Your energy tip of the week – Light up the night
Winter is coming. With fewer daylight hours, it is important to take a good look at the exterior lights on your home or business that provide security and convenience. Upgrading these is an affordable, easy way to reduce your electric bill and improve your quality of life.
There are more options for this now than ever before. Want something fancy and beautiful? How about some remote-controlled color-changing LED flood lights for your next party? Do you want something simpler? You can upgrade to LED exterior security lights; as LEDs, they use up to 80 percent less power than traditional bulbs and can be warrantied to last years.
However, before we go there, let’s talk about some solar options. After all, if you can have free light all night every night, that sounds alright! On the large side, you can invest a few hundred or a few thousand dollars on solar light kits to light up your whole yard. Most clients will mount these on a 10 or 15-foot pole. Be sure to look for complete kits – including the solar panels, battery, connectors, photo cell and motion sensor. Otherwise, you may find your solar light is a dud that doesn’t operate like you want it to. Complete kits like these are available in The Bahamas.
On the smaller side, you can get aesthetic solar landscape lights. Since the lights are solar, where you can put them is limited only by your creativity! You can use these to line a walkway or garden path. You might put them on posts, walls, or on either side of your gates. Versions that install flush with your deck or dock are also available. Be sure to get marine-quality solar lights because basically all of our Bahamaland gets ocean air. Also, ask your provider how many hours the light will run at night, and whether they will make it through the night if there are a few cloudy days in a row. For an investment like solar that should last years, quality matters.
The upside of solar exterior lights, clearly, is that the light is free and reliable. You don’t have to pay the utility for it, and you don’t have to hope BPL will be on. The downside, of course, is that the solar lights are more expensive that non-solar lights and they have to be put in the sun. If you are going to put them in the shade, you might as well not go solar!
That brings us to purely LED outdoor lighting options. Why switch out your old incandescent, metal halide and CFL light bulbs to LED bulbs? As mentioned, these use up to 80 percent less power to provide brilliant light! Many LEDs come with a five-year warranty (which is a great reason to buy Bahamian – since a Bahamian provider can honor a warranty that would be voided if you imported the bulbs yourself). Beyond that, typical life expectancy is 10 to 15 years on a single LED light bulb. Imagine not having to change a light bulb for a decade. That’s not fantasy, it’s reality! It also leads to less waste in the garbage dump.
That means a smaller electricity bill, less maintenance, fewer trips to the store to buy bulbs, longer life and less garbage. You can see why many people are making the upgrade!
For LED exterior lighting, a replacement for every traditional light is already available – pole lights, flood lights, security bulbs, wall packs, screw-ins and the list goes on. Whatever sort of light you have now, the good news is there is an LED replacement for it – warrantied, long-lasting and power-saving.
Color-changing LED flood lights
I want to focus on one option in particular: remote controlled RGB color changing LED flood lights. That’s a mouthful, so let’s break it down. When you turn your exterior light on, it can be the same white light that’s become standard. But, imagine at your next party or get-together, you want to add a little pizzazz. Point the remote control at the lights, change the color and change the mood of the whole event. Or set the light to quickly or slowly fade through the colors. These are especially beautiful with gardens or landscapes.
Your exterior lighting doesn’t have to be boring. And it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune to run every year, either. If you have three traditional security lights running every night, that’s nearly $1,000 on your electric bill per year! By upgrading to LED or solar, you can make that disappear.
Who would have thought that a few small changes to your outdoor security lighting could make such a big impact on the electric bill, or be such a great tool for creating the mood you want to set? Other Bahamians are enjoying the benefits. Talk to an energy solutions expert today so you can start saving too!
Joshua Key is general manager for SuperGreen Solutions Bahamas, located on Wulff Road next to FYP. SuperGreen Solutions leads the market as one of the premier advisors, suppliers and installers of domestic and commercial energy efficient solutions, making it truly a ‘one stop energy efficient solution shop’. Having been in the energy efficiency industry for over 19 years, the founders have established a solid reputation spanning five continents. SuperGreen Solutions is different because it looks at energy creation and energy saving from a holistic point of view, to provide clients with total solutions.