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Artificial lighting and controls
There are many energy-efficient lighting choices available to enhance occupant comfort, convenience, and ambience throughout the house. The most popular bulbs available are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Daylight-responsive electric lighting controls incorporate photocells to sense the available light and dim or turn off the electric lighting system to create an ideal lighting environment.
Light reflects off internal walls, ceilings, and floors—particularly glossy surfaces, light-colored finishes, and mirrors. Because mirrors reflect almost all light that hits them, they are best placed in areas that have low natural light conditions, such as entryways, hallways, and basements.
Interior paint colors
Bright colors reflect light more easily than darker shades. Light colors also make spaces feel larger and brighter, so daylight is easier to use as task lighting. Avoid paints with a gloss sheen on large surfaces, as these can create annoying glare.
Arrangement of furniture
Furniture arrangements may block light and create shadows. Keep large pieces of furniture away from windows and other natural light sources, and make sure furniture arrangements have corridors that allow light to reach across rooms.
Deciduous trees with high, spreading crowns can be planted to the south of a home to provide maximum summertime roof shading. Trees with crowns lower to the ground are more appropriate to the west, where shade is needed from lower afternoon sun angles. Avoid planting trees on the southern sides of homes in cold climates, because the branches of these deciduous trees will block some winter sun.