We all know MTV’s The Real World is far from true reality — have you ever lived in a house with seven barely clad 20-somethings, over-the-top funky décor and a confessional booth?
But on the 20th season of the hit reality show, which aired from April 16 to July 9, MTV opted to tackle a real-world problem that’s on the minds of many homeowners: How to live green.
And to do that, MTV decided that this season’s house had to exemplify green living with as many environmentally friendly home furnishings as possible, including a solar-heated swimming pool, Energy Star appliances, bamboo flooring, solar energy panels, vintage décor, recycled glass countertops, and, of course, energy efficient lighting.
To help out with the lighting side of things, Bunim-Murray Productions contacted TCP Inc., a leading manufacturer of compact fluorescent light bulbs in the United States. After reviewing their catalogue of 4,000 different lighting options, the production company asked TCP to light the house in Hollywood, CA.
“Switching incandescent light bulbs to more energy efficient options is one of the easiest ways to help the environment,” said Chuck Aubrey, Production Designer for “Real World: Hollywood.”
“TCP understood our lighting needs and rose to the challenge by providing the lighting products needed to make this season’s ‘Real World’ home more energy-efficient,” Aubrey said.
Headquartered outside Cleveland, OH, TCP is a manufacturer that specializes in energy efficient lighting, and it makes the majority of the compact fluorescent lights sold in the United States.
Although TCP didn’t provide the fixtures for the house, it did provide all of the bulbs that were used, which included a variety of CFLs, cold cathodes and LEDs.
Sharon Gallagher, Product Development Manager at TCP, explained that cold cathode lamps were a good addition to the lighting products used in the house because they’re better for signage, which was used a lot in the house’s 1950s motel-themed décor.
“These lamps work well in dimming or flashing applications — an area where CFLs do not,” Gallagher said, adding that cold cathodes have a lifespan of about 25,000 hours.
One of the most visible places where TCP products were used was on the movie theater-type marquee above the entrance to the house, which was featured prominently in the promotion of the show.
Overall, TCP provided more than 500 bulbs to light the house: in the candelabra and hanging pendants in the open kitchen, the funky chandeliers and colorful accent lamps in the bedrooms and even the outdoor fixtures by the pool.
Gallagher said the company was eager to partner with a show that is so popular among young people.
Although Gallagher said young adults are already actively involved in the climate change movement, especially on college campuses, she said it’s still important to communicate the importance of using energy efficient lighting to help the environment.
“The opportunity to reach out to a younger audience, such as viewers of MTV and ‘The Real World,’ is especially important, seeing that they may be the generation most affected by global warming,” Gallagher said. “By lighting the show house, TCP was able to share the message with America’s youth that simply choosing the right light bulb can make a big difference in protecting the planet now and for generations to come.”