Where is my electricity going?



a
Yep - I found a cat happily sunning itself under mine a while back. They even know that when it goes off they need to move their butts to get it back on again. Had to move the sensor to ensure ground based objects don't trigger.
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off.
Shortly after moving into our current house I replaced the 500 watt halogen in our back yard with a sensor driven 60 watt bulkhead. The light level is more than sufficient in a smallish area. The 500 watt halogen (not PIR triggered) has been relocated to adequately illuminates the paddock beyond the yard. IMO most 500 watt halogen fittings are totally unsuitable for the usage they are put to. Usually small front gardens where they annoy the neighbours, or dazzle oncoming cars. In a previous house a PIR 500 watt halogen on the garage door pillar made it impossible to reverse into the garage due to the glare. It was replaced with a 15 watt Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) in a coach lamp on a timer.
I also changed the inherited 3 x 100 lamps at the front of our current house with 2 x 15 and 1 x 7 watt CFL's. As these are on daily in the winter from 4.30pm to 1am (no street lamps here!) they alone are saving us a fortune! I also use CFL's in all fittings in usually inhabited rooms.
Our electricity bills are about a third of the previous owners of the house. We average 18 units per day in the winter. Given we're a family of four, living in a pitch black rural location, and I work at home on a PC three long days per week I'm pretty happy with this.
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On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 18:34:37 -0000, Doctor D wrote:

So you are outside every evening, in the winter? Why bother lighting the outside when you are, presumably, inside and still awake? Any tea leaf will wait an hour or two after you switch 'em off before quietly breaking in under the cover of darkness.
I do agree that using CFLs for the lights that are on most often is a very good idea from the lecky bill point of view. Pay back even at 5p/unit on our 6 lounge lights at ฃ9 each is/was something like 6 months.
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?On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 18:34:37 -0000, Doctor D wrote:

Some insurance policies now insist on such lighting.

Don't tell the insurers :-)
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On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 23:20:38 -0000, Mike wrote:

Presumably for some measly discount which you the spend on electricity or is it a condition of cover, in which case what happens if there is a power cut? And presumably has to be fully automatic with no easy abilty to switch off.

Quite, they really don't live in the real world do they?
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It's a condition. No way round. I don't like it any more than Part P but few insurers will touch rural properties nowadays. If you go into the country at night now all you can see is houses glowing in the distance.

I think they regard themselves as the 'real world' and us as a warped figment of the imagination (with thanks to Hitchhiker whenever)
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On Sun, 23 Jan 2005 00:22:33 -0000, Mike wrote:

Not round here, some have a lone 60W bulkhead over the door they use the most but thats about it, certainly no permenant all round illumination.
(Makes mental note to check insurance policy...)
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I would. It was in this year's renewal together with a whole host of security upgrades to locks and so on. We couldn't meet ome of them as it would have meant hacking a several hundred year old door so had to pay a surcharge.
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wrote:

There is a downside to this though. When I first moved into my current house it had this arrangement, ie a low wattage bulb on all night. It was only after we had our cars broken into a couple of times it occurred to me what the problem with this was. Continuous low power illumination provides just enough light for anyone thinking about breaking into the house or car to see what they're doing, but often not enough light for them to feel vulnerable to being seen by someone.
I then fitted a 500w pir floodlight, which has seemed to have the desired effect*. The cars are now normally in complete darkness, but as soon as anyone walks within a few feet of them they are spot lit from directly above, and very easily visible from mine and my neighbours windows.
Nick
* Of course sod's law says that my car will probably be broken into tonight after saying this.......
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 10:39:25 +0000, Nick Read wrote:

Quite a valid argument especially in a quiet place where there are few passers by.

Think I'd keep the complete darkness, some one wanging a torch about is much more likely to attract attention than the steady glow from a fixed light. Mind you it depends on how dark your "complete darkness" is, here it is star or moonlight only. OK both are actually good enough to move about in and a full moon is very bright, plenty of light to be up to no good or be seen by. But we also tend to have a lot of cloud so dark is can't see your hand in front of your nose dark.
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Chris wrote:

Teenager + Lightswitch = ฃฃฃ
OT
I can't help wondering if I could make my fortune by designing a switch with only and "ON" function and save mony in manufacturing. It's likely to sell quite well as there is a large proportion of the population that don't use the "OFF" side of the switch at all; ever.
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Why is this restricted to teenagers ? Those of the fairer sex of any age suffer the same affliction.
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[18 lines snipped]

Mine must be an exception. She switches off lights quite happily.
Getting her to shut doors is a different matter.
And is there a woman on the planet who understands the principle of thermostasis?
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"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
[email me at huge [at] huge [dot] org [dot] uk]
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If it was 'leaking' it would likely be heating something and you would know about.
Alternative the leak would be so large that it would blow a fuse!

Immersion heater left on? Daytime use to tumble drier, any electric fires or fan heaters?

Yes turn everything off and watch the meter.
--

Michael Chare






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To take all the points raised!
Children of 6 & 4 also leave all lights on - back to CFL's again!
No worries about crime here, our car insurance is much cheaper than it was in "nice" Surrey and no comments from buildings/contents insurance companies. Our cars are locked away in the garage at night, but neighbours have no problems.
I take the point about external lighting, but in reality a 500 watt light would not wake us, and despite being in a village, our neighbours are not close enough to see or hear anything either. The reason for leaving them on is mainly for visitor and general aesthetics. The cost is so low with CFL's, and the fittings were already there. I did splash out ฃ20 on a Screwfix timer with random function though!
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