If you’re interested in dimming your lights to save energy, check out Lutron Electronics’ new web site, which is part of the company’s “Light Greener, Light Better” campaign.
The site is definitely geared toward dimming incandescent or halogen lighting, as opposed to replacing old incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFLs). But if you just can’t stand that fluorescent light, dimming is an effective energy-saving alternative.
Dimming an incandescent bulb 10 percent can save 10 percent in electricity, dimming 25 percent will save about 20 percent, and dimming to 50 percent can save up to 40 percent in electricity. Not only will that save you bucks when you pay your electric bill, it will save carbon dioxide emissions from power plants that produce electricity, which leads to global warming. Dimmed bulbs also last longer.
Lutron provides that information and more on its interactive site, which includes a slick dimmer you can slide to automatically calculate your savings. You can see how it dims various rooms throughout a house and input criteria about a space, including the number of fixtures, lamps per fixture, wattage per lamp, and hours used per day.
The site also includes a helpful FAQ about dimming, as well as information on California’s Title 24 requirements for lighting in new and renovated homes in the state. There are also links to Lutron product information.
How important is dimming? Lutron is quick to remind us that lighting makes up about 20 percent of our residential electric bills. Check out the other facts on the site pertaining to lighting in commercial buildings and schools, and you may be surprised.
“Controlling your lighting—as you would control your water, cooling, or heating usage—is usually the easiest and most effective way to save energy that is often overlooked at home or at work,” says Michael Jouaneh, marketing manager for Lutron Electronics.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates