Efficient Security Lighting

Efficient Security Lighting

Lighting accounts for 15-20% of the average household’s electric bill.  Being only a small percentage of your bill, it may not sound like there is much room to save money in this area.  I mean, say your power bill is $100.  Roughly $20 is from your lighting.  And when you consider the fact that most households probably have around ten or twelve lights that are consistently used, the average incandescent light bulb is probably costing under $2 a month to run.  So changing one light bulb from an incandescent to a compact fluorescent (which uses about 1/4 the power) would save around $1.50 a month.

That’s pretty good, especially when you consider that this savings would be seen from replacing only one bulb.  If this fictional scenario were continued, and the homeowner changed all ten light bulbs to CFL’s, the savings would be $15 per month.  In these tight times, many people need these savings and have embraced the change to green lighting.  In fact, the country of Ireland went as far as to outlaw the incandescent bulb.  This is a fact.  You can look it up. 

Okay, so replacing the 60 or 75-watt bulbs with 13 or 16-watt bulbs is an obviously good decision.  But if your home is anything like mine, a sixty or 75-watt bulb is not by any means the biggest lighting contributor to your power bill.  You know those motion or security lights?  Yeah, the spotlights that go on whenever a person walks by them.  Or when a car drives by, or if the neighbor’s cat passes through your yard, or when the wind happens to blow…

Whenever those lights come on, they are costing you money.  The bulbs in those fixtures draw between 100 and 250 watts.  That is an awful lot more than the little lamp in your bedroom.  And most of these spotlights use two of these high wattage bulbs.  Unfortunately, there are no compact fluorescents for these types of fixtures.  The reason for this is that any fluorescent bulb takes time to warm up.  Anyone who lives in a cold climate has seen this if they have used CFL’s for exterior lighting.  In some cases, these bulbs can take up to five minutes to warm up.  Clearly this is not a logical choice for security lighting. 

And that is pretty much where it has been left.  Efficient lighting has not become the mainstream for exterior fixtures.  But for the first time that I am aware, a motion light is being produced that uses LED lighting.  The Utilitech Motion Activated Security Fixture is a ground-breaking product.  I just installed mine today. I am going to see how it works tonight and I’ll let you all know if this is a product that is worth getting.