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Lighting Conservation - To Flip or Not to Flip
Your mother or father probably told you more than once to turn the lights out when you left a room. Most youngsters have the sermon delivered to them repeatedly regarding conservation and the proper use of electricity.
Many parents who relay this information to their children do not take into consideration the overall aspect of conservation, and in all likelihood, it would be wasted on most kids anyway.
How long it will be before the light is needed again has something to do with whether flipping it off is a good idea or not. A parent following behind children to turn lights off may be defeating the purpose of conservation if the kids just come back into the room and flip the lights back on again in a few minutes.
The first thing to consider is that it takes more energy to get the light bulb lit than it does to keep it going. Turning the light on and off a few times within a half hour costs more than leaving it on for the full thirty minutes, but many of us flip lights on and off repeatedly because of what our parents told us years ago.
Conservation of electricity is not the only reason to let lights burn instead of flipping the switch on and off. The filament in an incandescent bulb is a very fragile part of the mechanism. It is very easy to break the filament just by moving the bulb around.
When it fires up to light the room, the jolt puts wear on the sensitive component. Obviously, the more times the filament has to endure the surge of power, the shorter its life expectancy.
So the next time you flip that light switch, think about what happens with electricity and the bulb itself. A light doesn't consume a great amount of electricity, but the cost of many bulbs can add up. Your parents had good intentions when they told you to turn the light off, but they might not have been seeing the whole picture.
A little planning on your part as to when you are going to need lighting can help to conserve energy and get the most value from the bulbs in the fixtures.