There are two things that make a lamp energy efficient: the light bulb and heat management. The type of light bulb a lamp uses will impact the amount of energy it uses –incandescent are the least energy efficient, compact florescent are second best, and LEDs are most energy efficient. The heat around the light bulb can greatly affect the bulb’s life. Well designed lamps and light bulbs will have a system to draw the heat away from the bulb. Below you will see that the LEAF lamp is designed to draw heat away from the light source, while LED lights bulbs have wafers that act as heat management system.
The LEAF Lamp
In our post Designer Desk Lamp Profile we highlighted the LEAF Lamp by Yves Behar. Two aluminum blades create an organic leaf shape. The light bulb consists of 20 LEDs which allows you to change the color of the light from a functional cool white light to a warm yellow white light. The lamp is designed to draw heat away from the LED lights – which allows the lamp to use 40% less energy than a compact florescent light. It was named by Time Magazine as one of the Best Inventions of 2007.
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LED Lights and Lamps
LED Light Bulbs
It is pretty easy to order LED light bulbs online – Amazon stocks them. You can see from a number of the designs that the top portion is like a normal light bulb while the bottom half has a wafer design. These wafers draw heat away from the LED lights, allowing them to work more efficiently.
You can even buy an LED bulb that is remote control and changes color. If it gray outside, why not fill the room with yellow or green light. These light bulbs simply screw into normal ceiling light sockets or even into table or floor lamps.
We have written about a range of different mood lights, like the Yantouch (which looks and works a bit like an iPad) and the Philips Mood Lighting Collection – all of which use LED lights:
Motion Sensor Lights
Amazon also has a range of motion sensor battery powered LED lights. These are ideal for putting inside of closets, kitchen cabinets or even as floor lighting. They only come on when someone is in the room or accessing a cabinet.
We recently highlighted the work of Studio mischer‘traxler who went out and created these florescent lamps. The idea behind the designs is that we are all making a switch to compact florescent light bulbs, so they wanted to see how they could turn normal lamps into using the longer florescent light strips. Which are more energy efficient than normal incandescent light bulbs.
The most energy efficient lighting is natural lighting. There are a number of ways this can be done around the home. For example in our closet lighting ideas post we highlighted solartubes which are tubes that are fitted into the roof of the house. Sunlight then filters down through the tubes and acts as light bulbs during the day (they can also be fitted with lights to be used at night). This concept is also being used in poorer countries by taking water bottles, filling them with water, and fitting them into holes in the roof.