Like all remodelers, Joe and Becky Titlow, owners of the This Old House
TV Bedford project house
, wanted their house's new lighting to complement its style. "We also needed to cut energy use," says Becky, not just to save money but also to meet a state code requiring 50 percent of lighting in any remodel (and new construction) to be energy efficient. It's a common challenge, as some 20 states have adopted or are adopting similar codes.
The Titlows soon found that shopping for energy-efficient lighting is a herculean research project these days. As incandescent bulbs disappear from store shelves, the bulbs that are replacing them have changed dramatically in the past few years. To get a better grasp on their options, the Titlows turned to lighting designer Susan Arnold of Wolfers Lighting
in Allston, Massachusetts. We spoke to her, and a few other experts, to examine the pros, cons, myths, and realities surrounding this latest generation of lighting. Here's an incentive to keep reading: Joe and Becky's choices may slash their lighting energy bill by as much as 60 percent.Shown: TOH
general contractor Tom Silva places a wall sconce above the fireplace in the new family room. "We're using CFLs in these fixtures," says homeowner Joe Titlow.