The push to “go green” is on and everyone who wants to do their part is finding ways to incorporate eco-friendly practices into their lives. Ironically, outdoors is one area that is often overlooked by those looking to be environmentally friendly. There are many easy ways to carry the green practices into the outdoor area around the home and these are inexpensive. By incorporating these methods, homeowners will be conserving resources and saving some green in their wallets.
Step 1: If you have outdoor floodlights, replace the floodlight bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs or standard incandescent bulbs. This will save energy. For light power that rivals a floodlight, opt for LED or compact fluorescent versions of traditional floodlights. LED lights are more expensive but they also use less energy and are much longer lasting. These can last up to 25 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs.
Step 2: Remove the incandescent bulbs from standard light fixtures on porches or exterior entries and replace these with LED or compact fluorescent bulbs.
Step 3: Installing a timer or motion sensor on floodlights and standard light fixtures will save even more energy. This way, the lights will only be on when needed. Motion sensors are perfect for homes with pets. When the dogs are let out to do their business, the outdoor lights in the yard automatically switch on.
Step 4: If patio or sidewalk lighting is desired, opt for solar lights instead of the electric versions. Solar lights on stakes are easy to install and do not require ongoing maintenance like bulb replacement. Placing these in spots that receive maximum sun exposure will enable them to remain bright throughout the night.
Step 5: Light outdoor buildings such as freestanding garages and sheds using solar lighting. Homeowners can find solar shed lights online for under $30, much less than it costs to install electric within the building.