03.20.2012

 

offthegridUSA                                                               

ENERGY AND ARCHITECTURE

Mind Set change

 

The way we think could be costing us a lot of money.

 I’ll to the point in a minute but I remember working in London England on a hotel project in Lisbon, Portugal. Everything had to be done in the Metric system. It took awhile to think in Metric terms  And at that time there were no Euros only Crowns, ½ Crowns, Schillings, Pence and Ha’pence (half a penny) that took a while to get used to.

Most Americans, by birth, think in terms of feet and inches, those who immigrated here had the opposite change of mind set to deal with.

So let me ask you, If I were to tell you that I live in 450 square meter house. What be your first reaction? Pretty small huh! Well that actually converts to over a 4,800 square feet

When we travel abroad we have to think in Kilometers per hour or liters when we gas up the car.

Now to the point. Think Electricity

Your significant other says the bathroom light is out so the men of the house can’t Shave or She can’t put on her makeup, which by the way takes a lot of time and burns up tons of watts.

So you think OK I’ll stop and buy a 100 watt bulb, that will give us enough light.  But asking for a 13 Watt CFL bulb would probably leave you thinking that that would be way too small.

Most everyone I know growing up understood the four basic sizes of light bulbs; 40, 60, 75 and 100 W and it was easy to determine what size wattage light bulb would be applicable to a certain task. For example everyone would realize the 40 Watt light bulb in a ceiling fixture would certainly not give us enough light or putting a 100 watt light bulb in the refrigerator would certainly be too much light and of course create excessive heat.

So here’s the rub, wattage has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of light for the most part. Wattage is simply a measure of electric power You could take a 75 watt or a 100 watt light bulb put it into a black bag or paint the bulb black and turned it on and you would not see the light but you would certainly be using the power and that costs you money.

The proper term for light output is lumens which are a measurement of light for example having a candlelit dinner may give you about 12 lm of light where as a 60 W light bulb would give off about 840 lm.

Next time you go to hardware or a big-box store and buy light bulbs tell the clerk you would like an 800 lumen light bulb and see what kind of reaction you get.

Don’t worry about the Color output, The one thing that I never liked about the florescent light was the bluish color that it gives off but that was a long time ago today most Fluorescent and CFL’s are color corrected for daylight and warmer whites. So in fact you have a little more flexibility on the type of light that you prefer.

 

Incandescent

CFL

LED

Approximate

Lumen range

 

 

 

 

40W

9-13   w

5w

450lm

60W

11-15W

7W

800lm

75W

18-23W

9W

1100lm

100W

25-30W

13W

1600lm

150W

30-52W

 

2600lm

Here’s a chart that shows the difference between incandescent light bulbs and the soon to become standard “CFL or LED” bulbs and the wattage associated with each type.

      

      

 

      

 

 

 

Lamp- Wattage Comparison

Now, How about some cost comparisons?

Look at your current electric bill and take the total cost will which includes the cost of the energy, the distribution and the. Taxes and divide that by the kWh’s. Depending on where you live that could range anywhere from 0.06 cents a kWh  to 0.12 cents a kWh. Then list the size and type of each bulb and the average number of hours they are in use. Sounds like a lot of work but let’s take a look at simple example for a month

 

Cost of Electricity is 0.08ct/kWh

Number of light fixtures is 20 (all the same wattage i.e. 75 watts)

They all on for 5 hours a day

20 Bulbs x 30 days x 5 hours per day x 75 watts= 225000 watt hours

Divide by 1000 to get KWh: 225000/1000 = 225 KwH

225kWh x 0.08 cts = $18.00


Now let’s change to a CFl with the same light output (remember the lumens?

20 Bulbs x 30 days x 5 hours per day x 9 watts= 27000 watt hours

Divide by 1000 to get KWh: 27000/1000 = 27 KwH

27kWh x 0.08 cts = $2.16

 

$18.00 -$2.16 leaves you 15.84 a month That’s a 88% savings !!

 

So how many people to take to change a light bulb?  Sound familiar? Two if you are lazy one to go the store and the other to change the bulb.

 

Lamp Life and Lamp Costs

 

The typical life expectancy of an Incandescent bulb is approximately 750 hours and costs about  $0.75

The typical life expectancy of an CFL is approximately 10,000  hours and costs about $ 5.00

Or  one (1) CFl = 13.33 Incandescent bulbs   ( $5.00 vs $10.00)

 

In the summer of 2007 the federal government and acted the energy independent is to react 2007. The efficiency standards will start with 100 W bulbs and end with 40 W bulbs. The timeline for these standards was to start in January 2012 but on December 16, 2011, the US House of Representatives passed the final 2012 budget legislation, which effectively delayed implementation until October 2012.

 

So we have a little bit of time left it is certain to happen.

 

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