Earth Day is here – time to see the light of home energy-efficiency!
The average homeowner might not realize that lighting accounts for an average of 10 percent of his or her annual electric bill1. To celebrate Earth Day and practice saving energy, homeowners can install dimmers and sensors to help truly maximize energy efficiency and save up to 60 percent per year on utilities2.
“No matter what your budget or your needs, you can create a smart room or a smart home using such things as reasonably priced lighting sensors,” said Caitlin Helterline, Lutron Sensors product manager. “In addition to the energy savings component, convenience plays a major role in smart homes: Imagine walking into a home carrying bags of groceries and turning on the lights without having to put down, or drop, a thing.”
For those homeowners looking for ways to improve energy-efficiency and enhance convenience, all while using an environmentally conscious approach, the environmentalist and actor Ed Begley Jr. and spokesman for Lutron, offers 10 tips to coincide with Earth Day on April 22, 2015:
1. Install motion sensors that turn lights on when you enter a room, stairway or hallway, and off when motion is no longer detected. Forgetting to turn the lights off is a universal problem. Lutron, the inventor of the dimmer and leader in the lighting-control, remote-controlled shading and smart-home industry, offers the reasonably priced Maestro Occupancy Sensor, which automatically turns lights on or off when you enter and leave a space, making sensors a convenient way to save up to 50 percent annually on electricity3. They’re ideal for rooms where lights are accidentally left on, such as an office, or rooms that you often enter with your hands full, such as a laundry room or supply closet.
2. Outdoor lighting is a necessity, but using electricity to light your driveway, patio and pathways is not. Install solar-powered outdoor light fixtures - they charge during the day and light up the night without using electricity. Installation is simple; most fixtures have a stake that simply needs to be pushed into the ground.
3. Unplug to halt the Phantom! Electronics and appliances can use juice even if they are turned off, raising your electricity bill by nearly 10 percent annually reports Energy.gov4. Plug gadgets (like phone chargers and gaming units) into power strips or surge protectors, and switch them off when you leave the house.
4. Almost everyone knows that weather stripping is a great way to insulate your home, but if you live in an older house, there’s a good chance there might be cracks and it’s time to replace windows. While you’re at it, consider adding weather stripping to interior doors, especially ones that lead to uninsulated areas like garages, attics and basements.
5. Update to a programmable thermostat which make it easy to set back the temperature when the room is unoccupied, saving you an estimated 10% per year in energy savings5. A smart thermostat costs a little more but over time will save you even more money by learning your habits and keeping up with your schedule.
6. Keep your window blinds open during the day to let sun in and close them as the sun is setting to trap heat in. Interested in adding to your smart home capabilities, automated shades like Lutron’s Serena battery powered shades, can do this for you.
7. Installing light dimmers can help lower your electricity needs, saving both money and energy. Lowering the lights by 25 percent can also cut your light energy usage by 20 percent while adding ambiance to any room6. Lutron’s Maestro C.L Dimmer & Switch provides a range of designer, easy-to-install lighting and fan controls, sensors and timers through a high-performance switch that can also be adjusted manually to your preferred light setting with a simple tap on the touch rocker. Also available in the eco-dim feature, C.L models use HED technology to ensure reliable performance, and eliminate challenges of dimming CFL and LED bulbs.
8. Another bright idea is to replace old light bulbs with energy-efficient ones. LED light bulbs not only last longer but also use less energy when dimmed. An ENERGY STAR-qualified dimmable LED bulb has long-lasting, eco-friendly benefits and can last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs which minimizes maintenance costs7. Replacing just five frequently used light bulbs with ENERGY STAR models, you can save $75 each year8.
9. Being energy-efficient outside of the home is also important: Use public transportation whenever possible, and if you’re going less than 10 miles, ride a bike; it’s not only good for the environment, it’s also good for you.
10. Eating more vegetables is always a good idea, eating locally grown ones is even better, but the best greens of all are the ones you grow yourself! If you want your garden to really thrive, composting is the only way to go. Get the whole neighborhood involved and plant a community garden.
Although going green may seem tough, small things can make a big difference. Installing sensors and recycling are smart ways to start. For more information on sensors, go to www.lutron.com