The other day my wife was commenting that her closet was like a refrigerator. She has to lay out her clothes so they can warm up on these winter days.
That got me to thinking. Perhaps the closet light should be rigged to come on when the door opens “like a refrigerator” and switch off when the door closes. A quick check on the internet revealed that this isn’t a new idea. There are several door jam switches available for just this purpose. If we had one, I’d be looking through the key hole to see if the light really did go out when the door closed.
Automatic lighting controls are getting to be a normal part of our lives. They save money by automatically switching the lights off when there is no one there. Occupancy sensor controls are being used more all the time, and not just for lights.
I was talking to a supplier who told me that one company was installing motion detectors to control the people cooling fans at their production lines. When no one is there the fans automatically go off.
I like to have the feeling that I am in control of some things in life. I do not like giving in to automatic controls. On the other hand, I like it when my car headlights automatically switch off after I forgot them. It saves me from the grief of a dead battery.
We could save money at home and at work if we installed more automatic controls. But, automatic controls cost money plus they add more work to be done whenever equipment is replaced.
The best answer is to rely on good people shutting lights and fans off when they are not needed. You save when you switch things off when you leave home. We save when you switch things off when you stop work, take a break or pause for lunch.
Shutting equipment off when it is not needed saves cash and reduces the amount of coal that is burned to generate electricity. It is good for the checkbook and good for the environment.
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