Light Bulbs

  • Most light bulbs in my house (except those likely to be frequently turned on for short periods only) have been replaced with energy-saving bulbs.
  • My limited understanding is that the older style incandescent bulbs wasted most of the energy consumed by turning it into heat.
  • My personal preference is 24 watt Philips compact fluorescent Tornado bulbs, with an output of 1450 lumens, equivalent to old-style 100 watt bulbs.
  • Helpful information on choosing the right type of energy-efficient bulbs can be found on the NZ Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s website.

Solar Electricity

  • More on this extensive topic later in a separate post.
  • Here I will just mention that I have installed solar electricity to my back porch, two sheds and the outdoor shower.
  • My primary reasons for doing so were twofold. None of these locations had a mains electricity supply, and I believed that solar was cheaper than the considerable costs involved in having mains power connected. Secondly, in the event of a power outage the porch provides a comfortable backup location to continue reading, use a laptop and listen to music – all powered via the sun. I also have an inverter to enable the use of small 240 volt appliances.
  • Originally the security lights around the perimeter of the house were all mains powered. Each held two 150 watt incandescent spotlights. As these were frequently turned on by passing animals and trees blowing in the wind, over time the energy consumption was considerable. I now run 15 watt LED security lights, each powered by small photo-voltaic panels supplying self-contained batteries inside the units.

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