No one looks forward to receiving their electricity bill, and actually opening it can be an anxiety-inducing monthly ritual. But energy bills don’t have to be your enemies; there are ways to get them under control, plus manage your home’s energy efficiency and even help out the Earth with just a few tweaks to your lighting habits.
Switch to LED and never change a bulb again
According to Energy.gov, residential LED bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy and last a whopping 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. In fact, some can last for more than 20 years. Although more expensive that traditional light bulbs, LED bulbs are worth the investment, and pay for themselves (and then some) over the years. Refit all your home fixtures with LEDs and start seeing savings immediately.
Dimming is a bright idea
Dimming your lights can also save energy and money. Put every light on a lighting automation system and watch the bills go down as you have more control over how much light each bulb emits. According to one manufacturer, using a dimmer instead of a standard on-off switch can save you 4-9% in electricity costs, even at the highest dimmed lighting level. Dimming also extends bulb life, adding to your savings. An added bonus? The positive, relaxed mood evoked by a comfortably dimmed room.
Turn it off! Occupancy/vacancy switches
Dimmers are great for mood and efficiency, but what if you never even had to think about turning off a light again? Occupancy and vacancy sensors do the trick. Occupancy sensors automatically turn the lights on when you enter a room and then back off when you leave. They are especially great for rooms like garages or laundry rooms that you may walk through with your hands full and can’t reach a switch.
A vacancy sensor is a switch that you have to manually turn on, but turns off after you leave the room. Vacancy sensors are ideal for homes with pets that might trigger occupancy sensors, to the dismay of snoozing residents, or for children’s bedrooms (how often do you find an empty bedroom with the lights on?). Both these solutions save energy, not to mention your hard-earned cash, by turning off lights automatically when they aren’t in use.
Automate your lighting
Fully automated lighting, can take your home energy savings to the next level. With an integrated home automation or lighting control system, we can program your lights to match your lifestyle for maximum efficiency. A “weekday morning” program, for example, might gradually ramp up lights at a designated time of the morning, use minimal pathway lighting to light your way to the garage and turn off lights when you leave the house. By using only the lights you need and turning them off after you leave, your mornings can be more convenient and your once-dreaded energy bills can become much friendlier. You can also quickly view which lights have been left on in your home via a touch panel or tablet and switch them off one by one or all at once—whether you’re upstairs in bed or across the country. No need to leave lights on for the duration of your vacation to ward off intruders while using enough energy to power a stadium. A vacation mode can make lights come on after sunset and turn off at dawn, automatically.
Come in or call us to learn more about how to get started with more efficient lighting. Whether you are simply switching from incandescent to LED bulbs, from switches to dimmers or sensors, or taking total control of lighting with automation, by getting switched on to your lighting options you can take charge of your electricity bills, help out the environment, and make your home more efficient.