It’s finally that time of the year; daylight savings has ended and the nights are getting longer and darker so, naturally, we’re all switching on more lights. This, unfortunately, means more costly energy bills and that’s bad news for anyone who wants to save money on lighting.
Luckily, your friends at Leading Edge Energy are experts at keeping electricity costs down so we’re here to give you some tips.
10 illuminating ways to save on lighting
1 – Invest in energy-saving lights
You can make huge savings of between 60 to 80% if you install energy-saving light bulbs. Replace old halogen light globes with energy-efficient LED globes or Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs), especially where lights are on for long periods.
Low-energy lighting costs more to purchase, but they use only 10-20% of the electricity typically consumed by standard incandescent bulbs. CFLs and LEDs also last longer than standard globes, going from 4 to 30 years compared to the 1-year lifespan of regular bulbs, so you don’t have to keep replacing your globes.
2 – Reduce your wattage
Believe it or not, there’s such a thing as an overly-lit area – rooms where the lighting is so glaring and unnecessarily bright, that they not only waste energy but can be uncomfortable to people occupying the space. And when there’s really no reason to be using all that power, it’s an opportunity to decrease wattage.
Pick light fittings that don’t obstruct too much of the light emitted by bulbs so you can get globes with lower wattage; coloured glass or fabric shades are nice, but they can block so much light. Of course, it all depends on the purpose of the room and the atmosphere you’re creating, but a rule of thumb is, the lower the wattage, the higher the savings.
3 – Use dimmer switches
When you buy bulbs, make sure they work with a dimmer switch. Dimmer switches reduce the amount of electricity the light bulbs use and increase the life of low-voltage lighting like halogen downlights, so that’s more savings for you.
4 – Install timers and sensors save lighting
You can also save money on lighting by investing in motion sensors for lights in rooms where they’re often left switched on accidentally, like toilets or storerooms. Motion-controlled lights ensure that you aren’t burning a hole in your pocket when someone forgets to turn the lights off.
5 – Affix multiple switches
Putting up switches for individual bulbs or groups of bulbs lets you turn on the lights only at the area that you need to be illuminated. After all, it’s wasteful to light up the entire cellar if you only need to access a specific part.
6 – Place switches near entry and exit points
If a room has multiple entry and exit points, put switches right next to them. People will be more likely to switch the lights off if they can do so right where they’re exiting the room. While you’re at it, put up signs reminding people to be more diligent about turning off the lights when they’re not using them.
7 – Keep the lights clean
Keeping light bulbs or lamps clean increases their efficiency and prolongs their lifespan. A regular dusting and wiping-down can ensure maximum efficacy. It’s also a good idea to replace bulb sockets or clean them as corrosion over time can reduce the efficiency of energy transfer.
8 – Keep the windows clean and open the blinds
On dull days, people are often tempted to turn the lights on, but the added brightness of clean windows can make this unnecessary. In fact, one of the most cost-effective measures that you can take is as simple as keeping windows and skylights clean, drawing the curtains back, and letting natural light in during the day. Keep in mind that if you don’t pay heed to maintenance, light levels can decline up to 30% in about three years.
9 – Invest in solar lighting
Solar lighting is a great way to save money. So how does it work?
During the day, the lamps will charge up, and when it gets dark you can flick them on manually or set them to come on automatically as soon as it gets dark. A popular and effective application of this is the strip lighting typically used along pathways.
10 – Remember to turn the lights off
This piece of advice is as old as electricity itself, but it definitely is one of the best ways to save money related to lighting. Make sure that everyone in your organisation remembers to turn the lights off when they’re not being used. If you are particularly forgetful, invest in a timer that will automatically turn the lights off after a set time.
These are just some tried-and-tested ways to keep your business’ lighting costs down. For more ideas on how to save more on your electricity bills, check out Leading Edge Energy’s advice on heating and cooling upgrades, or look through our services pages to learn how we can directly help you get better energy rates and manage your consumption effectively.