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Busting Electricity Myths

In the world of electricity, the myths that are passed around are occurring far too often without any evidence that they are the truth. So, with this post we are busting these common electricity myths and putting a end to them once and for all.

Before we start with myth #1, if you want to learn more about saving electricity and reducing your carbon footprint with LED technology, visit our blog that is updated weekly with content that will save you and your business money all while promoting a greener planet. Now, onto myth #1...

1. Powering on an electric light draws more electricity than one saves by switching it off.

False! It is better to switch off lights even if one is leaving the room for a few seconds.

2. An LED luminaire is more expensive than a comparable bulb based on incandescent technology.

False! The onetime cost of an LED product may be higher but it also lasts more than 10 times longer and uses 80% less energy than a bulb. Once you factor in the cost of 10 bulbs, electricity savings and replacement costs, LED's are much cheaper than a traditional incandescent bulb. In effect it pays for itself in little over a year, and generates considerable savings for the next 10 years.

If you want more information on how much a commercial LED fixture goes for, contact us and we will help you out!

3. It takes more electricity to power some appliances like computers or a cathode ray television on, than one saves by switching it off.

False! The power surge when an appliance is powered on is insignificant. In most appliances there is no power surge. In a few appliances where there is a power surge it lasts for only a fraction of a second. Now even if a device were to use four times its usual power consumption when powered on, you will break even in half a second or less!

4. It takes less energy to keep the AC running at a high setting than to switch it on and cool the building in the evening.

False! An air conditioner running all day even if at a higher setting will definitely use a lot more electricity than what will be used by switching it on in the evening. Save money by cooling off your building at certain times, rather than all day.

5. Leakage of electricity can cause the meter to run and I will end up paying for electricity I didn't use.

The answer to that one is simple. Switch off all equipment and unplug as many as possible. Now check if the meter is still running! You can use the tips in our article ‘Why is my electricity bill so high?’ to determine if you are paying for electricity you didn’t use and to find out how to reduce your electricity bills!

6. It is better to use my existing incandescent bulbs till they burn out.

False! The old incandescent bulb has an efficiency of only 3-5 %. Modern LED lighting systems the other hand are more than 8 times as efficient! Every hour that the old incandescent bulb burns, it wastes your money and pollutes the planet. Replacing it with LED lamps will start paying back from day one by causing a dramatic reduction in your electricity bill.

7. LED bulbs are not dimmable.

False! Manufactures can create dimmable LED bulbs, but it requires slightly different electronics to do so. The most important thing to remember is that one should not try to dim a non-dimmable bulb. This puts undue stress on the internal electronics and will cause it to fail prematurely, and more than likely will void the manufacturer’s warranty. Likewise, be very careful with the dimmable switch that you use. The low amount of energy drawn by LED's may place a burden on traditional dimmer switches. You might hear a hum from a dimmer switch that is a sign that the switch is struggling. Typically, they heat up as well, which could create a fire if turned on for extended periods of time. Always use certified dimmer switches meant to be used with energy efficient dimmable bulbs.

8. All white LED lamps produce bright, white light that is unappealing.

False! The lights we have on this site have a warm tone. We ran some tests with consumers and they could not tell the difference between an incandescent light and our energy efficient LED lighting fixtures.

9. As long as I install an energy efficient climate control system my electricity usage will come down.

Only partially true! While it is true that the power bills will come down, unless the air conditioning and heating systems are not properly installed you will continue to lose money. Approximately, a third of the electricity is used to compensate for improper installation. Similarly if you use air conditioners and incandescent bulbs – you end up paying twice – once for heating the room (an incandescent bulb converts 95% of the electricity to heat!) and then to pump this heat out.

10. Energy conservation will require that I lower the level of my life style.

False! Energy can be conserved by switching off lights when not in use, not using the standby mode in appliances, setting the air conditioner a couple of degrees higher and other such strategies without really affecting the quality of life. It is also possible to reduce energy consumption by energy efficiency. Energy efficiency as opposed to conservation consists of replacing wasteful and inefficient appliances with modern energy efficient ones. Replacing your 50 watt bulb with a 6 watt LED light for example will give you the same amount and quality of light but consume a fraction of the electricity. You are interested in the light and not in the heat that the bulb generates. There are more efficient ways of heating the room.

11. An appliance that is turned off consumes no power.

False! Some appliances continue to consume power even when they are turned off. The problem is more acute in the standby mode. Air conditioners for example continue to consume power unless they are unplugged. These appliances contribute to what is called the ‘phantom load.’

12. I don’t need efficient LED bulbs, simply dimming the incandescent bulb will help.

False! For one, new LED devices are 8-9 times more efficient than an incandescent. If you are willing to dim it that far – it would be better to use candles! On a more serious note – The relationship between power used and light emitted is not linear. When incandescent bulbs are dimmed – they become even more inefficient as more of the energy emitted by the incandescent is now in the infrared spectrum. This is the reason why high temperature incandescent bulbs have a higher efficiency of illumination. On the other hand if you were to dim one of our frugal and dimmable LED lighting devices the results would be linear and you will save more power.

13. Frequently switching appliances on and off reduces their life span.

False! The notion is truly outdated. In fact scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have demonstrated that computers last longer if they are regularly switched off. This is because a spinning hard drive is more likely to get damaged. The on off cycling was a problem with some earlier models of appliances but new developments mean that new appliances do not experience a significant impact on their life span by being switched on and off repeatedly.

14. Halogen lights are highly energy efficient.

False! While halogen lights do offer a slight improvement on the pathetic performance of the incandescent bulb – they still waste a lot of electricity. Halogen lights will not be able to meet the strict illumination per watt norms that will be introduced in the near future. Halogen lights are only marginally energy efficient and have been truly outclassed by modern LED based lighting devices. Even fluorescent lights that are a generation older and only half as energy efficient as LED bulbs outperform halogen lights by miles!

15. Electric heating is very energy efficient – my incandescent bulbs are an asset in winters.

False! This is a notion that many people have. Incandescent bulbs convert 95% of their energy into heat. While that s a tremendous efficiency ratio – the production of electricity from burning coal is in itself a highly inefficient process. Of the total energy in coal only about a third is converted to electricity and then there are losses in transmission and distribution. The bulb and the electric heater may be terribly efficient but the energy losses have occurred even before the electricity reached the socket! That is why direct combustion fuels like gas are best for heating purposes and work out cheaper than electricity.

16. I don’t need to turn off the computer, the screen saver will help reduce the electricity consumption.

False! The screen saver has no relation with the computer’s energy consumption. To save electricity, the computer must be switched off or put in hibernate/ sleep mode or at the very minimum the monitor must be switched off when the computer is not in use.

17. I leave the computer in the sleep mode – it is a great energy saver!

Only partially true! While the sleep mode is alright if the computer is to be left for a few minutes remember that even in the sleep mode the computer draws 10 watts per second or more. Over extended periods this adds up to significant electricity wastage. If the computer is to be left unattended for long periods, it is best to turn it off.

18. Once I set the thermostat high my building gets heated faster and the reverse is true for air conditioning.

False! Turning the thermostat high means that the electric current will be cut off after the thermostat reaches a higher temperature – it has absolutely no relation with the speed with which the temperature will rise (or fall if an air conditioner is set very low).

19. Energy efficient products are expensive

False! Energy efficient products are usually better designed and last longer, they also have better features and repay any cost difference by energy savings with in a very short span of time.

Just take a look at all of our lighting products, they are offered at competitive prices and are efficient! On top of that, although they may cost a little bit initially, read this blog post on how it will actually pay itself off and how you can achieve the same thing!

20. Electric room heaters help to save energy.

Only partially true! If a large central air conditioning system is switched off and substituted with a small electric room heater or blower you might end up saving some money on heating costs. But this requires that the room where heating is used should be very well insulated to prevent leakage of heat. Moreover the electric heater is more sensible if heating is needed for a very short period of time. Gas heaters that directly heat buildings are better as energy is not lost in conversion from heat to electricity and then back to heat. It is wiser to set the thermostat a couple of degrees lower, wear more woolen clothes and use heavier quilts at night if you really want to save on your heating bill.

21. I want to cut my electricity bill and help save the environment, installing CFL lights will help me do that.

Only partially true! Compared to LED lights, CFL lights consume twice as much energy to produce the same amount of light. Added to that is the fact that LED's lasts 5 times longer than a CFL. Unlike CFL's, they don’t need to be carried to an authorized outlet for safe disposal of hazardous materials. CFL lights contain a small amount of mercury and it is estimated that if all fixtures in US were converted to CFL lights up to 5 tons of mercury would be released in the environment every year. Whether you want to reduce your electricity bill or want to save the earth – LED light bulbs are the best solution.  You will find that among other things they do not produce UV light, power on instantly and can be fitted into the smallest fixtures.

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