Going Off The Grid First Step Reduce Energy Consumption
My wife and I have just moved from New York to Michigan. In NY we had an off grid tiny house on wheels. Here in MI we are taking our on grid homestead off the grid on a budget step by step. Here is the first thing you have to do on the path to energy independence.
If you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on a full house off grid system then this article is not for you. But if you are going off the grid on a budget or bit by bit then please read on.
When going off the grid on a budget you will have to make some life style changes. But there are some simple things you can do first in order to reduce your energy consumption. First of all you should change your light bulbs to energy efficient LED light bulbs. Your home lighting accounts for about 30 percent of your monthly energy bill. When living off the grid on solar power this means that lighting will use up about 30 percent of your available power. This leaves very little for anything else really.
Energy saving LED light bulbs
LED light bulbs have come a long way in recent years in brightness, energy efficiency and cost. Right now you can get LED light bulbs for a couple dollars each. I just got some on sale for a dollar each at True Value Hardware. When you replace your light bulbs with LED bulbs you should see the difference in your first month energy bill. Your new LED light bulbs may actually pay for themselves in the first month.
When living off the grid this means that much more energy is available to you for other things.
A standard incandescent light bulb burns about 60 watts on average. A comparable LED light bulb burns about 8 watts in comparison. This is a huge energy savings. There are different brands of LED light bulbs on the market but the average LED light bulb puts out about 600 - 800 Lumens and burns about 8 - 11 watts of power.
As a rule of thumb you will get about 10 - 1 Lumens to Watts with an LED light bulb. For example a 40 watt LED light bulb will produce around 400 Lumens of light output. A 60 Watt LED light bulb will produce around 600 Lumens of light output. Lumens are a sort of measurement of light intensity to put it simply.
I swapped out all the standard incandescent light bulbs in our new home with energy efficient LED light bulbs. I removed 27 light bulbs in total which were burning over 1,800 watts of energy. I replaced these with LED light bulbs which burn just over 200 watts of energy. That is a huge difference.
Replacing incandescent light bulbs with LED light bulbs
Today's LED light bulbs are actually brighter than standard incandescent light bulbs. You will get much more light output with the same wattage rated bulb but burn just a fraction of the energy.
In the bathroom alone I replaced 8 incandescent light bulbs with only 2 LED light bulbs and have the same light output. This is amazing. Even more amazing is that I was burning just under half a Kilowatt of energy every time I turned on the bathroom light. Now I am only burning about 16 watts of power with the same light switch. That is a huge energy savings.
There is a lot more that you can do in order to reduce your energy cost and usage. But changing your light bulbs is the first and most affordable step that you can take.
One more thing that you can do to reduce energy cost and usage in your home. Turn off the lights every time you leave a room. Leaving the lights on all over the house is a waste of energy which many people are guilty of.
Replaced over 1,800 watts of incandescent light bulbs with just over 200 watts of LED light bulbs
The only light we leave on all night is the outdoor light over the door. This is now an LED light bulb with over 1,000 lumens of light intensity. This one light bulb lights up over half of our 1 acre yard on its own and only burns about a dollar of energy per year according to the package. This is rated at a daily usage of 3 hours per day. Triple that and you are still only spending 3 dollars a year to light up the night.
For off grid solar power living this means that you have much more energy available for other things.
Stay tuned for more off grid and energy saving tips.
You can watch today's video here: Going Off The Grid 1st Step Reduce Energy Consumption
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