DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > Saving money (electricity) isn't working out...

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-25-2009, 09:50 AM  
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 19
Default Saving money (electricity) isn't working out...

Last year I "finished" my basement. (Well, put up insulation and actual walls with drywall, and new wiring throughout, etc.)

This room is basically one big play room for the kids, with two smaller rooms as well (a utility/furnace room, and a small little office).

I have in the main area, four light fixtures. Cheap things, just taking standard screw-in light bulbs. I planned to put in CFLs there, like I have for most of the house. But I also installed an automatic light switch. (My kids are notorious for leaving the light on, and I was getting tired of going down at night to turn everything off.)

What I discovered was that the automatic light switches apparently still send a current through the lights. For CFLs, this is bad, because they end up flashing on and off every 5 seconds or so as a result. Turns out, you have to use incandescent bulbs instead, which use way more power.

So, I'm not entirely convinced I'm saving money. Since there is apparently power always running through the lights, there is an energy trickle going on even when the switch is "off". And occasionally my kids decide to override the automatic switch, which results in 400-watts of power running all night long.


Is there such thing as an automatic light switch that would allow me to use CFLs instead? The other option would be to replace the light fixtures with regular fluorescent lighting, but I'm trying to save money, not spend a lot of money right now.


RyanBruner is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2009, 11:10 AM  
Senior Member
handyguys's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 815
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Send a message via Skype™ to handyguys

How about those mechanical timer switches. Turn the knob and they are on for 60 minutes or whatever. Yeah a pain in the butt but hey, they are kids. Put in a nightlight if it would get too dark to find the switch.

Here is one
Coleman Cable 59717 60-Minute Switch Timer for Outlet and Appliance , White
The Handyguys Podcast [url][/url]
handyguys is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2009, 12:15 PM  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 1,133
Liked 153 Times on 125 Posts
Likes Given: 5


You need an automatic switch that requires a neutral wire. Then it won't need to send current through the lamp to operate. Hope you didn't use switch loops. Because then you can't use the switches requiring neutrals.
Here is a couple that should work. They specifically say work with electronic ballasts.

Last edited by JoeD; 09-25-2009 at 12:20 PM.
JoeD is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter DIY Home Repair Forum Replies Last Post
Saving Money on Granite Countertops fozzy40 General Home Improvement Discussion 5 08-25-2008 11:45 PM
Best central vac systems for the money? patti87 General Appliance Discussion 0 06-24-2008 03:21 PM
Utilize your money wisely. inspectorD General Home Improvement Discussion 1 03-25-2008 06:46 AM
Static electricity and superstition. K2eoj Electrical and Wiring 5 12-01-2006 05:28 PM
Electricity Tips single1 Electrical and Wiring 1 09-23-2005 12:33 PM

Newest Threads