January is one of the darkest and often coldest months of the year, at least it is true in the northern hemisphere. It is also often a challenging month, as it follows the celebratory month of December and the aftermath of the New Year ringing in. It is like coming off an addiction and we are all bored, frustrated and probably anxious from the past overindulgence in food, alcohol, spending and too much family time.
For me, however, January is one of the most powerful months of the year. BEGINNINGS are very intense and have a special sort of magic to them. Like the dawning of a new day, the dawning of the new year has its own charm that I think it is best to harness and capture.
Using the energy of the season is a good idea for our overall balance and rhythm. Though we are often blind to the seasons except when we are confronted with two-foot of snow like the east coast had last January, I feel that honoring the season of Winter is essential for our wellbeing.
Winter is often called A Little Death because it is the season of hibernation and when we need to reserve our resources to last out the cold weather until the sun starts to shine again and bring in new life.
I think of the way to manage this is to find our own INNER sun and to spend this time in reflections on what matter most, start making PLANS for the warmer months and to allow ourselves to daydream about the possibilities of what if….
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
What changes to your home, your office would you do if you had the time, energy, money?
There is ONE THING that I can recommend that you can do, right NOW, quite EASILY that will have a POWERFUL IMPACT on brightening your life, now and in the future.
Bring in more LIGHT. You can do this both literally as well as figuratively. Here is my suggestion on how you can bring more SUNSHINE into your life this dreary January. This light can be a source of inspiration for your dark days and nights, to provide you the beacon needed to find your way to spring.
Change all your light bulbs in your house and office to be LED light bulbs. It is easy and has so many benefits. Just follow these simple steps.
Go around and take one light bulb from each fixture style and count how many you need for each fixture. Write this down and bring this shopping list to your local store.
Go to a local store that has light bulbs. Ask the shopkeeper about the difference in light color and quality and or get informed on which ones you like best and are the most suitable for the tasks and locations. Remember lighting is a functional fixture in your house first, then they can be a decorative one. See my general notes below and add what you think you need on your shopping list that you created in step 1.
Go home and remove all old bulbs, then put in the new ones. Then celebrate!
Your old incandescent light bulbs can be thrown away in a local garbage because they do not have anything toxic in them. However, not all bulbs are created equal so if you are uncertain you can contact your local municipality and check what it the local policy. Click HERE for some more ideas and information on how to get rid of your old light bulbs
Celebrate your money and energy savings gift to yourself and the world!
Some LED basics:
LED means light emitting diodes. They are a much more sophisticated engineering light bulb than incandescent, fluorescent or halogens.
They are about 90% more efficient than other bulbs.
They do not burn out like the other bulbs do; they simply start to lose brightness over time so they say that when an LED has lost 30% of its original brightness, it needs to be replaced. There ‘lifespan” is about 50 longer more than the older types of light bulbs.
LED come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, allowing for an amazing opportunity for innovation when it comes to lighting design over the traditional applications.
LED bulbs do not produce heat the way the traditional light bulbs did so this is another advantage as things do not get hot or burn from LED bulbs plus you do not need to air condition a space to remove the heat from the lighting like you needed to do in larger commercial offices in the past.
It is nice to know that the LED bulbs outlast the older versions by about 50 times. You won’t have to change your lightbulbs except for once every 5-10 years and you reduce your input into the landfills. A win-win.
In summary, LED’s are more efficient, versatile and lasts longer.
From a design perspective, the colors of your lights and especially when selecting your new LED bulbs is really important to understand. As a LEED AP, it is essential to understand.
Warmer lights are more comfortable and natural to our eyes. In LED terms this is the 2200K-3000K range. It is called Soft White or Warm White. This is good for most indoor space.
Neutral White or Cool White is from 3500-4100K and is slightly better for kitchen applications or working spaces because it is a little sharper.
Lastly, Daylight LED is from 5000-6500K and is said to be good for reading though you need to check these out yourself and see what feels best to you. I often steer clear of the daylight end of the spectrum as it feels too harsh.
Always try to use Energy Star certified or other certified light bulbs to be certain you are obtaining the best available products that will perform at their optimum capacity. Like with everything new to the market, there will be copycats that make things that look the same but do not perform the same.
LED’s saves carbon emissions and therefore the earth thanks you. Your future self will thank you because you will now be reducing the carbon dioxide emissions caused by the older style light bulbs plus you will be reducing your overall energy consumption. This is good for the environment and good for your energy bill too!
As we continue to make our SUSTAINABLE wishes heard, the manufacturers and vendors are starting to respond. Hope springs eternal. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world.
We can help you to make your home more healthy with some design and décor design changes. Reach out if you want to take advantage of our 2018 Healthy Home Challenge.