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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Timers and CFLs

I don't get frustrated easily, but when there are three people living in one house, I'm never sure if I'm the last one going to bed or not. With my studies, I sometimes disappear into my room at a relatively early hour and simply go to bed without coming out again.

So when I get up in the morning and find a living room light still burning, part of my eco-heart dies.

The fix? Another timer and a CFL bulb. I set the timer to come on at 6pm and go off at midnight. That about matches the current sunset (I'll adjust it as spring creeps in) and most of us are in bed by midnight. While having a light on for six hours even if no one is home seems wasteful, the reality is that most nights the light is on from before midnight until I turn it off around 8am. So, I've just saved 8 hours of usage a day.

Do the math: This immediately saves me about $4 per year (almost $18 if it had been an incandescent bulb!). This clearly pays for the timer and the bulb.

This makes me think about the outdoor lights which also sometimes get left on (mostly by me!). A simple replacement of the wall switch should do the trick and actually improve security. A see a trip to the hardware store!
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