Monday, July 20, 2009

Energy Saving Tips

Take some pointers on how to cut down on energy consumption from your landscape lighting. Even if you are already using florescents or LED lights there are plenty of ways to further ramp up efficiency. Note that most of these tips don’t apply to solar powered lights, which are already a hundred percent energy-efficient.

  • Use a timer. Set it to turn your decorative lights off after you’ve gone to bed. Lights that aren’t used for security purposes don’t need to be on until dawn. Nobody who appreciates it is looking and it’s really just a waste of electricity.
  • Don’t go light-crazy. The concept of “less is more” really applies when it comes to lighting your landscaped areas. Start with a small number of lights to delicately accent your outdoor displays. You can always add more later, but it’s often the more subtle approaches to lighting that are favored by top landscape designers.
  • Trim bushes to maximize the scope of illumination provided by any single light so that you don’t have to use multiple lights to light an area that could be handled by one well-placed and accommodated for light.
  • Use motion-sensor lights rather than flood lights whenever possible in areas that pose a security concern. Since they only come on when activated by movement – and even then for a limited time – these will obviously use a lot less power than a light that constantly stays on (plus they can startle and deter a would-be intruder).
  • When using motion detecting lights, make sure you adjust the sensitivity so it isn’t going off each time the person across the street checks their mail or the wind blows swiftly. Having the lights turn on all the time for no apparent reason is wasteful and sort of defeats the purpose of having the element of surprise over a potential burglar.
  • Keep it low-voltage. For decorative lighting, 12-volt systems should suffice in most scenarios. No need to use more than what it takes to achieve the results you want.
  • Just don’t run lights you’re not using. If you have a lighted back patio used for eating and entertaining, keep those lights off unless you are actually utilizing that space right then.

These tips can really help to cut down your overall energy use and save a little cash over the long haul. If you have energy saving tips to share, please use the “leave a comment” link below.

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