Daylight saving is well and truly upon us and we will be using lighting less than we would in the dead of winter. As the new year swings into motion, it’s a good time to set some new habits around saving money and using less energy. Looking at how to use your lighting is a good place to start. Make it a family goal to turn off the lights when you are not using them. Sounds simple: when you are not using the room, turn off the lights.
With such energy efficient lighting these days, a lot of people have become fairly complacent with this easy step to save on your electricity bill. If you are not using the room, don’t have lights on unnecessarily. Get into the habit of simply flicking the light off each time you leave the room. Kids especially need to be conscious of their energy footprint and one simple way to do this is to introduce the ‘old’ rule of turning lights off when you aren’t using them. In fact, the same goes for fans, TVs, computer or any other electrical device not being used.
Lots of people think that by turning lights on and off too much, you’ll end up consuming more energy as it takes a big surge of energy to turn the light on. Well… that’s not actually the case. All light bulbs consume less energy if turned off each time they’re not in-use. The confusion here stems from CFLs, which do not consume additional energy when they start up, but the bulb itself can wear out faster when turned on and off repeatedly. So, the focus is not on the energy usage but the lifespan of the bulb. We recommend a good rule of thumb – if you foresee being out of the room for at least 15 minutes, turn the light off.
And remember not all light bulbs are created equal. The amount of electricity you save by flipping that switch will vary widely depending on the types of lighting your home has. Halogen lights use up a lot more energy than LED lighting of course. Limiting the use of halogen lights altogether, therefore, is a great way to cut your energy costs, and even better replacing them with LEDs will make a huge impact on your energy footprint and your back pocket. Dimmers are also a great way to reduce energy output. If you are not a car sales showroom, you may prefer dimming your lights slightly, giving you a bit more ambience and smaller energy output in the process.
Get into some good, simple energy saving habits this year. How else can you be more energy efficient in your home?