Automatic lighting controls are an effective and low-cost means
to save energy. For the most part, they’re very quick and simple
Timers are affordable and easy to operate. Depending on the
model, they can be programmed to turn lights and appliances on
and off over a 24-hour period or seven-day period.
Motion / occupancy sensors
Motion sensors are commonly found in outdoor areas such as
decks or courtyards. When motion is detected, the light goes on,
and remains on until movement stops. Motion sensors can also
be installed in common areas such as a building’s ‘party room,’
storage rooms, laundry room, hallways and landings.
Photocells control lighting based on the amount of ambient
light, and are a good choice for outdoor security lights, which
turn on as daylight dims, and turn off when the sun comes up.
Photocells can be paired with a timer, so lights go on as evening
sets in, but then turn off automatically after a pre-set amount of
time if it is not necessary for the lights to stay on all night.
Because exit signs are always on, they should definitely be on
your list of projects to reduce energy consumption. Old-style exit
signs are lit with incandescent bulbs; you’ll know them because
they feel hot to the touch. One option is to retrofit the sign with
CFL bulbs. Other options include installing LED lights using a
retrofit kit, or replacing the sign altogether with an LED one,
which can save 90% in operating costs. BC Hydro estimates that
each changed sign can save over $25 of electricity per year. You
can learn more at eco-strata.com.
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