Lights up the room

lighting research center living room lighting pattern

A hypothetical "small living room."

Useful: The Lighting Research Center at RPI has launched a website with a bunch on information on lighting homes. The site includes patterns for lighting spaces, as well as details on different types of fixtures and bulbs.

That might not exactly light you up (oof), but lighting can make a big difference. Switching out the harsh ceiling light in the middle of a room for lamps can make the space feel a lot better.

The most interesting part of the site for us is the section that includes an interactive calculator for comparing the cost and energy use of different lighting sources in a room. The calculator lets you change the numbers around based on variables such as usage and wattage and anticipated life of the arrangement.

For example, the LRC figures lighting a small living room with incandescents costs on average $53 per year; with CFLs, it would cost $15; and with LEDs $21. (Even though LEDs are more energy efficient than CFLs, the bulbs themselves cost a lot more.)

image: RPI Lighting Research Center


maybe i'm a vain jerk, but I cannot stand the way anything, including myself, looks under those awful CFL's

AOA, thanks for writing about our new website. Talking about lighting is *almost* as fun as talking about chocolate chip cookies.

Mmmmm light... as a photographer, this is right up there with gelato, and cookies for drool worthiness :) I'm still working on finishing up my home office refit, and it will be nicely lit (I hope) when I'm done with it... :)

Colleen, just check the color temperature on the box next time you buy CFL's; incandescents are in the 2700-2900K range, so get a CFL in the same range and it will put out the same quality light.

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