Wednesday, 1 October 2014
witching season for replacement light bulbs
I can't complain that the excellent September weather has meant trialling the replacement smart thermostat for the heating may take longer. So far the thermostat has only switched on when I've been testing.
Curiously, our house's annual September peak in light-bulb pops has continued, with five bulbs pinging over around a three week period. Maybe the Phoebus conspiracy lives on?
I've taken this seasonal opportunity to rejig the lighting. We've got one of those little energy metering gadgets which tells me stuff that should really be common sense(!)
I can easily see the quiescent load of the house. To my pleasant surprise, this base load is quite low, even with the range of technology we have around the place.
It emphasises when something bigger kicks in like the electric kettle, dishwasher, washing machine and even the vacuum cleaner.
A much more surprising load is the effect of conventional lighting, which can easily double or triple the base loading. I'm not sure if I should admit to this, but I've walked around with the handheld gadget and flicked lights on in different areas, witnessing the sudden boost in energy used. I know common sense could do the same thing, but the left-brained readouts reinforce the impression. Particularly when the gadget shows the £ and pence running costs.
So for this year's light bulb season it's been a no-brainer to spend more on the replacement bulbs. There's a few higher usage areas: the office, the kitchen, the living room.
Quite a few halogen spotlights amongst that selection too. My quick calculation indicates moving to LED-based lights for these areas could save maybe £150 per year. They can be just as bright and with warm low 2700 Kelvin colour temperature they even look like tungsten.
...Okay, so I might not have been able to resist the temptation to get some internet-addressable light-bulbs too.