Saturday, March 17, 2012

Understanding the New Price of Oil

Gregor Macdonald has written an interesting article entitled "Understanding the New Price of Oil" that explains how over time the factors determining the oil price have changed. Besides that the article has a lot of small tidbits of highly relevant information regarding the future of oil. Worth reeading.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Motion Sensors and Lights

Now that we know that we should always turn the lights off, the next questions is: Is it worth while to put motion or light sensors into the home to turn the light on automatically? Here is an excellent article, entitled "Does a Motion-Activated Light Switch Save Money?". The average consumption of the sensor is around 1W. So, for 24 hours a day, the sensor is consuming 1W. Government guidelines from Australia try push this "phantom" stand-by consumption down to 0.25W. Just this week I bought a lamp with 6 LEDs of which each LED consumes 0.06W, a total of 0.36W for all 6 LEDs combined. Instead of operating a sensor and a light one could just leave a dim LED light on all the time and in comparison to the sensor save energy and money. In conclusion, unless you are forgetful to turn the light off manually or for security concerns, a light or motion sensor for turning the light on at home makes little energy sense.

Turn the Light Off

Once someone told me that he leaves the fluorescent kitchen light on all night even when not in the kitchen because it saves energy and money. According to him the startup of the fluorescent bulb is so high that it compensates for hours of being turned on. I was always curious about this but never found a good answer, until today: According to the article it is always better to turn the fluorescent light off, even if only leaving the room for 5 minutes. The startup peak energy consumption is so short that it does not compensate for leaving the light on. Here is the full article entitled "Does Turning Fluorescent Lights Off Use More Energy Than Leaving Them On?". In short always turn all lights off. This holds true for incandescents, flourescents and LEDs.