Friday, March 7, 2008

#187 - Oh Say Can You See...

By The Dawnzerlee© Light?

Ok, there are several ways you can change your indoor lighting habits in order to save energy. The two you hear about most often are the suggestions to switch to CFLs or remember to turn out the lights when you leave the room. What very few folks talk about is not bothering to turn them on in the first place.

Spring is in the air here in America and the days are getting longer. So I'm trying to be more conscious about flickin' the lights on during the day. Do I need all three lights on in the living room? I mean, I'm only hanging laundry, how bright does it need to be? Do I need any lights on at all?

Generally speaking, when I walk into a room I turn on the lights without even thinking. It could be as bright as Doogie Howser and I still flip the switch. My personal favorite is when I catch myself turning on the lights in the kids' bath during the day. I certainly don't need that light on, since there is a huge skylight in there that floods the room with tons natural sunlight every day from 8 am - 5 pm.

So instead of automatically reaching for the "on" switch every time I enter a room, I'm going to first assess whether or not I actually need the lights on. Because sometimes, being really bright is really quite dim.


Assuming each light I flick on is a CFL that runs at 18 watts, and assuming I'm avoiding a measly 5 hours of lighting per day, that equates to 2.8 kWh per month or 33.6 kWh per year. Not a ton, but if I convince just 10 of you to make this change and those ten each convince ten friends to do it and then those folks convince another ten, together we will save over 33,000 kWh each year and have the base for a very lucrative ponzi scheme.

Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5

This is yet another one of those wasteful habits that is so ingrained in our daily lives that it takes a bit of focus to change it. But, after concentrating on it for a couple of weeks, it will become second-nature and I will win the title of the "Dimmest Bright Idea".


techiechick said...

I constantly blunder around in the dark because of trying to save energy. Now I just need to find an eco-friendly way of dealing with the bruises & blue air that happen as a consequence! jude

leslie said...

If you have not discovered Solar Tubes, go here.

We are planning to install them in our garage, and master closet and laundry room. Arizona even give you a tax break for installing them. Our neighbor has one in her guest bath, and it is amazing! She still trys to "turn off the light" every time she leaves the room. It is bright.
(and it automatically turns itself off at night! :) )

Anonymous said...

my favorite scenario on this theme is when i sit down for a few minutes of reading and think i need to turn the lamp on for better lighting. then i remember to slide over to the other end of the sofa flooded in light from the nearby window. duh! all the light i could possibly need.

organicneedle said...

I would install some skylights.... but I'm sure my upstairs neighbors would find creative ways to repay me. Is it a full moon tonight dear? My, it is a bit hairier than I remember. And what is that in orbit?

If you want to feel much better about your numbers yesterday, come look at mine today. I am a consumer piglet. Oink.

I also wanted to know if you have any etsy experience. Could use a brain to pick.

Gruppie Girl said...

Hanging laundry to dry can be such an energy saver.

Now if I just had the energy to hang every load...

Joyce said...

Well, this confirms it. We're going to get a solar tube for our windowless main bathroom. I've been lobbying for this for several years, but my husband is averse to putting any kind of hole in the roof, having had leaks in the (distant) past. But I think I could convince him that it would save on the power bill. And I just love natural sunlight!

Shannon Hodgins said...

I have to honestly say that I don't get the use of outdoor lighting. People have them on until they go to sleep and then turn them off.

If the argument is that you are running your lights to discourage a burgler, then why turn them off and tell them when you've gone to bed?

My musing every time I drive down the street at night. Shannon

N. & J. said...

My fiance and I are trying to be more conscious of this. Luckily in our small apartment our patio door pretty much lights the entire area most of the day. After that we try to use a single light and/or candles. We just make sure that we do any reading or writing earlier in the day so it isn't that much of an issue.