There's no denying it: the Green Lantern just isn't the superhero he used to be. Maybe that's because of the high Green Lantern turnover (there have been a handful of different Green Lanterns over the years), or maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Green Lantern owes his super powers to a magic ring rather than his own god-given gifts. Or maybe, just maybe, it's because the ring's batteries ran out (don't laughit has happened before).
Whatever the reasons, considering the Green Lantern's waning popularity and effectiveness in superhero circles, the green remodeling community has decided it's time for a GL makeover. In this age of environmental awareness, energy conservation, and green remodeling, the world could use a champion of environmentally responsible home lighting solutions, and who better to pick up that torch than the original green light in the darkness? He may no longer possess dolphin mind control, and only time will tell whether he'll ever throw a plasma bolt or conjure up a force field ever again, but when it comes to ridding the world of inefficient and wasteful home lighting practices, you're talking about a job that has the words "Green Lantern" written all over it!
Starting Simple: Ridding the World of Evil Incandescent Bulbs
While you may think that a campaign to rid the world of incandescent light bulbs might seem a little petty for a superhero who has total control over the physical world, we beg to differ. The U.S. Department of Energy's EERE website notes that as much as 15% of the energy use in an average American home can be attributed to artificial lighting. It also notes that of that 15%, homeowners can easily cut their costs by 50% to 90% simply by switching to more efficient artificial lighting technologies such as low voltage LEDs and compact fluorescents (also known as CFLs). In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Star website, if every household in the United States of America swapped out just one incandescent light bulb with a CFL, we'd save enough energy to light up 3 million homes for a year, cut our collective energy costs by about $600 million, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by the rough equivalent of 800,000 cars! Call us crazy, but we think this is a cause that even the Green Lantern could slip the power ring on for.
Need help with your green home remodel? Use this link toHIre an Interior Designer
Fighting the Green Fight: Window Design and Window Orientation
Swapping out your old incandescent light bulbs with more efficient technology is a good place to start, but as a founder of Green Lantern Corp. and the Guardians of the Universe, the Green Lantern probably won't be satisfied with stopping there. As a frequent traveler in and outside of earth's atmosphere, the Green Lantern will be almost sure to point out that the greenest light source of all is the one that rises in the East every morning, and sets in the West when the day comes to an end. In fact, making the most of natural sunlight, a practice referred to as "daylighting" in green remodeling circles, is far and away the most energy efficient and cost-effective way to light your home. According to the Whole Building Design Guide put out by the National Institute of Building Sciences, utilizing south-facing windows, properly using window treatments, and installing daylighting solutions like clerestory windows, light shelves, and sloped ceilings, are just a few of the many proven daylighting strategies that provide effective lighting, increased productivity, and a reduced carbon footprint, all at the same time.
Skylights and Light Tubes
Contrary to popular belief, skylights and light tubes aren't a requirement if you're interested in daylighting alternatives. In most homes, combining proper window orientation with other daylighting techniques (many of which are mentioned above) is more than sufficient. That said, if the Green Lantern does, indeed, become the new champion of green lighting in general, he's probably going to want to make it possible for his superhero friends at the Justice Society of America to "drop in" whenever they feel like it, cementing skylights as popular fare in American homes. The truth of the matter is that skylights are a proven commodity when it comes to introducing natural sunlight into areas of a home that window light can't reach. And with their low profile and easy installation, light tubes are fast becoming a favorite daylighting tool for use in areas as diverse as closets, bathrooms, kitchens, and even basements.
Anybody that's anybody knows that the Green Lantern's ring is the most powerful weapon in the known universe. Combine that kind of power (which includes mind controlwhy is everybody out buying CFLs at the same time?) with the common sense advantages of green lighting solutions, and itýs not hard to see why the future of green lighting is as bright as the Green Lantern himself.