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Why Are Your Lights on All Day Long?

Tue, 12/21/2010 - 4:59am
Ron Flores, WECC (www.worldenergycontrol.com)

ronWhy do you turn on all your facility’s lights, at full brightness, every day?  Actually, why do you turn your lights off in the first place?

Here’s something you might not know: you should never turn your lights off. Instead, dim them down almost to zero so they last longer, because every time you turn them off and on, it does more harm than good. Instead of saving energy, you’re causing a huge energy drain on your system (and your operating budget).

When you do turn your lights on, why do you turn them up 100 percent and then when you turn them off again they go to zero? Did you know that turning lights off completely and back on completely actually damages the lamp and shortens its life?

So don’t turn your lights on. If you never turn them off you should never have to turn them on…

I’m not saying you should sit in the dark. And I’m definitely not suggesting you keep lights blazing all night long when there is no one in your office, store, or school. I’d bet you a dollar if you could, you would dim your lights all the time.

So now you’re thinking, why would I dim my lights and make my facility darker? Well, first, every time you turn your lights off and on, you damage the element, so every day your lights are requiring more energy to produce the same amount of brightness. This means you’re paying more money out of your pocket to keep your building lit, and you’ll burn the light out faster, so you’ll have to pay maintenance crews to replace your lights more often.

Second, dimming lights doesn’t mean darker; it means optimization. You may not know this but the lighting in your office is most likely much more than you need to complete your daily tasks, especially during the day when you can take advantage of natural daylight from windows and skylights.

Why would you want to dim your lights all the time? Because they’ll last longer. I think GE and Sylvania were right; they found that if your lights are in a dimming state, perpetually, they last 200% longer. But I can guess why they didn’t tell you that: If you knew about the secret of dimming, you wouldn’t have to buy as many lights.

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