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Top 10 Ways to Make Your New Home Green

LED and CFL Lighting

LED and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) offer incredible energy and cost savings over regular incandescent bulbs. Both options do cost more upfront, but they produce less heat, use less energy and last significantly longer than traditional light bulbs, so they're ideal green lighting options for your new home. CFLs cost only about $2 more per bulb than the incandescent variety, but offer an overall cost savings (including reduced energy bills) of more than $60 per bulb when compared to a 100-watt incandescent bulb [source: Sachs]. However, CFLs do have drawbacks: Some consider the light too harsh and unflattering to be worth the savings. And CFLs must also be properly disposed of, which some consider a hassle.

If CFLs aren't for you, you may want to consider LED lights. In 2010, Philips unveiled an LED bulb designed to replace the 60-watt incandescent bulb. The LED bulb is 80 percent more energy-efficient and lasts 25 times longer than a traditional 60-watt light bulb [source: Lombardi]. Philips claims the new LED bulb offers a very similar color to the light from an incandescent bulb, and LEDs don't have the disposal requirements that CFLs do. Obviously, you could replace the type of lighting you use at any time in your current home. However, it's best to start this green trend during construction, so you always see your home in the same color light. That way, any bothersome changes in color temperature will be less noticeable.