Energy Efficiency: A Simple Question?

LIGHT BULBS: Can Leaving on Lights Be More Energy-Efficient?

So I was thinking about our Resource Consumption goals (use less gas and oil), and feeling like these were too vague for me to feel successful when we clearly need to learn to turn the lights off consistently and have others do that in our house as well. Then, in conversation, my husband and I were remembering that we heard something about turning lights on and off more frequently might actually use more energy due to the start up force needed. I decided to do a bit of research on line and see if there was any info or debate. Is it more or less efficient to turn off lights? I found that the question is not so simple as I thought it would be, but most things say something similar.

Here is a site with more details, but the gist is:

  • For Incandescents: Turn off the lights. Every time. “I” is for inexpensive to produce, but inefficient (only 10-15% of energy consumed actually becomes light!)
  • For fluorescents: In general, turn lights off if you will be out for 15 min or more. (5 min if peak time, high demand, or low supply)

ELECTRONICS:  When They Are Off, Are They Really Off?

I remembered a little fact yesterday and started looking around my house for all those little green/yellow lights that are on many of the electronics made today. These lights are on, even when the devices are off and waste an estimated 5% of electricity used in the US — I found them everywhere in my house!

Here, again, are some details, but the gist on the electronics is:

  • Unplug devices you aren’t using, OR
  • Use power strips and shut them off when finished.
  • Turn off TVs and game systems. They can waste as much as leaving on three to six light bulbs!

Resource Consumption:

Through December:  Use Less Electricity

  • Change bulbs to more conscious choice
  • Turn off lights!
  • Check power strip situation to make things easier.
  • Turn off electronics.

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