Bright-Minded Home November 2017
Q+A with Kirk Goddard on the LED lighting in his Freeport home
When Kirk Goddard decided to build a new home in Freeport, he and his wife, Kathy, agreed that the best site overlooked Kelsey Brook, a tributary of the Harraseeket River. His challenge? The narrow tree-lined ravine offered limited daylight. Undaunted, Goddard blasted a steep driveway to reach the site and began looking into the best lighting options. We asked him about the advantages of LED lighting.
Q. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE LED LIGHTING FOR YOUR HOME?
A. With the darkness of the site, we knew the lights would have to be on most of the time. LED lighting offers the brightest light and the best economy. Statistics show that an average LED uses 25 percent of the energy of a halogen incandescent and lasts 8 to 25 times longer. We chose a variety of LED fixtures for the entire home. Many of the lights have dimmers to allow control over brightness between day and night. In the living room, we decided to use LED strip lighting around the valance ceiling. While it cost about $800 to install, it offers superior brightness and creates a warm atmosphere that complements the hardwood-lined walls and ceiling. We also have smart controls that enable us to manage the lighting when we’re away from home.
Q. HOW COMPLICATED WAS THE LED STRIP LIGHTING?
A. Our electrician had never installed strip lighting before but had no problems. We needed 80 feet to surround the ceiling in the living room. This requires a driver to power every 40 feet of strip. The drivers need to be installed in close vicinity to the strip, so we hid them in a basement closet beneath the living area. I would have used more strip lighting in the kitchen, but there was no easy place to hide the drivers.
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR AVERAGE ELECTRICAL COSTS?
A. Depending on the time of year, our bill from Central Maine Power ranges from $65 to $90 for our 2,800-square foot home. This reflects many days when most of the downstairs lighting (a space that’s about 1,000 square feet) is on for up to 16 hours. In two years, we’ve only replaced one LED bulb.