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Old 11-28-2011, 11:18 PM   #1
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Reducing Electric Bill


I want to be able to control which lights and appliances go on and off at predetermined time intervals in my residence.

For example, I want all interior lights to turn off after 1:00 AM.

Is there anyway I can control this aside from personally regulating each and every light switch in the house?

Please help, family is driving me crazy.

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Old 11-29-2011, 12:49 AM   #2
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Reducing Electric Bill


if you are trying to reduce your electric bill why are the lights on at 1am?? teach your family to turn off lights they aren't using. you can put motion switches in every room so when no one is in there the lights will go out after a set time.

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Old 11-29-2011, 04:24 AM   #3
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Reducing Electric Bill


Easy done !
Instal a timer switch,
Put it over the light circuit,
Easy as.

But putting up with cranky people who cant get lights to work,
Thats another story !
What about the safety aspect ?
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:28 AM   #4
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Occupancy Sensors. You install it in place of the light switch. If there is no one in the room after say 10 min, it turns off the light.

Also consider installing CFL bulbs....they use about 1/5th the energy of an incandescent....and last a lot longer...if the people in the house don't like the light from them...they will be more inclined to turn off the light.

My wife used to complain about the light....I replaced one of the bulbs in a floor lamp with a CFL....she didn't notice the difference for 6 months.

As a benchmark....my average electric bill is about $45/month (summer) and about $60 in the winter. All my lights except for the bathroom and dinning table light (on a dimmer) are CFL's.
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
Occupancy Sensors. You install it in place of the light switch. If there is no one in the room after say 10 min, it turns off the light.

Also consider installing CFL bulbs....they use about 1/5th the energy of an incandescent....and last a lot longer...if the people in the house don't like the light from them...they will be more inclined to turn off the light.

My wife used to complain about the light....I replaced one of the bulbs in a floor lamp with a CFL....she didn't notice the difference for 6 months.

As a benchmark....my average electric bill is about $45/month (summer) and about $60 in the winter. All my lights except for the bathroom and dinning table light (on a dimmer) are CFL's.
Ayuh,... Or go to Led's...
They use even less power, 'n last even longer...
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:36 AM   #6
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chicagobears, go to the Cub website and shop for a new electric supplier. As for habits, you may not be able to change them, and as for the bill, it goes back to habits. Start by using CFL's in all lights, turning lights off as you leave a room, seal any air leaks at doors, wall outlets/switches on exterior walls, windows, if you have a basement or crawl, seal & insulate. Put more insulation up in the attic. Also suggest updating your hvac equipment, water heater and appliances if you have not done so.

You can also run an assessment at http://www.hes.lbl.gov to determine how to make some savings. Also suggest installing a Ted5000 to watch usage and track it. You can use sites like Plotwatt.com & Myenersave.com to allow you to see overall use.

I think that on average, our bill for the electric portion is around $68 (around 899 kwh for the month) , natural gas is around $48.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:14 AM   #7
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Occupancy sensors are the best way. Spring timers are nice for a bath fan, since you usually are running them as you leave the room. I don't suggest what you were originally suggesting of turning off the whole circuit because people wouldn't be able to turn lights on in an emergency.


If you really wanted to put a timer on something. Water heater times work well

Last edited by jimmy21; 11-29-2011 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:15 PM   #8
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Ayuh,... Or go to Led's...
They use even less power, 'n last even longer...
And cost many times more.....

Right now the average 'listed' life is 25K hours....

Also factor in that they are at best 10% more effecient....when you factor in the cost...a CFL is a better value...

The only real advantage they have over a CFL is the dimmable feature....

Side note....a T5 is more effecient than an LED.....and I don't think LED's are the holly grail of lighting....I think it's still waiting to be found.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:21 PM   #9
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Reducing Electric Bill


You may want to consider X10 technology. I've used it for over 10 years now in two homes, and I have 75% of my lights switched automatically. Very simple to install, dimming is an option and everything can easily be over-ridden if and when needed.
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:33 PM   #10
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Or try Insteon which is the next generation of X10. Vastly more reliable but costlier. You can see it all at smarthome.com. I use UPB myself and have a large installation. Our house is fully automated. Here's a link to the ongoing project (you may need to register there to see pics):

Fortress Showcase on CocoonTech
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:40 PM   #11
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Or try Insteon which is the next generation of X10. Vastly more reliable but costlier. You can see it all at smarthome.com. I use UPB myself and have a large installation. Our house is fully automated. Here's a link to the ongoing project (you may need to register there to see pics):

Fortress Showcase on CocoonTech
I can't agree with Insteon being more reliable...but it is more costly. You can get a small starter kit for X10 for about $50. See if it's for you.
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:42 PM   #12
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kwilcox, I was wondering about Insteon controllers. I am using the Ourhomespaces website to view and change our 3m-50 thermostat, with the OHS wifi-B radio installed, along with the Ted-5000. For the Ted, it is kind of lacking on the iPhone app for OHS. They offer light control, and that would be my next step, to be able to control our front porch light, and a living room light. The other that I am looking at, is being able to monitor temp's of the Attic, basement, alert for water on the floor in the basement, and sensor for our unattached garage, in case the window would get broken to gain entry.

I am a firm believer in smart technologies, and have started to read up on it more, in how I can adopt it to make my home smarter for lighting, and intrusion.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:00 PM   #13
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the PRO powerline technologies are UPB and Z-wave. I use all Simply-Automated switches. Insteon is very reliable but suffers from occasional sub-par build issues (whites aren't always the same color from one lot to the next for example). However, like X10, there are a lot of Insteon modules out there too. I use Home Control Assistant on a dedicated Atom based machine to run everything. ELK makes the professional grade equipment controllers still.

Have you checked out the new NEST thermostat? Revolutionary.

To the OP: beware. If you catch the home automation bug, it'll get obsessive. My children hardly know what a light switch is for. Remember WAF means "Wife Acceptance Factor" and it is the most important variable in any automation endeavor. If you lurk around on CocoonTech.com you'll see us use that statement a lot.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:22 PM   #14
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Reducing Electric Bill


Saw the Nest, and for me, it is not my kind of geek. I am old school, grew up during the whole Home brew computer revolution. I would like to change out the 3m-50 to a Proliphix IMT550c or the ecobee. For the computer, is it a rackmount or small form factor atom.

My thing is, I would like to have to not "roll" my own software for my home, I just want to be able to take it out of the box, and let her rip, so to speak.

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