Another important way to save on electricity is by replacing incandescent bulbs with energy-saving fluorescent lights. Energy consumption of incandescent lights is much higher than regular fluorescent lights because they need to heat up a …
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Lester Brown provides an overview of energy-saving light bulbs, and their potential to reduce electricity consumption and carbon emissions.
By Brandy Blair
An energy monitor for the home provides accurate, immediate readouts of how much electricity is being consumed in the home. Some of the more advanced models not only measure the amount of power used, but they also translate this into a dollar and cents display that will show the homeowner how much money individual appliances are costing the home.
Additionally, certain models are now emerging on the market that also estimate the greenhouse gas emissions that various appliances are responsible for generating.
Even the most rudimentary power monitors have demonstrated an impressive ability to help reduce needless power consumption. Statistics have shown that they have helped homeowners reduce electrical spending by up to 15 percent.
More sophisticated types of monitors measure the power that is used by the entire home. Other, simpler, and more affordable monitors track the electrical usage of individual appliances.
Whole house energy monitors can be connected to a home power supply by one of four methods. They can clamp to the electric main. They can connect to the electrical meter through a sensor array or an optical port.
There are also models that directly communicate with a form of smart meter. Others tie directly in to the electrical service panel of the home.
From this position, a whole house power monitor gathers data and relays it to a remote display unit. The connection to the power grid and the remote display can be maintained by a wire, a cable, or operate wireless via radio waves.
In the newest models, too, there are now online, real time feeds capabilities that relay the information gathered to a personal computer, laptop, or smart phone. Communication between the connection array and the display is maintained by cable, wires, or radio waves.
A whole house energy monitor does more than simply look at how much power the entire house is consuming. It can be very specific and precise in its measurements, and it can be programmed to monitor any device in the house.
For example, a resident can track the energy used by a particular light in a room. When the light is turned off, the difference in power consumption can then be used to determine if the light is truly energy efficient and warrants a replacement.
Not everyone can afford to invest in a whole house energy monitor. For these individuals, it is better to start saving money somewhere than to do nothing at all.
There are very simple and affordable power monitors that can plug into individual wall outlets. Various appliances can then be plugged into these smart power strips, as many people call them.
The energy monitor then tracks the amount of power that the device consumes while it is operating. This information is fed to the display. Some models track the amount of electricity alone. Others calculate how much money the device is costing the resident.
One added benefit of the power monitors is the kill switches that are built into them. Many appliances never go off, but rather go into a standby mode that can still drain power from the wall. Shutting off the power at the monitor, however, puts an immediate halt to this wasted consumption.
About the Author: If you need natural gas in atlanta
By David Bradley
Vacation rentals have the same set of utilities like most homes possess. Water and electricity bills are a part of your monthly budget designations. When not maintained and looked after, these utility bills can eat away at your rental business profits. Routine maintenance and repair can be a constant solution in the prevention of utility-related accidents like fire and plumbing failure. But there are other means of lessening the cut of utility bills from your monthly payments. One of this is focusing in improving your lighting systems and design.
Lighting contributes about 20% of the total consumption in electrical bills. If lighting is managed properly, you could lessen that consumption to a meager 5% in your billing. Remember that redesigning your lighting systems can initially cost you a considerable investment, but the savings your rental business can accumulate in time can return the initial losses to a long term and more efficient savings in utility billings. Some lighting saving tips are briefly discussed below.
Replace any incandescent lamp installations with CFLs or compact fluorescent lamps. These lamps are designed to consume about 75% lesser energy, emit 70% less heat, and last longer 10 times compared to its prior incandescent ancestor. Many green earth organizations encourage the installation of CFLs in most facilities to help minimize the energy consumption that has been depleting the planet’s resources. Your vacation rentals can be a part of the green revolution by preferring energy-efficient lighting and appliances.
Harness the free natural lighting in your area. Some vacation rentals are located in bright locations in the tropics or a sunny state. Having plenty of days light manipulated to light certain areas of the rental unit depends on the unit design. But having big windows or honeycomb window blinds can be a good start of employing the natural light to enter some dreary parts of the unit. That could save the electricity that lighting might use during the daytime.
For outdoor located rentals, outdoor lighting is often required to keep away unwanted visits from the wildlife. Halogen lamps have been a favorite outdoor light due to their luminosity and brightness but are now being slowly replaced by high LEDs or light emitting diodes. LEDs as outdoor lamps perform equally with halogen lamps but with lesser heat and energy consumption.
Keep lighting fixtures clean and dust free. For lighting lamps to be at their top luminosity, clean their housing or casing such as lamp shades and industrial fixtures. Wiping off dusts and dirt out of the way of lighting sources can give out better brighter results.
Proper lighting can really be a good way to start saving up on your utility bills. Energy resources can help save earth and save up money. For some of your renters, letting them know that you care about the environment can give them an idea that you care for their comfort too. That means loyal clients who would recommend your vacation rentals to others – free word of mouth advertising without costing you anything.
About the Author: David K. Bradley is a writer for Indovillas Bali which specializes in aa href=”http://www.indovillas.com/bali-villas/sentosa/index.html” rel=’nofollow’> Bali Villa Rental and aa href=”http://www.indovillas.com/bali-villas/the-samaya/index.html” rel=’nofollow’> Bali Vacation Rental as well as tour and activity arrangements. They offer an assortment of holiday packages and property deals on the island of Bali.
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“Electricity Prices Plummet,” The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2009
Hey, is there a recession going on? This timely article details how slack demand for electricity in 2009 may lead to the first consecutive year decline in electricity use in the U.S. since 1950. Such news may tempt some consumers to relax an otherwise robust commitment to reducing home and business electricity consumption. Conservation and energy efficiency are hard work, and harder still to turn into regular habits, especially when energy costs are low.
However, with days growing shorter and nights growing longer as we head into autumn, lighting costs will be on the rise for consumers, even if rates per kilowatt hours are ticking down. Now may be the best time to make a switch to more efficient, energy-saving light bulbs to reduce energy consumption, but there is no need to get carried away. Instead, we suggest folks start slowly with a deliberate approach that targets fixtures that are lit most frequently and for the longest periods. This often leads our customers who want to reduce energy consumption outside.
Green Light Bulbs Reduce Energy Consumption
Exterior fixtures come in as many configurations as indoor lights and they mainly serve three purposes: security lighting, accent lighting and convenience lighting. In some cases, single fixtures perform double or even triple duty.
The greatest savings, in both dollars and reduced carbon emissions, are most easily realized by installing energy-saving light bulbs in any fixtures which are lit from dusk-to-dawn but aren’t controlled by a motion sensor. This could be a floodlight above the driveway or back deck or a pair of decorative sconces or lanterns straddling the front entrance. Post lights are commonly lit all night as well. If you’re like us, you get peace of mind knowing that these lights make the home look very much occupied while you sleep.
Choosing energy-saving light bulbs with the highest efficiency ratings for the amount of light desired will reduce energy consumption and have the greenest impact. Consider this comparison: on one hand, we have a traditional (incandescent) bulb and on the other, an energy-efficient bulb. At 60 watts and 850 lumens, the efficiency of an incandescent bulb would be only 14 lumens per watt, with an annual use of 2,920 hours (8 hours/day). The annual cost to light? – approximately $20, but with a CO2 emission level of about 349 lbs. Now take a 15 watt energy-efficient bulb. Even though it has a lower wattage and uses less energy, the output of light is the same. Lumens are less at 825, and efficiency has improved to 55 lumens per watt. The annual cost to light drops $15, and CO2 emissions are nearly three-fourths less.
$15 annual savings per socket is more than enough to upgrade to energy-saving light bulbs in order to reduce your energy consumption. Your energy efficiency investment will be paid back in less than one year. As for CO2 emissions, a 75% reduction won’t do your eco-conscience any harm.
For homes, Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) are a solid choice for dusk-to-dawn lighting scenarios. They’re available in a wide array of wattages, shapes (including decorative), sizes and colors and are typically designed to last 8,000 hours or more. One drawback of energy-saving light bulbs in an exterior setting is that they’re affected by ambient temperature. Our advice: if you live in a colder climate, look for lamps with “amalgam” technology for best performance or buy ones with the next higher incandescent watts equivalent (example: if you’re replacing a 60 watt incandescent, buy a CFL equivalent to a 75 watt bulb). Also if a fixture isn’t weather protected, be sure to select a bulb rated for use in a wet location.
Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps are hitting the market at a rapid pace and are also worth considering for their superior ability to reduce energy consumption and extremely long life. Interestingly, LEDs don’t emit ultraviolet light and don’t attract insects. For an overnight fixture near a door, an LED would be a good alternative to a yellow bug lamp. Advice: insist on UL listed LEDs (not easy to find) for safety’s sake.
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Energy-Saving Light Bulbs for Motion Sensors and Electronic Timers
For multiple reasons, energy-saving light bulbs, such as CFLs, are a poor choice for fixtures that light automatically by motion detection. These are typically used for security purposes but are also a feature of garage door openers. CFLs are not engineered to produce short bursts of light. Thus, a traditional incandescent bulb is a fine choice (and probably what’s in the fixture now). Advice: when the existing bulb burns out, consider a high-efficiency halogen lamp to reduce energy consumption. Currently, these energy-saving light bulbs are 30 to 40% more energy efficient than traditional incandescents. Expect these savings multiples to grow as lighting manufacturers continue to improve their halogen technology in anticipation of lighting efficiency requirements that go into effect in 2012.
As for LEDs, while they do reach maximum brightness instantly, they are still very pricey and thus not a good investment for the short bursts of light delivered by motion control sensors. Prices will come down as demand increases for energy-saving light bulbs. My advice: wait.
Some people rely on electronic timers to switch on exterior lights as darkness settles in. Again, CFLs aren’t suited for this application. In this application, where once on, the light may remain lit during overnight hours; an LED lamp, which generally works with electric eyes (check with the manufacturer) would be an excellent choice to reduce energy consumption and extend bulb life versus an incandescent bulb.
Fall’s the Time to Make the Switch to Energy-Efficient Exterior Light Bulbs
They say that the cheapest, cleanest kilowatt hour of electricity is the one that is never produced in the first place. As the shorter days of fall approach and your energy demands grow, put on your green glasses and look at the lighting fixtures outside your home. You’re almost certain to find opportunities to reduce energy consumption and live more lightly with energy-saving light bulbs.