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Solar Home Lighting

Ernest Said:

Is it possible to build a super efficient home without going bankrupt?

We Answered:

My grandfather built a cement house into the side of a hill. The front is all double pane glass and the top and sides is covered in a few feet of dirt. Just the sunlight coming in is enough to keep it above freezing unless it gets below -20' outside for awhile. In the summer it never gets above 60 inside if the shades are pulled and door kept closed. He did all the engineering design work himself and tied the re-bar together so it cost him very little.
If you don't want to live in a tornado proof bomb shelter, Structural Insulated Panels are very efficient at keeping heat in/out. They are a little pricey, but will pay for themselves quickly. Now that metal prices are down, I'd suggest getting larger diameter copper wire than code requires too. It costs a bit more, but is less likely to overload and is much more energy efficient than smaller wire; can pay for itself in as little as 7 months, depending on your electric rates.

Jennifer Said:

Best floodlight option for my home, help please?

We Answered:

I would put halogens and use the 500 watt bulbs they will light your backyard up like day light. But they should be able to be switched off. The reason is if you are relaxing outside at night you don't want them going off. Word of advice the more expensive fixtures are better. The one I got at Home Depot were $79 but there warrantied for life and heavy duty.

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