Sometimes it can seem that the light switch is connected to your wallet. But you don’t need to live with the lights out to keep your money to yourself. Here are some tips to help you make your lighting more efficient this year.
The most common response to managing usage is to “turn off your lights when you are not using them.” While this is simple and useful advice, it is good to go the extra step. Installing dimmers, motion sensors, or timers can bring more optimal use of electricity.
• Timers: Using lamps with timers can help you focus on areas where concentrated light is needed, such as a desk or work area, and can be set up for the peak times of use.
• Motion sensors: This can be a great way to manage outdoor lighting. It can save you hours of lighting outdoors that doesn’t end up being used at all. Let the sensor do the work and it will turn on the light for you when you need it.
• Dimmers: Installing dimmers in your home are also a great way to lower energy use and improve aesthetics. When the sun is up and the room is bright you may not need all the light that your bulbs are outputting. With a dimmer your can adjust the light to the perfect level and put an end to any wasted energy. Remember to check that your bulb can be used on a dimmer switch before use.
Energy Efficient Bulbs
B.C. is aligning itself with the new federal government energy efficiency standards, which were put into effect on December 31. This will move consumers away from the more common incandescent bulbs and on to more efficient ones. You have a few other options moving forward: halogen, compact fluorescent (CFL), and light emitting diode (LED). The most efficient bulbs are CFL and LED. These bulbs can last 8 – 25 years instead of just 1 year with an incandescent. They will also save you about 75% on annual energy costs. LED technology is still being improved for residential use, so be sure to read up on the LED bulb before purchasing it. The ENERGY STAR® label will also indicate that they meet efficiency guidelines. CFLs have more availability currently, but they do contain a small amount of mercury. This can be hazardous and requires special disposal.
BC Hydro offers a simple comparison chart of the lighting technology currently available. Because of the wide range of brands and types of bulbs, be sure to do your homework before purchasing new bulbs for your home to make sure they will fit your needs. Energy Star also provides a helpful purchasing guide for when it comes to choose your bulb.
Now that the New Year is here, it’s a good idea to start using your electricity more efficiently. We know about your home electricity and lighting. If you have any questions or need assistance in updating your home lighting system, contact your local Expert Electric.