Kill-A-Watt: A Campaign to Increase Energy Efficiency on the Columbia University Campus

Monday, April 17, 2006


I know what you're thinking: An entire post on lighting? Does she think I'm a moron? Before I begin I promise that I will say more than turn off your lights.

With that said, I want to start off with a friendly reminder to turn your lights off when you leave your room. It's a simple habit that can save a lot of energy. It's also something that you should be able to do no matter how busy you are. You won't be late to class for taking an extra second to turn your lights off.

Now on to the less obvious tips. Try to decorate with light colors. Dark colors absorb light, causing you to use more energy in lighting you room. If you use light colors to decorate, you will relay more on natural sun light. Not only will this conserve energy, it will make stressful times such as studying for finals a little more tolerable.

The types of lights you use in your dorm also play a part in your room's energy efficiency. One large light bulb is more efficient than several small ones. The efficiency of incandescent light bulbs, as well as most other light sources, increases with wattage. This means that one 100-watt incandescent bulb provides approximately the same amount of light as two 60-watt bulbs or four 40-watt bulbs, but consumes less energy. Compact fluorescent lights should also be used instead of incandescent bulbs whenever possible. Compact fluorescent lights are three to four times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last ten times longer.

Like all of the other suggestions presented in this blog, turning off lights when they're not in use and making smart choices when purchasing additional lighting for your room are extremely easy things to do. Unlike many other good habits, energy efficient choices are just smarter, not harder.

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