With the trend increasingly focused on going green, why not consider a simple solution that shrinks your carbon footprint and enhances your home? Lighting controls can make more of a room’s design while using less of the home’s energy, as well as aesthetics and, of course, the environment.
What do light controls mean in practice? Prices range from $8 for a single light dimmer to potentially thousands of dollars for a sophisticated, fully automated system—meaning incorporating light controls into a design plan is a possibility no matter the budget.
And light controls help the environment too. One of the fastest growing consumer interests relates to energy savings and the environment. Lighting consumes nearly 25 percent of the U.S. electricity budget, to the tune of $37 billion annually, and accounts for 18 percent of overall energy consumption in homes. It is for these reasons that lighting is emerging as a target for energy-efficiency efforts that can help reduce carbon emissions, protect the environment and save your clients money.
One of the easiest ways to save energy is to use light controls. The science behind a typical dimmer is relatively simple and has not changed dramatically since 1961. It works by flickering the electricity on and off so quickly that the eye doesn’t notice—120 times per second. When the light is off, no energy is being used. The longer it is off, the lower the light output. In other words, the more the light is dimmed, the greater the energy savings.
Existing lighting control technologies (some that have been around for nearly 50 years like the simple dimmer) can cut lighting costs by more than 70 percent while reducing environmental impact. Indeed, the humble dimmer switch on the wall of a home is truly an energy-saving device. The average single dimmer costs less than $20 and saves approximately $7.36 per year, meaning it pays for itself in about 26 months. And while more advanced systems—such as whole-home systems integrated with light sensors and automatically controlled window shades—obviously cost more, they all produce significant benefits.
More importantly, think about the cumulative impact of lighting controls: dimmers save enough energy each year to light 4.5 million homes for 12 months. And installing one dimmer in every U.S. home in place of a standard light switch would save $816 million in electricity annually and reduce CO2 by 4.3 billion pounds per year. That’s like taking 370,000 cars off the road.
—by Matt Donati, product marketing manager for Lutron Electronics. For the full article CLICK HERE.