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Old 04-22-2011, 10:31 PM   #41
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Just came back from Lowes. They're selling Utilitech brand 40w LED bulbs for $9.98 until 4/25. Replaced 1 of 2 directional spotlights (other one is a 40w cfl). You can really see a big difference in brightness. DW really likes the LED too.
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:02 AM   #42
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I know people praise the virtues of the CFLs.... but I am still disappointed in them overall...

Bought 'instant on' because I did not like them taking so long to warm up... well, all it means is a PART of the light is instant on... it still takes time to warm up... in closets they are worthless....


As to the OP... my house is pretty efficient... we do some of the suggestions such as the stove and TV... I might turn off the ice maker since we do not use the ice much.. and it freezes into a big blob that we have to dump out every now and then...

We do have a motion detector light in our laundry room, which is also where we come in the house most of the time.... the problem is that the light gets turn on when we eat... all I have to do is lean back and the light goes on... it happens a few time every time we eat... unless we turn the light off... which defeats the purpose of having the switch....

My electricity is a lot higher than I want.... we have yard lights in front and back and I can NOT get my wife to allow me to not have them on... or turn them off sooner.. I got 8 lights in front and 5 or so in back.... 35 watts each... 4 or 5 hours each and every night.... where are the low watt bulbs (with enough light) low voltage light that work outdoors
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:37 AM   #43
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"Do you try and save energy at home?"

Yes; I get up late and go to bed early ....

Oh, if you are talking about home utility costs, not really. We could freeze in the winter, get overheated in the summer, downsize to a much smaller home, and walk around in the dark.

That's not how we need or more importantly want to live, for the remainder of our time on earth.

Not to say that we have not done certain things, such as building our retirement home with more than what was considered "energy efficient" at the time nor taking action since that time (upgraded HP).

However, we looked at alternatives such as solar and ground source HP. For us (and at our age and expected life in this home) it did not make sense. Maybe for a young or middle-age family who gets this home next it will make sense to convert, if they wish. However, we're not willing to spend the money on it, at this time of our lives.
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:33 AM   #44
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Bought 'instant on' because I did not like them taking so long to warm up... well, all it means is a PART of the light is instant on...
My electricity is a lot higher than I want.... we have yard lights in front and back and I can NOT get my wife to allow me to not have them on... or turn them off sooner.. I got 8 lights in front and 5 or so in back.... 35 watts each... 4 or 5 hours each and every night.... where are the low watt bulbs (with enough light) low voltage light that work outdoors
Sounds like you're an ideal candidate for switching over to LEDs, they instantly go to full brightness when they turn on. As for outdoors, you need to have covered lights to use LEDs, but I think they have outdoor flood LEDs, but they're still very pricey ($30-40). You can also switch to those dual type motion detectors, they leave a low light on at dusk (maybe 30-50%), but go full brightness when motion is detected.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:02 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Dimsumkid View Post
Just came back from Lowes. They're selling Utilitech brand 40w LED bulbs for $9.98 until 4/25. Replaced 1 of 2 directional spotlights (other one is a 40w cfl). You can really see a big difference in brightness. DW really likes the LED too.
At that price, I may buy one just to experiment with. I like the idea of LEDS over CFLs (which I mostly do not like, but I still use some), but LED costs have been too high to justify unless you need them on 24/7 or in an air cooled space most of the year (make sense for retail fridges/freezers or chilled warehouses/lockers that need light). Lowes are not so close to me, so it might be a special trip - I'll need to count that energy use against the energy savings - heh-heh.

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I know people praise the virtues of the CFLs.... but I am still disappointed in them overall...

....

My electricity is a lot higher than I want.... we have yard lights in front and back and I can NOT get my wife to allow me to not have them on... or turn them off sooner.. I got 8 lights in front and 5 or so in back.... 35 watts each... 4 or 5 hours each and every night.... where are the low watt bulbs (with enough light) low voltage light that work outdoors
Are all these 35W bulbs low voltage? I wouldn't think so, I thought the low volt stuff was really low watt, like 5-10W?

If they are standard 120V, why not use CFLs for these? That's what I put for our six front lights. They work OK for me even in the coldest weather, just take a minute to get bright. I did put small 25W (15W?) in two of the lights - the timer I use needs some trickle current to keep it active when it is 'off' (it gets put in the hot line and works in a three-way circuit), so the filament from one of those bulbs does the trick.

edit/add: Had to do the math. 13 bulbs x 35W x 4.5hrs/day x 365 days ~ 747 KwHr/year, ~ $74/year or ~ $6/month at $0.10/KwHr. Might save $50-$60/year with hi eff, but 13 LED bulbs are going to cost you. CFLs are pretty cheap now.

-ERD50
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:13 AM   #46
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At that price, I may buy one just to experiment with. I like the idea of LEDS over CFLs (which I mostly do not like, but I still use some), but LED costs have been too high to justify unless you need them on 24/7 or in an air cooled space most of the year (make sense for retail fridges/freezers or chilled warehouses/lockers that need light). Lowes are not so close to me, so it might be a special trip - I'll need to count that energy use against the energy savings - heh-heh.



Are all these 35W bulbs low voltage? I wouldn't think so, I thought the low volt stuff was really low watt, like 5-10W?

If they are standard 120V, why not use CFLs for these? That's what I put for our six front lights. They work OK for me even in the coldest weather, just take a minute to get bright. I did put small 25W (15W?) in two of the lights - the timer I use needs some trickle current to keep it active when it is 'off' (it gets put in the hot line and works in a three-way circuit), so the filament from one of those bulbs does the trick.

edit/add: Had to do the math. 13 bulbs x 35W x 4.5hrs/day x 365 days ~ 747 KwHr/year, ~ $74/year or ~ $6/month at $0.10/KwHr. Might save $50-$60/year with hi eff, but 13 LED bulbs are going to cost you. CFLs are pretty cheap now.

-ERD50

Yes they are the low voltage light... they do have the lower wattage, but like any light they produce less light.... my wife wants the house lite up.. and the backyard also... not 'bright' in any sense of the word, but the light do put out enough for you to see...


Once LEDs come down in price... I will probably be over to them quicker than not... on the CFL thread I have said no CFL has lasted me longer than 3 or so years.... they are not living up to the advertising

Heck, one of the instant on lights I just bought lasted ONE day... the second day it would not turn on.... expensive to say the least....
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:27 AM   #47
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At that price, I may buy one just to experiment with. I like the idea of LEDS over CFLs (which I mostly do not like, but I still use some), but LED costs have been too high to justify unless you need them on 24/7 or in an air cooled space most of the year (make sense for retail fridges/freezers or chilled warehouses/lockers that need light). Lowes are not so close to me, so it might be a special trip - I'll need to count that energy use against the energy savings - heh-heh.
-ERD50
I can tell you I didn't really want to pay $9.98 a bulb, so I used a competitor coupon, Ace Hardware $5 off $20 to get the price down to $7.50 each (added some .50 cent tomato plants to push the price over $20). That made it a little easier to justify the purchase. Keep in mind that Lowe's needs people to spend money, since their last earnings report was disappointing. I've noticed the easy acceptance of any competitor coupons lately and found they will accept their own Lowe's coupons even after they've expired. My local store said they don't care how old, they'll take them, just like Bed Bath and Beyond does with their own coupons. I just made use of a few Lowes $10 off $50 coupons that expired on 4/4 yesterday, saving the other 2 for later visits.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:27 AM   #48
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Yes they are the low voltage light... they do have the lower wattage, but like any light they produce less light.... my wife wants the house lite up.. and the backyard also... not 'bright' in any sense of the word, but the light do put out enough for you to see...


Once LEDs come down in price... I will probably be over to them quicker than not... on the CFL thread I have said no CFL has lasted me longer than 3 or so years.... they are not living up to the advertising

Heck, one of the instant on lights I just bought lasted ONE day... the second day it would not turn on.... expensive to say the least....
Too bad they are low voltage. I think the popular thought is that "low voltage means low electricity usage" or something. But low voltage incandescents are less efficient than standard 120V ones. You lose more due to current losses, and the thicker/shorter filaments needed for low voltage bulbs end up losing more heat to the standoffs - heat that isn't hot enough to emit light. Losers all th way around (except for installation/safety).

OTOH, you might be able to find RV style LEDS that adapt to these?

Oh, I did the math on the $10 40W replacement LED. Assuming it uses 10W, the payback would be ~ 2 years at 4.5 hrs/day, 365 days/yr and 10 cent/KwHr. Now, the LEDS should last a long time, but there are still electronics in there, I don't know if they are much simpler/durable than the CFL electronics or not. Or if the CFL failures are all electronics, or the bulb itself?

-ERD50
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:50 AM   #49
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Here you go:

Amazon.com: Maxxima 5 Watt MR16 Warm White Flood Bulb - 250 Lumens: Home Improvement

more at:
LED for low voltage outdoor lights - Google Search

But even @ $15, about a 4 year payback. But if they last and do the job, that would double your money (with flat electric rates) in 8 years.

-ERD50
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:22 AM   #50
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You went off the grid with solar? Doesn't that take a lot of batteries? What's the payback and environmental impact of all those batteries and replacements?

-ERD50
Sorry, not off the grid, so no batteries, but put solar in.
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:28 PM   #51
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I keep the heat down as fas as is tolerable and never use A/C. I always turn lights off when not in the room even if returning in just a few minutes. I only do 4 loads of laundry per month(usually). My electric bill still averages $120/mo.($200 in winter/$50 in summer) Everything is electric from heat to hot water and appliances and everything else. My place is only 860 sq ft and I don't think I could cut back any. If I did it would be literaly painful in the winter and my co-workers might complain if I never take a hot shower after 12 hours of manual labor.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:29 PM   #52
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I got one of those Kill-A-Wall things and am playing around with it. It's interesting to see get a readout to what things are projected to cost around the house. It was surpising for me to see that my netbook charger took so little energy to run and running an air purifier took more than I thought.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:45 PM   #53
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The only one that I do on a usual basis is to turn off the stove burner before it is completely done. It is not so much to save energy, however, I don't have to worry about the food burning if I get distracted for a few minutes.

I also use a laptop.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:10 AM   #54
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Sorry, I couldn't resist

Shortly after we got here mid-March I went outside at 7:10pm to see a well publicized extremely large moon - very impressive, much like a "harvest moon".

6 weeks later it was still daylight at 9pm. I'd quite forgotten how quickly the nights get longer in these latitudes, even allowing for the clocks springing forward.
Off topic but when we lived in England, we took a vacation in Scotland near Aberfeldy in mid summer. We rented a converted mill house that was beautiful except for the skylight in the bedroom and trying to sleep at 11 pm with light pouring in. Interestingly, they had put blackout style curtains on the windows?
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:09 AM   #55
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If I had a motion-detecting lighting system then I'd want a manual override on the switch. It bugs the crap out of me when I'm quietly reading in a room and the sensor turns out my lights. CFLs and LEDs may be a better payback than a motion detector.
The ones I have have a manual override. Handy for when you just have to sit in the bathroom in the tub or on the pot for a while.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:56 AM   #56
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Use CFLs in most of the house, with LEDs for nightlights and under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen. Have a laptop AND a desktop (my recording studio), but they stay in hibernate much of the time. Installed radiant barrier - roll type. Have electronic ignition on furnace and water heater. And am generally a cheap bastard...
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:22 AM   #57
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I've played around with less heating / cooling and shorter showers. They _could_ save me a few hundred dollars a year. I decided it's worth the buck a day to be comfortable.

Everything else I've looked into, the certain payback just isn't there.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:02 PM   #58
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In my townhome, I turn off all circuit breakers except the Fridge and downstairs lights. All others I turn on when needed then flip them back off.
I have been using 1+kwh from 8am till 630pm. total is ~7hwh per weekday and about doubles on the weekend.

The oven, A/C and elecrtic water heater are the 3 energy hogs.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:48 PM   #59
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Because electricity is included in the rent around my neighborhood, most people don't care. Around Christmas time, the place is VERY lit up with all the decorations. And the a/c comes on whenever you want (it is new Orleans, after all).
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:59 PM   #60
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I've played around with less heating / cooling and shorter showers. They _could_ save me a few hundred dollars a year. I decided it's worth the buck a day to be comfortable.

Everything else I've looked into, the certain payback just isn't there.
I agree. Although the summers are hot and winters are cold where I live my peak energy bills in winter and summer don't go above $130 for my 1400 sq foot house so it's not worth it to me to do anything. Having natural gas heat I'm sure helps in keeping bills down.
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