We all know it’s a good habit to turn the lights off when you leave the room. But be honest -- how often do you forget?
Leaving an unnecessary light on for a few hours won’t cost you a fortune, but over time, a bad habit of light energy waste can add up to a serious drag on your monthly bills. And even though it’s a tiny hassle to cross the room and flip the lightswitch before you leave, it’s always nice when things like this are automated.
If you’re looking for a way to save energy and make life a little simpler, consider using the following lighting controls throughout your home:
Occupancy sensors are more sophisticated versions of motion detectors, which we’ll get to in a moment. These sensors are designed for use in interior spaces to make the lights come on automatically when someone enters the room, and shut off automatically when the room is vacated.
Some occupancy sensors, called ultrasonic sensors, detect whether a room is occupied by the sounds that people make. But in rooms where people tend to be quiet, you’re liable to have better luck with infrared sensors, which detect both movement and body heat. Some of the latest occupancy sensors combine both technologies.
Motion detectors may be practical for some indoor spaces, but for the most part, these are used for outdoor security lights. Unlike occupancy sensors, they only detect movement.
When installed on floodlights directed at your porch, deck, lawn and other areas just outside your home, motion detectors can be part of an effective security system without being a drag on your energy consumption.
In areas where you only need artificial light when the ambient light disappears, you should use photo sensors to save energy. These sensors keep the lights off when there’s plenty of daylight and turn them on when it gets sufficiently dark.
Some photo sensors allow you to customize the level of light at which the lights should be turned on, and the most sophisticated models will gradually turn on the light proportionate to the loss of sunlight, ensuring a consistent light level even as ambient conditions change.
Get Wired for Energy Savings
Lighting controls like these are available online and at hardware stores, and some are simple adapters that install without the need for any electrical work. But for a more streamlined look and customized lighting design, consider calling your local electrical experts to present all of your options and professionally execute any rewiring.