Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How to Reduce Lighting Costs

Energy costs may occasionally drop, but the overall trend is, and will remain, a rising one. That means your electricity bills are going to continue to rise over time. With the cost of everything else also going up, saving on electricity, without living in a dark gloomy home, is becoming increasingly important. There are several technology based and common sense things you can do to keep your utility costs under control.

  • Use Energy Efficient Bulbs: CFL and now LED bulbs have revolutionized indoor lighting. It is now possible to get the same amount of light as produced by an old incandescent bulb by using a fraction of the electricity.
  • Stay Away From Multiple Fittings: Just because you are using low wattage bulbs does not mean that you can go wild and place them wherever you want. The amount of electricity used can creep up unnoticed and counter the savings you get from the low wattage bulbs.
  • Control Wattage: In the same way, do not overly light a room. A room with too much light can give the feel of an office or a factory. Keep the lighting down to what you need and what the room is used for. A kitchen will need brighter and different light than a sitting room.
  • Use Multiple Switches: When lighting a large open plan area, balance the light locations to ensure that the lighting is even throughout the space. Also install multiple switches so that only those areas that are being used need to be lit and no electricity is wasted on unoccupied and unused spaces.
  • Use Dimmers: Dimmers control lighting intensity and the amount of electricity that is being used. Not all bulbs are dimmer compatible. Check on this before buying bulbs to be used with dimmers.
  • Use Lamps: Generally speaking, lamps can illuminate a small area more effectively than overhead lights. This will not just save electricity, the lamps can also give the room a completely new ambience.
  • Don’t Use Electricity: Daylighting is the hottest concept in indoor lighting today. It is a technology that captures daylight and channels it into parts of a home that do not receive adequate natural light, like hallways, closets and so on. The light is diffused indoors by modern fittings that remove the need for the use of electrical light during the day. The constantly evolving technology of daylighting systems means that the latest devices are super-efficient and provide all the light that may be needed without the use of an external power source. The only cost is that of the onetime equipment and installation expense which is much less than what you may expect.

While all the factors listed here can make a significant dent in your lighting costs, the place to start with is daylighting systems. Once you maximize the use of natural daylight in your home, you will know the amount of electrical lighting that will be needed. You can then plan your lighting to optimize efficiency and operating costs. Contact a daylighting systems supplier to get started in the right way.