Before we provide a solution to a client we always insist on reducing the load. It is a no brainer as the savings with or without an alternative energy system are immediate. One of the best places to reduce power usage is lighting.
There are many different options available. But the one that should be avoided is the traditional incandescent light bulb. This bulb generates light by super heating a tungsten coil in an evacuated glass bulb. The coil glows white hot and produces light – it also produces a lot of heat which is wasted. These are the most inefficient sources of electric light, and will account for kilowatts of wasted electricity in the average home.
Fluorescent tubes are more efficient but have a downside. They cannot be dimmed and generally produce a light that is cold and harsh. They also need ‘ballast’. Ballast consists of starters and transformers required to run the light. Not only is the ‘ballast’ less efficient but when things go wrong the lighting has an annoying tendency to flicker. Generally this type of lighting is used in office complexes and areas that need to be brightly lit – not really suitable for the home.
Compact fluorescent lighting – or CFL’s. These are a good replacement for incandescent bulbs. They are generally a lot more efficient (less heat loss), are available in a warmer light as opposed to ‘cool white’ and are easy to use as replacements. The down side is like fluorescent tube lighting – CFL’s cannot be dimmed.
LED or ‘Light-Emitting Diode’. These are the most efficient forms of lighting available today. They come in various forms and will fit almost any type of outlet – even replacing fluorescent tubes! They also come in different ‘temperatures’ – ranging from cool white to warm white. Certain LED’s lights can be dimmed but you need to ensure you have the correct bulb and that your dimmers are LED friendly.
Newfield AE recommends the use of LED wherever possible. CFL are also acceptable where budget does not allow for LED. From our experience we have found the biggest energy wasters to be downlighting – known as the ‘GU10’ bulb. This form of lighting is very popular and prior to LED bulbs used inefficient incandescent bulbs running at 50 Watts each. Some houses have more than 80 of these down lighters – which together add up to over 4000 Watts or 4 kWatts of power. This can be reduced to 240 Watts with the use of LED! That is a 94% reduction in power usage!
For more information please contact Paul 083 326 9758 or Dean 081 515 7777, or mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org .