Going green in the home can be a learning process, and if you’re not careful (or particular) it can also get pretty expensive. But for the homeowner that is interested in reducing pollution and waste, cutting consumption, and doing something to protect the planet from the destruction of mankind, this form of personal responsibility becomes not only an obligation, but a lifestyle choice. And one of the absolute best ways that a homeowner can transform a house to a carbon-neutral state is to choose solar lighting options, whether that means simply using natural daylight as much as possible or installing solar panels to illuminate the entire home day and night (not to mention provide for other energy needs). In truth, there are all kinds of benefits to making the switch to solar lighting.
1. Save money. If we’re being honest, money is always a major consideration. Your home is not just a place to hang your hat; it’s also an investment that you would one day like to see a return on. And as you may be aware, solar panels are a pricy addition to any property, at least on the front end. But they will definitely show a return, especially if you enjoy a particularly sunny climate. You will see immediate savings on your energy bill, you may be able to sell excess power back to the grid, and down the road your home will appeal to a demographic that is willing to pay a little more for eco-friendly amenities. So you’re going to make your money back, and probably more, in the long run.
2. Save the planet. Even more important that saving a few bucks, of course, is doing your part to save the environment. By choosing solar lighting options you are reducing your own reliance on manufactured power from the grid. This may only seem like a small and inconsequential gesture, but as more and more people do it, a real change can go into effect.
3. Teach your kids. Most parents want to instill a sense of social and environmental responsibility in their kids, and utilizing solar energy to light your home can provide the opportunity to impart a lesson along those lines. Leading by example, rather than having a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude, speaks volumes and your kids will get the message loud and clear – environmental protection is important.
4. Increase value. Solar panels could cost you anywhere from about $25,000-50,000, depending on the size of your home and your energy needs. But they can also increase the value of your home. For one thing, they will help to attract a specific subset of buyers that are seeking homes that run off the grid, and these people may pay more for what you have to offer. But even beyond that, the fact that you’re selling a home that has no energy bill is a big draw.
5. Vote with your consumer dollars. Any consumer society is based on the simple principle of supply and demand, and by opting for solar lighting you are telling the power company that their services aren’t needed. Of course, you don’t have to go all out with solar panels. You could also purchase CFL lights and open windows in order to cut consumption. But nothing says you’re against power companies like swearing off them altogether and opting for alternative energy.