Choosing the Perfect Light Color and Light Brightness

Compact fluorescent light bulbs are produced to conserve energy, unlike their incandescent counterparts. For example, a 13-watt CFL is manufactured to replace a 60-watt incandescent, using only 22% of the power that the incandescent needs. Also unlike the incandescent, CFL light color and light brightness are based on lumens and color temperature, not wattage. These both should be taken into consideration when choosing an incandescent replacement.

The amount of light emitted from a compact fluorescent bulb is based on lumens. The chart below shows the amount of lumens necessary to achieve the same light brightness as an incandescent.

The light color of a compact fluorescent light depends on temperature, which is measured in degrees Kelvin. The lower the Kelvin number is, the “warmer” the light color of a bulb will appear. For example, a compact fluorescent light which measures 2700K will give off a warm glow, similar to that of most incandescents placed in living rooms and bedrooms. At 3500K to 4100K, the color is more of a soft to cool white, suitable for kitchens. A CFL with 5000K provides a light color comparable to the light of the sun at noon. This light color is more appropriate for tasks such as painting where close attention to detail is required.

The picture below from DTE Energy will help you see the difference in color as the temperature changes.

Light Color
Light Color

Understanding light brightness and light color are important to choosing the correct replacement for the energy abusing incandescent lights in your home.


Measuring Shower Water Usage Helps Save Water

How many times a day is the shower run at your home? How long is each shower? A shower can be a great way to unwind after a long day of work or school. It can also be a major source of water use. The amount of gallons of water per shower depends on two things: the shower head flow rate, and the amount of time spent showering.flow rate bag

Knowing the gallons per minute (GPM) that each shower head allows is the first step in calculating gallons of water per shower. If you do not know the amount, a flow meter bag helps you figure it out. Simply place the bag under the shower head, and allow it to run for a timed period. The markings on the bag will show you the flow rate of your fixture. From there, you can calculate the gallons of water per shower, and decide what fixture changes are necessary.



If you already know how many gallons of water per minute(GPM) your showerhead uses, a shower timer will help you keep track of the amount of time being spent in the shower. The timer is easily placed on the shower wall. From here, you can watch your shower use in 5-minute intervals. Once you know how long you have been in the shower, calculating overall shower water usage is fairly simple. As an example, let’s use a 1.5 gpm shower head for a family of four in which each person takes one 10-minute shower every day.

  1. Multiply the amount of water coming out of the shower every minute by the amount of minutes that one person spends showering to figure out shower water usage per shower: 1.5 x 10 = 15
  2. Multiply that number by the amount of people showering to see how much shower water is used every day: 15 x 4 = 60
  3. Multiply this by 7 (the amount of days in a week) to calculate weekly usage: 60 x 7 = 420
  4. Multiply weekly use by 52 (number of weeks in a year) to get annual shower water usage.

The chart below shows the amount of water being used by other shower heads.

Shower Water Usage

Saving water in the shower starts with knowing how many gallons of water per shower are being used. Having this knowledge allows you to then change (whether in amount of time spent showering, or the fixture itself) shower water usage at home.

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Saying Goodbye to the Fireplace Draft with the help of a Chimney Balloon

For many, ushering in winter is financially stressful because of the increase in the energy bill, as the thermostat is being constantly manipulated to maintain a comfortable temperature during the colder months. When weatherproofing, people often tend to windows, doors, and rooms like the attic. While Jolly Old St. Nick is sneaking in (and eating your baked goods), heat is climbing right out. A chimney balloon will help you get rid of that annoying fireplace draft while also preventing debris from coming in.

Chimney Balloons
Chimney Balloons

The chimney balloon is made using 3 ply poly plastic that stops the air infiltration/exfiltration by way of the chimney. You may be wondering exactly how you are supposed to successfully stuff a balloon up a chimney. Well, you don’t. The balloon should only be inflated once it has been placed in the chimney. Chimney balloons should be removed before a fire is started up. This can be accomplished by simply opening the tap on the balloon. A bright red card that is attached to the inflation valve will be visible, reminding you that the chimney balloon is still in place. A chimney balloon comes in many sizes, so it is best to measure your chimney and acquire a balloon that is about 6 inches larger.

During the colder months of the year, a fireplace draft not only prevents you from making the most use of your fireplace, but it causes energy loss as well. Chimney balloons minimize these drafts by essentially blocking the opening for outdoor air to enter the home. Controlling when and where air leaves and enters allows you to maintain a comfortable temperature in the home, lessening the burden on your residential energy supply.


How to be green in Atlanta.

We are inundated with so much information about ‘being green’ by the media that sometimes you just don’t know where to start. One Atlanta based company attempts to address this issue.

Green Girl Atlanta educates you on how to be green, providing you with ways to make eco-friendly choices in your daily life and reduce your negative impact on the Earth and our environment. Green Girl Atlanta works closely with you to establish your goals, manage your expectations, and make instant changes for your lifestyle and household. Services include, but are not limited to: recycling, energy bill assistance, water conservation, green pet care, green baby and child care and décor, paper waste reduction, organic food, organic cleaning supplies, energy star appliances, junk mail reduction, eco friendly paint, organic upholstering, and green gardening tips.

Green Girl Atlanta was started by Esther Ayers who is a Green Consultant currently living in Atlanta, Ga. Esther continually self-educates on modern best-practices on sustainability and energy efficiency and would love to share this knowledge.


What are Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Modules?

Photovoltaic (PV) is a solar power technology that uses an array of Solar PV modules to convert sunlight into electricity. The Southeast is considered is considered a good area for Solar PV installations. The most important requirement for choosing a site for Solar PV is to have un-shaded, due-south exposure to the Sun. Modules can be roof, ground or pole mounted. The typical angle for mounting Solar PV in Georgia is a 30 degree tilt, which is close to our degrees north latitude.

Most customers do not attempt to install a Solar PV array large enough to completely supply their electricity needs. You would typically work with a licensed Solar installer like SOENSO GA who is a dealer and installer of Schüco Solar of Germany. SOENSO GA works with architects, builders, consultants, contractors, developers, engineers, LEED APs, property managers and other professionals to assist them with incorporating sustainable building practices such as Solar PV systems. Under LEED NC multiple points can be earned by providing Solar PV that meets LEED-established percentages of buildings energy requirements.
Source: Soenso GA


A grassroots movement to help homes go green

For anyone who has ever asked, “What can I do to help the environment?,” Zola Goods has come up with an innovative answer to share an empowering message and initiate change in homes across the United States. Beth Remmes, founder of the company, likes to be considered as “your personal eco-shopper for some of the best environmental products on the market today”.

Zola is creating a new model which takes the passion and commitment of an environmental non-profit volunteer and gives her or him the opportunity and support necessary to carry an inspirational message into homes across America, while having the chance to earn a supplemental income.

Zola teach people to adopt more sustainable habits – by shopping!