Energy Star Lighting
Energy efficiency is something that has gripped the American people since the energy crisis of the 1970s. However, given the rathe satisfactory resolution to the energy crisis, efficiency was somewhat forgotten for several decades. Almost simultaneous with the energy crisis was the rise of the environmental movement. Seen as a necessity to some, and a burden to others, the environmental movement produced several early accomplishments. Among these accomplishments was the birth of the Environmental Protection Agency. Initially viewed by the general public as a pariah, the tree-hugging institution made several reforms which the public eventually viewed as beneficial to the whole of society. The 1970s and 1980s also saw the end of the urban migration away from the city center out into the suburbs. The number of urban dwellings exploded, and so did energy consumption. By the time personal computers began entering homes in the late 1980s, it was becoming quickly apparent that energy supply was about to outstripped by energy demand. At that time new power projects across the country were met with various shows of resistance. In an effort to make due with available energy supply, the EPA unveiled the Energy Star program in 1992. The program was geared toward anything that used electricity and its goal was simple, reduce energy consumption of home appliances and lighting. Energy Star is a voluntary certification where manufacturers choose to participate. The program has met with mixed results. Most people are most familiar with the program from the start-up screens of their home computers. However, the program applies to almost everything in a modern household. In fact, a sizable percentage of household brands produce energy star compliant products, even though theyÎęre not touted as being so. Consumers generally need to search the productÎęs fine print to discover that a given product meets the programÎęs guidelines. The program has since grown beyond the EPA. Several other nations now participate in the programÎęs standards. As the constraints of energy supplies are felt around the world, foreign governments have taken similar approaches to mitigating energy demand. Some program guidelines stress greater efficiency than others. Energy Star compliant lighting will reduce electricity consumption by home lighting by 75%. This has been made possible in recent decades by the development of compact fluorescent bulbs and the growing use of home fixtures that use various shapes of traditional fluorescent lights. Making use of Energy Star compliant products simply makes sense. Although some products might have a slightly higher up front cost, the energy savings over time will far outweigh the initial investment. For example, using a fixture that accepts a fluorescent bulb instead of traditional incandescent lighting will save $30 or more a year in electricity. Add this savings up over the time one intends to stay in their home, and the small extra cost of the fixture suddenly doesnÎęt seem so important. Various manufactures produce Energy Star compliant fixtures that meet various needs. From outdoor lighting to affordable yet striking interior fixtures and designs for almost any use, there is a wide variety of Energy Star products that consumers should consider.