household dedicates about 5% of its energy budget to lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $75 each year. New lighting standards took effect in 2012, and money-saving options such as halogen incandescent, CFL, and LED lightbulbs are available today. For high-quality products with the greatest energy savings, choose bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR.  Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 to discuss the installation of your Drip Irrigation System. Visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information.  Energy Efficient Lighting

Lighting choices save you money. All of these light bulbs meet the new energy standards that took effect from 2012-2014. The energy-saving incandescent bulbs use about 25% less energy than traditional varieties. To save even more, choose CFLs and LEDs, which offer many choices that typically use 75% less energy.

New Lightbulbs: What’s the Difference?

Traditional incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy to produce light and are no longer manufactured.

  • 90% of the energy is given off as heat
  • That lost energy is money we are throwing away

Newer energy-saving lightbulbs provide the choices in colors and light levels you’ve come to expect. The new lights are also much more efficient — so they save you money.

What Are My Lighting Choices?

You have many choices in energy-efficient lighting. The most popular light bulbs available are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although they can initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, during their lifetime they save you money, because they use less energy. You can find these in most hardware and home improvement stores. Energy Efficient Lighting

Controls such as timers and photocells save electricity by turning lights off when not in use. Dimmers save electricity when used to lower light levels. Be sure to select products that are compatible with the energy-efficient bulbs you want to use.

If you have outdoor lighting that is left on for a long time, using CFLs or LEDs in these fixtures will save a lot of energy. Most bare spiral CFLs can be used in enclosed fixtures that protect them from the weather. CFLs and LEDs are available as flood lights. These models have been tested to withstand the rain and snow so they can be used in exposed fixtures. Also look for ENERGY STAR-qualified fixtures that are designed for outdoor use and come with features like automatic daylight shut-off and motion sensors.  Energy Efficient Lighting

Halogen Incandescents

Halogen incandescents have a capsule inside that holds gas around a filament to increase bulb efficiency. They are available in a wide range of shapes and colors, and they can be used with dimmers. Halogen incandescent bulbs meet the federal minimum energy efficiency standard, but there are now many more efficient options to meet your lighting needs.  Energy Efficient Lighting

CFLs

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are simply curly versions of the long tube fluorescent lights you may already have in a kitchen or garage. Because they use less electricity than traditional incandescents, typical CFLs can pay for themselves in less than nine months, and then start saving you money each month. An ENERGY STAR-qualified CFL uses about one-fourth the energy and lasts ten times longer than a comparable traditional incandescent bulb that puts out the same amount of light. A typical CFL can pay for itself in energy savings in less than 9 months and continue to save you money each month. A CFL uses about one-third the energy of a halogen incandescent.

CFL bulbs are available in a range of light colors, including warm (white to yellow) tones that were not as available when first introduced. Some are encased in a cover to further diffuse the light and provide a similar shape to the bulbs you are replacing. If you are looking for a dimmable bulb, check the package to make sure you purchase a CFL with that feature.  Energy Efficient Lighting

Fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, and they should always be recycled at the end of their lifespan. Many retailers recycle CFLs for free. See EPA’s website for more information.

LEDs

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are a type of solid-state lighting — semiconductors that convert electricity into light. Although once known mainly for indicator and traffic lights, LEDs in white light, general illumination applications are one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing technologies.ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20%–25% of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs they replace. LEDs use 25%–30% of the energy and last 8 to 25 times longer than halogen incandescents.

LED bulbs are currently available in many products such as replacements for 40W, 60W, and 75W traditional incandescents, reflector bulbs often used in recessed fixtures, and small track lights, desk lamps, kitchen undercabinet lighting, and outdoor area lights. They come in a variety of colors, and some are dimmable or offer convenient features such as daylight and motion sensors. LEDs work well indoors and outdoors because of their durability and performance in cold environments. Look for LED products such as pathway lights, step lights, and porch lights for outdoor use. You can also find solar-powered outdoor lighting.

While LEDs are more expensive, they still save money because they last a long time and have very low energy use. As with other electronics, prices are expected to come down as more products enter the market.