Using lighting controls to automatically control lights can help to save energy. Of course, you can also save energy by turning off lights when they’re not needed, but sometimes we forget or don’t notice that we’ve left them on.
Dimmers, motion sensors and timers are great appliances you can add onto your home’s lighting to help you save energy.
Dimmer controls provide variable indoor lighting. By dimming lightbulbs, it reduces their wattage and output, which helps to save energy.
Dimmers are inexpensive appliances and can provide some energy savings when lights are used at a reduced level. They also increase the lifespan of lightbulbs significantly. However, dimming reduces an incandescent bulb’s lumen output more than its wattage, which makes the bulbs less efficient as they are dimmed. However, compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) do not lose their efficiency with dimming. Some CFLs are compatible with standard dimmers, which will be indicated on the package. Others require special dimming ballasts and bulb holders.
Motion sensors will automatically turn on outdoor lights when they detect motion and shut them off a short while later. They are very useful for outdoor security and utility lighting. They’re also great for rooms that experience a lot of activity, like a child’s playroom.
Timers are used to turn on and off outdoor and indoor lights at specific times. There are two types of timers: manual timers, which plug into an electrical outlet for controlling objects such as lamps or light strings; and in-wall programmable digital timers (which look like digital thermostats), which automate indoor or outdoor lighting.
It’s recommended to put some lights on timers inside your home while you’re away to make it look like someone is in the house, which can be a crime deterrent.
Timers can also be useful to turn on night lights in hallways.