From the category archives:

Green Design

There is rumor spreading that our beloved warm glowing incandescent light bulbs are being banished from earth.  They try to convince us that CFL’s (compact fluorescent lamps) are a good replacement.  The current buzzword is LED (AKA Solid State Lighting) but is this just a fad?

Well the fact is that incandescent bulbs are not being banned, only the ones that do not meet the new energy efficiency standards are.  What does this mean?  It means that 100 is the new 75…watts that is.  Literally speaking, the 100 watt light bulb as we know it will no longer exist, but with better technology manufacturers are creating 75 watt light bulbs to be just as bright as the old 100 watt bulbs.

For all of you that love your beautiful chandeliers, their is no need to worry because candelabra bulbs and most decorative style bulbs under 40 watts are exempt from the new energy efficiency law. Yeah!

So here’s the secret…..Read the Labels.  You will begin to see a new standardized label design on all incandescent light bulb packaging.  It’s no longer about the watts (which is about the amount of energy used), it’s about how much light the bulb emits (this is referred to as lumens).  You can compare the amount of lumens (brightness) to the amount of energy used (watts).  I will provide you with some examples of what the new energy standards are and when they will take effect:

100W will equal 72W max (>1490 lumens) in 2012*

75W will equal 53W max (>1050 lumens) in 2013*

60W will equal 43W max (>750 lumend) in 2014*

40W will equal 29W max (>316 lumens) in 2014*

*Rules go into effect one year earlier in California and British Columbia

If you would like more detailed information on this subject check out – the United States Department of Energy (DOE)

You can contact me via my website or leave a comment here and I will be happy to address your questions.  I will be writing similar posts on Compact Fluorescent and LED’s in the near future.


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Love That Wood

by Robin Muto on August 12, 2009

in Green Design,Reclaimed Wood

Me at the fine woodworking division of New Energy Works

Me at the fine woodworking division of New Energy Works

Sometimes you meet someone or visit someplace and you immediately feel right at home.  That’s how I felt on my recent visit to New Energy Works Timberframers, and Pioneer Millworks located in Farmington NY.  I was given a most delightful and informative tour of the entire facility by Jennifer Young their staff marketing person.  They have been building some of the most elegant timberframe homes for over 20 years and the Pioneer Millworks division has been making flooring from reclaimed and recycled wood for over 15 years.  If this wasn’t enough, about a 10 minute car ride from the main facility is New WOODWORKS in Shortsville, NY which specializes in bespoke furniture, kitchen cabinets, doors, stairs and anything else related to what they refer to as “house jewelry”.  They create these pieces using the resources from Pioneer Millworks and they will also use new wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

One of our lively topics of conversation commented on the fact that we notice most people tend to “typecast” reclaimed flooring as something that is only appropriate for restorations in older homes or in rustic style settings.  But the fact is that reclaimed flooring looks spectacular juxtaposed against modern furnishings and translates beautifully into Asian inspired designs.  The beauty and the character of this wood adds warmth and distinction unmatched by contemporary flooring products.

One thing that does not change throughout the various divisions is the high level of craftsmanship which is exhibited through their attention to detail and their commitment to sustainable design.  This is not a “green” fad with this company but the very basis of their core philosophy.

The founder of this New Energy Works is currently building a home for his family in Oregon, incorporating reclaimed and natural materials, energy efficiency, cutting edge technologies and craft intensive applications.  You can get a behind the scenes look at this fascinating project on their blog: The Vermont Street Project

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No Longer Crunchy

July 21, 2009

Anyone remember the Whole Earth Catalog, how about Mother Earth News? It was 1968, sometimes referred to as the Back to the Land Movement and I would say that this was the precursor for the Green Design movement which is moving its way main stream thanks to people like Al Gore. I’ll never forget the […]

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Cool Shades of Green

July 13, 2009

There sure is a whole lotta green washing going on and it has become the marketing enigma of the 21st century.   But the reality is that “Going Green” is not fad or fashion; it is a revolution that is growing more mainstream every day.   I recently spent two days participating in a Green Design […]

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