This review is part of the Green Books campaign. Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.
The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to make reading more sustainable. We invite you to join the discussion on "green" books and support books printed in an eco-friendly manner! A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on the Eco-Libris website.
This year, for the Green Books campaign, I read Green Lighting by Brian Clark Howard, William J Brinsky and Seth Leitman. The book, which I must disclose I received free through the campaign, is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Something you should know before reading this review: I work in the energy industry and the firm I work for was referenced in Chapter 1 of Green Lighting, (which I didn't know when I chose to read it). I review energy efficiency projects including some lighting projects, but I am by no means an expert on the subject. Lighting is a much more vast topic than most people realize and I often find myself calling colleagues with questions. As an engineer who works with lighting, I found this book to be a wonderful reference and refresher about various lighting technologies.
In general the book reads like a text book (a 101-level lighting text for non-engineers). Sure you could read it cover to cover, and it's accessible enough that some people probably do that. I couldn't get through it like that. I used it to be more of a reference. I picked around and read sections and chapters as I needed them and as they caught my attention.
The chapters on best practices and day lighting and on solar and next-generation lighting were by far the most interesting to me. They're the only chapters I would describe as page-turners and I think they have the broadest appeal. (Homeowners, are you listening? You should start at chapter 8!) There is a section on how to light various rooms in a home that should be required reading for builders and decorators.
I found the sections on florescent lights and gas discharge lights to be extremely informative and while it didn't make for captivating bedtime reading, I'll be keeping my copy of Green Lighting at work where I can pick it up the next time I need to remember the relative efficacies of low pressure sodium or metal halide lamps. (But I'll still need another more detailed reference to do any kind of rigorous calculations.) I'm not sure a typical homeowner or even commercial property manager needs that same level of detail. Of course if that homeowner happens to be an engineer, then they'll read it anyway!
In all, I'm very pleased with Green Lighting. It's a book I'll keep and come back to.
*** edited to add
I just realized that I received and read the wrong book!
At the start of the campaign each blogger chose several books. Green Lighting was one of my choices, but wasn't the book finally selected for me. I was supposed to review Solar Power for Your Home. Green Lighting, was assigned to a blog called Green Goddess and her review is here.
I'm not sure exactly how the error happened, but I'm feeling pretty guilty that I didn't notice it until now. After 5 weeks and a comedy of errors involving a mistyped email address, then signature required shipping, the package being returned to the sender while I twittled my thumbs thinking they'd try to deliver it again, then the awesome help of Eco-Libris to get it re-shipped to my office where I had to chase the delivery guy across the parking lot after I watched him walk past my office window the day I knew it was supposed to arrive (not his fault, the addresses in my building are confusing), I finally received Green Lighting. By that time, I'd forgotten which of my choices was selected and since I recognized the title, I didn't think twice about it! The books are from the same publisher and with the confusion in shipping, it could have gotten mixed up at any point.