How to Save Power During the Holidays: Light Automation - Smith Monitoring
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How to Save Power During the Holidays: Light Automation

  • Dec 06 / 2011
Home Automation, Smith Home Security Blog

We here at Smith know that our customers like to decorate their home for the holidays, but we also know that sometimes the festive lights can be a real drain on resources. Considering that most people use multiple strands of lights, each of which consumes a great deal of electricity, the energy drain can easily add up. Electricity is not the only consideration, however. Running each of those little light bulbs at full strength ensures that each bulb’s life is shortened as quickly as possible, and we all know how frustrating a blown bulb can be.

There is a solution available. Using a dimmer switch, you can defray some of the steep electricity costs and lessen the danger while still remaining decorative and festive. Electricians often recommend installing dimmer switches to built-in light fixtures, but with Smith’s lamp/appliance control module, there is no need for an intensive installation. One need only plug the module into any open outlet, wirelessly connect it to the central panel with the push of a button, and plug their holiday lights into the outlets on the module. Since the system allows people to control the modules from anywhere, users can potentially save a lot of money by dimming or turning off their lights while away and setting them to shine brighter when they return.

A typical 50-bulb strand of lights consumes around 250 watts, which is about the same amount as a normal desktop computer. Still, most people use multiple strands for their decorations, from a simple string across the front gable to a ring around a tree or a word spelled out in lights. The high amount of electricity required for these displays can add more than $100 to December’s energy bill. Adding a dimmer can help immensely to lower the cost of decorating a festive home; not only that, but it can extend the life of the bulbs themselves. Dimming the lights by 10 percent reduces energy use and extends bulb life by the same amount, all while being virtually unnoticeable. Dimming by a moderate 25 percent reduces energy use and extends bulb life by 20 percent, while dimming by a reasonable 50 percent nets savings and longevity of 40 percent.

There are additional benefits to dimming the lights. With the dimmer switch, users can lower the brightness of the lights to create a softer ambiance. Romantic dinners can be made more intimate, story time more dramatic, or even an early Christmas morning easier on tired eyes, all with a dimmer switch. Save money on your decorations, extend the life of your lights, have greater control over your home environment: enjoy the benefits of light automation with the dimmer lamp/appliance module, available with the Smart Home package from Smith.

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