Friday, September 19, 2008

eco:darkness falls

You're told incandescent bulbs are bad and waste energy. Our house only has them in the dining area as a sculptural feature. But cumulatively any kind of lighting adds up. We had our garden lights and house lights on:

and I noticed our consumption was an astronomical 3770 Watts. Start turning them off...
  • −300 Watts: garden lights (low voltage) off
  • −200W: garden pump off
  •  −30W: pump lights (low voltage) off
  • −200W: dim dining lights (evil incandescents) as low as possible
  • −200W: power off dining lights
  •  −30W: rear fluorescent lamp off
  • −200W: power off monster stereo
  • −470W: awesome second floor lights (halogen) off
  • −430W: living room lights (more halogen) off
  •  −60W: side light (halogen) off
  • −260W: dim downstairs lights (halogen track lights) as low as possible
  •  −40W: power off downstairs lights
  •  −80W: dim studio lights (halogen track lights) as low as possible
  •  −20W: power off studio lights
So to save energy, live in the dark.

I saw the Cellophane house at the MOMA "Home Delivery" show of prefab homes, which has all LED lighting. It's an... interesting space.

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  • I noticed you say you dim some lamps as much as possible. I assume you are referring to a dimmer switch. Dimmer switches are wasteful of energy. You are better off switching to a lower wattage bulb. Even better would be switching to LED lighting. I know they are still expensive at the moment but the price will go down...

    By Anonymous known as tinker on olpc wiki, at October 06, 2008 8:37 AM  

  • "tinker" you make good points but re-read what I wrote. I dimmed lights then I turned them off. Maybe dimmer switches are wasteful (a physicist says Modern light dimmers are actually much more efficient than they used to be), but my measurements prove I save energy by dimming lights (and obviously even more by powering them off).

    Giving up variable lighting to save energy is a difficult step; I'll see if there are some lights I always leave at the same low setting.

    By Blogger skierpage, at October 06, 2008 2:08 PM  

  • Jeez, we haven't got 400 watts of lighting in the entire house, let alone one room. Each room has about 20-40W of CFL; we replaced all the dimmers, and have almost no "mood" lighting. Outside lighting is odd; animals go to sleep when it's dark, apart from the nocturnal ones that need it to be dark so they can hunt.

    I'm sitting in the back room with the curtains closed, to stop heat escaping; so have 12W of light on my desk - saving a huge amount of energy in the process. I guess I'm not very civilized :-)

    (Creepy that the Word Verification for this comment was "candarc"!)

    By Blogger Keith Farnish, at February 03, 2009 4:08 AM  

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