As a result of the lifting of the energy price cap on 1st April, energy prices have soared and with a further increase due in the Autumn, not to mention the impact of the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe, it can be safely assumed that the already eyewatering cost of gas, oil and electricity will continue to hit dizzy new heights this year.
One of the real advantages of building your own home right now is that there are lots of things you can do and install to make sure that your energy use and bills are as low as they can be.
In this article, Rachel Morris, Marketing Manager at 4lite, discusses the latest technologies and products available in the world of lighting which will help you to reduce utility bills.
As a minimum, switch to LED bulbs
Installing LED bulbs is something we are encouraging all homeowners to do right now to save money – regardless of whether they are renovating or building their own homes. LED’s are highly energy efficient, using around 80% less energy than traditional alternatives and can deliver huge cost savings.
For example, a 60-watt halogen light bulb costs roughly £2.50 to operate for an hour per day each year, whilst the equivalent LED bulb costs just 40p. If we think of an average home with 34 traditional bulbs kept on for eight hours a day, running costs for the halogen light bulbs will be £680 a year but swapped for energy-saving LED’s the equivalent bill falls to about £108.
This is a huge saving that will have an immediate impact and one that everyone can easily make.
Install a smart lighting system
If you are building or fully renovating your home then a smart lighting system is an essential technology to install to help keep energy use and expenditure to a minimum. It allows every single detail of lighting, both indoors and out, to be programmed and automated so that energy is used only where and when it is needed.
Smart lighting even allows you to control the settings of individual luminaires, switching them on and off at specific times of day as required and controlling elements such as brightness, intensity and colour temperature – all of which have a real impact on energy use.
A well designed and operated system can reduce lighting energy use by up to two thirds, which, based on the common assumption that 15% of your overall electricity bill is spent on lighting, translates to a 10% reduction in your bill.
Smart lighting systems are really easy to install and operate. There is no wiring requirement as most are hosted on the cloud and fitted like a normal lamp or switch. Using Bluetooth or WiFi to operate, they can be activated in a host of different ways; remotely using an app on a phone or tablet, programmed to respond to voice or motion or some systems such as 4lite Wiz Connected can even be integrated with ecosystems such as Alexa, Hey Google and Siri.
Use smart light bulbs
Taking the energy efficiency of LED bulbs one step further, smart light bulbs are powerful LED lights that also incorporate smart technology.
Enhancing the potential savings of regular LED’s, smart light bulbs offer further cost saving benefits thanks to their connectivity. They can be installed in existing lamps and light fittings and linked together to form a fully automated and controllable lighting system where energy using factors such as operation time, brightness, intensity and colour temperature can all be highly tuned.
Install smart plugs
Ideal for floor and table lamps, smart plugs are a great device that can deliver real cost and energy savings. They give connectivity to anything that is plugged into them, enabling traditional fittings to be linked together and automated and controlled in the same way as a fully integrated smart lighting system. This automation helps to remove the reliance on human intervention, meaning forgetting to switch the lights off is a thing of the past and ensuring money is only spent on energy where and when it is needed.
It is estimated by The Carbon Trust that energy use for lighting can be cut by up to 40% from the use of automatic sensors alone.
Not just something to be used in commercial properties, motion sensors and presence and absence detection lighting automatically turn lights off when you leave a room cutting energy use. They can be a great addition to any home and will make a real contribution to cutting electricity costs.