Maximizing Available Electricity

Maximizing Energy without Overloading Your Outlets

Does the outlet in this picture look familiar? Have you ever added so many extension cords to an outlet that it looks like an octopus?

If you’re constructing a new house, you will install a central breaker panel with a service that’s capable of

providing adequate electricity for modern living. High-draw appliances like air conditioners, multiple refrigerators, a chest freezer, space heaters, etc. are in common usage.

If, however, you live in a location where the electrical service can’t be upgraded, or the wiring in your house can’t take any more load, but you want to increase the number of light fixtures, or total light output, consider switching to LED source lighting. In recent years, environmental and cost concerns have caused governments to enact legislation that forces manufacturers to develop more efficient lighting. Light production accounts for roughly 20% of the load on the North American power grid.

Besides the obvious benefit of less current draw, which equals less money spent on electricity, installation of LED source lighting will reduce air conditioning costs, because it produces very little heat when in use. Because of its directionality, it will save you even further electricity because you can put bright, useful light precisely where you want it, without resorting to overhead fixtures that illuminate the whole room. In short, the energy savings provided by LED will be increased by the design flexibility that it affords.

If you chose, you can purchase LED conversion bulbs that will simply replace your existing incandescent, fluorescent tube, or compact fluorescent bulbs. While this option will immediately address power usage issues, bulbs that are direct replacements are more expensive to purchase. You may wish to consider some new luminaires (lamps or light fixtures) as well. A great option for workspace lighting, in locations like the kitchen, is LED light strips. At, they are available in a can wide variety or color temperature and intensity, and all of the pieces for your job can be purchased individually, or in convenient kits. If you want to perform the installation yourself, you can obtain ballasts which plug directly into the wall, thereby allowing you to connect them to your household electrical yourself.

With the increased efficacy (ability to covert electricity to light) and more flexibility offered by LED lighting, you should experience a considerably reduced current draw, and the associated benefit of lower energy cost.




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