by Derek Dellinger
Lighting accounts for almost 15 percent of the average homeowner's monthly electric bill, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. If every home in the U.S. installed two dimmers in place of two standard light switches, the potential annual savings could be $1.2 billion in electricity and close to 25 billion pounds of CO2. That’s the equivalent of taking more than one million cars off the road.
With Earth Day here once again, there’s a lot being written about how to make our lives and our homes a little greener. For lighting control products manufacturer Lutron Electronics, energy management has become a mission of sorts. Yesterday the company sent out its own reminder, offering a number of tips to save energy and money.
Dimmer switches, vacancy sensors and automated shades add up to savings, as well as a more Earth-friendly home.
Installing dimmers is one of the easiest green home improvements. Dimming incandescent and halogen bulbs by 25 percent saves about 20 percent energy — and will increase the life-span of bulbs as well. Lutron dimmers work with all types of light sources, from incandescents and halogens, to dimmable compact fluorescents (CFLs) and dimmable LEDs.
According to the Lutron, the C.L dimmer (for use with dimmable CFLs, dimmable LEDs, incandescents and halogens) can save up to $30 in energy savings, per dimmer, per year for incandescent and halogen bulbs, and up to $50 in energy savings, per dimmer, per year, when the C.L dimmer is used with a dimmable CFL.
It's easy to overlook small changes like dimmer switches and occupancy sensors, but these small additions to a home lighting system quickly add up. An occupancy/vacancy sensor can save up to 10 percent lighting energy. (Impact Analysis: 2005 Update to the California Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings; California Energy Commission) A sensor is ideal for rooms where lights are often inadvertently left on, such as a child’s room, garage or laundry room.
Energy-efficient Ivalo Light Fixtures
CFLs and LEDs already use less energy than standard bulbs, so dimming these highly efficient bulbs saves additional energy. Fixtures in the Lutron Ivalo Collection control high efficiency lighting, including fluorescents and LEDs. The collection includes the Aliante 21-inch interior demi sconce — which has earned the Energy Star rating by the DOE/EPA.
Automated shades help lower cooling costs in the summer by blocking the heat that accompanies direct sunlight. Shades can help reduce heating costs in winter by welcoming that same warmth during the day and providing additional insulation at night. Shades also provide privacy, increase security, and eliminate glare to enhance your visual environment.
Temperature control helps save on heating and cooling costs. Setting back the temperature when a room is unoccupied can save a significant amount of energy — up to 16 percent or more, according to Energy Star. Lutron's seeTemp can be mounted in locations that would not normally be appropriate for a thermostat, like exterior walls and sunny spaces. An accompanying wireless, remote, temperature sensor allows the temperature to be measured in the optimum location.