Switch Off the Lights

There’s no doubt that when a light is off it is not using energy. So switching off the lights is always a good idea. But depending on the type of light involved and the length of time will depend on the amount savings. Operating life of some bulbs are effected by the number of times it’s switched on and off.

Incandescent Lights
These are simple. They should be turned off whenever they are not being used. All type of incandescent bulbs are inexpensive to produce as well as being lighting inefficient. As much as 85% of the electricity used by incandescent bulbs is turned into heat. No only will turning this type of bulb off give extra benefit in the summer with cooling cost but the value of the energy savings is far greater than the cost of having to replace the bulb.

Fluorescent Lights
These lights are more complicated as to how to determine cost effectiveness. The general rule is that you should turn off a fluorescent light whenever it won’t be needed for 15 minute or longer. This obviously depends on a number of factors including the cost of electric, the cost of a replacement and even type of bulb.

One item that doesn’t factor into it as much as people may think is the amount of energy that is used by the initial ‘inrush’ of current when a fluorescent is first turned on. The amount of energy used depends on the type of starter. Some types of starters are more efficient than others.

With high efficient ballast the initial higher current levels last for a short period of time. Some as short as a fraction of a second. That amount of energy can be saved with only a few seconds of none operation.

The real factors depend on the life and cost of the fluorescent lighting system. Their operating life is effected by the number of times they are switched on and off. They are also more expensive.

In summary when leaving a room that uses incandescent bulbs turn the light out. If leaving one with fluorescent lights for more than 15 minutes turn them off, otherwise it’s ok to leave them on.

© 2007 Steven G. Atkinson – All Rights Reserved

No comments: