American Lighting Association

Issue No. 40, September 2013

Photo courtesy of Casablanca Fan Company

Learn more about:
Turn Off Your AC, Turn On a Fan to Save Trillions of Kilowatt Hours
Boost Your Eco-friendliness with a Few Easy Steps
Your Questions Answered by a Design Professional

Autumn at Last
Time for a break from the heat, and after a season of full-time AC usage, it's also a good time to power down your home's energy consumption.

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COMFORT ZONE: Keep Your Cool, Save Energy on National Ceiling Fan Day

National Ceiling Fan Day Flyer - BI-2 - Copy

September 18 marks the first annual National Ceiling Fan Day (NCFD). More than 20 ceiling fan manufacturers, the ALA and leading energy conservation groups invite everyone to join the fight to reduce energy consumption by turning off their central cooling systems and relying on ceiling, floor, desk and wall fans to save trillions of kilowatt hours of energy consumption.

If every American relies on fans instead of their home air conditioner for just one day, the resulting energy savings will be enough to power the entire city of New York for months. Not only is using a ceiling fan good for the environment, it's good for your checkbook too. Operating a fan can cost as little as $1 per month. That is quite a savings compared to approximately $100 per month to run an AC unit in a typical home. Read full story.

Many ALA-member fan retailers are offering discounts to consumers in conjunction with NCFD.

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Photo courtesy of Fanimation

Elec. furnace....17,221 watts
Central air..........5,000 watts
Ceiling fan..............30 watts

Data published by
General Electric
ENERGY WISE: Boost Your Eco-friendliness with a Few Easy Steps 

It is easy to instantly trim your energy consumption and boost the eco-friendliness of your home. While knowing how and what to do to improve your home's energy efficiency can be confusing, the ALA offers these energy saving steps:

  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). The newest CFLs do not flicker like those of old, and they have much better color quality than even just a few years ago. Choose bulbs labeled "residential color," "warm" or "soft white."
  • Replace dimmable incandescent bulbs with dimmable CFLs. While CFLs still do not have the dimming range of incandescents, the technology has come a long way.
  • Buy name brands. They will last longer and look better.
  • Make sure your outdoor lighting is energy efficient. Look for outdoor fixtures that use either CFLs or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and that are motion sensor or photocell activated.
  • Buy Energy Star-qualified fixtures and bulbs. This means they are certified by the U.S. Department of Energy as energy efficient.
  • Retrofit recessed lighting with LED fixtures. It's easy to replace recessed fixtures with super energy-efficient LED versions, and while costly, LEDs will last many years.
  • Replace undercabinet lighting. LED strips and pucks are easy to install and five off less heat than incandescent.

Talk to a lighting professional about making your home energy efficient at a nearby ALA-member retail store.

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Photo courtesy of Sea Gull Lighting

Photo courtesy of Cooper Lighting

EXPERT ADVICE: Want More Ideas? Ask a Lighting Professional. 

What is the rule of thumb for spacing recessed light fixtures? I'm finishing my basement, and would like to install energy-efficient LED recessed lighting. The unfinished ceiling height is just under 8 feet.            -Joe K.

The spacing will depend on the fixture and the amount of light that you want to have. At a distance of 8 feet from the ceiling to the floor, the footcandles will be 6.9 footcandles, and the beam diameter will be 11.9 feet.  Footcandles are the measurement of the amount of light when it reaches a surface, and a footcandle level of approximately 10 is not unusual for general circulation in many homes.

If you place the fixtures approximately 12 feet apart, you will have about 7 footcandles directly below the fixture and at the point where the beams intersect.  Therefore, to increase your footcandle levels, you might want to use an 8-10-foot spacing

Do you have questions about lighting your home?
Click here to submit your questions to an ALA-trained lighting professional.

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For more about ceiling fans and home lighting, as well as design ideas, visit ALA online.

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Photo courtesy of LBL Lighting

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