I posted last week about compact fluorescents and their impact on some migraineurs, epileptics, people with lupus and possibly other conditions. While we work on getting Congress to amend the law which would phase out sales of incandescent bulbs by 2012, here are some thoughts about energy saving alternatives you can use at home. Thanks to my friend Dave Cohen, of DEC Architect, an architect specializing in green design, for these suggestions.

1. Turn your lights down low - installing and using dimmers with your incandescent bulbs can save a surprising amount of energy. Using a light bulb at 75% of full wattage can actually cut electricity use by 50%! If you’re like me, you prefer the lights on the low side to ward off migraines anyway.

2. Pull your window curtain - use natural light as much as possible! If you are doing new construction,build to take advantage of natural light with the orientation of your windows and use of reflective surfaces to catch and multiply that natural light. Even with existing windows, let as much light in as possible, and do what you can to reflect it back around the room.

3. Shine the light up - (sorry I ran out of Bob Marley references there) torchiere style halogen lights can illuminate a room with less wattage than an incandescent. Halogens are one of the lower energy use lighting sources that are under further development. Shining the light up on the ceiling spreads it; it is also easier on migraine brains than light shining down into our eyes.

4. Light up with LEDs - LEDs are another alternative technology which are being further developed. You know, those bright little green, blue, etc, lights? I know some migraineurs have trouble with LEDs, which can be very bright. An LED light which can be dimmed would be a great alternative. (They could also save a lot of energy by removing the LED lights on my computer power cord, so my darn room could actually be dark at night.)

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine (but not too brightly…)

Author's Bio: 

Megan Oltman is a migraineur, an entrepreneur, and a Migraine Management Coach, helping migraineurs and people with chronic illness manage their lives, keep working, start and maintain businesses, and live purposeful lives. She also practices as a professional divorce mediator. Over the years, she's been a practicing attorney, a free-lance writer, and a business coach and advisor. Megan has a free Migraine management course, The Six Keys to Manage your Migraines and Take Back your Life, available at takebackyourlifefrommigraine.com Her writings on Migraine and more tools for managing life with Migraine can be found at freemybrain.com