Monday, August 12, 2013

Wasted Light

This morning I had a doctors appointment. I parked, and on my walk into the office, I noticed one of my biggest pet peeves. The parking lot lights were on. There was four lamp posts around the perimeter of the parking lot and they were all on. My appointment was at 9 AM, so there was plenty of light from the sun!

I was impressed to see that at least one of them had a CFL bulb in it (at least one of the others didn't though). It was one of the biggest CFL's I've ever seen! I would guess based on the size of it, it had to be at least 150 - 200 watts. Maybe more. So kudos for having the energy saving bulbs.

Now it is possible that the doctors (or building management) have done the math and based on the cost of leaving them on all day, just don't care about the additional price. When considered against the overall price of running a building like that, I suppose it is a small percentage. However if you do the math and see what it costs of a year, I'm sure they would rather have the money rather then just completely wasting it!

The best thing they could do it put it on a photocell switch. When it's dark out the lights will come on. Then when the sun comes up they'll go off. If the intention is to keep the lights on during dark all the time, they'll never be wrong. Nobody has to remember to turn them on when it gets dark (safety issue), and nobody can forget to turn them off when it gets light out (energy savings). Granted there is an upfront cost for having a timer like this installed but it will pay for itself over time with the energy savings.

Now don't take me the wrong way. I'm not perfect. I'm not saying there is never a chance you could drive past my house one day in the middle of the afternoon and see my porch light on. It would really bother me if that did happen, but I'm sure it does. I have two small kids that I like to blame things on, but either way, people forget things. So while nobody is perfect, I'm sure we could all do a little better.

So...turn off those lights during the day! And don't get my started on how my kids leave the lights on in rooms they aren't occupying!

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