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Old 06-14-2007, 07:33 PM   #11
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Aren't skylights bad for insulation? I've heard this but I'm not sure...

I just walk around in the dark anyway.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:03 PM   #12
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NOTE: I'm not talking about traditional "nightlights" (that burn several watts each) here. I'm specifically talking about newer (110v plug in) LED based nightlights, that use the same LED technology used in energy saving LED flashlights. Such "nightlights" are considerably more energy efficient than the old style nightlights were (for about the same amount of light). In fact, some LED nightlights are even more energy efficient (in terms of light for power used) than CF bulbs are. Their total light output is small (LEDs are mostly good for lower light "spot lighting"), but their actual energy efficiency is high. So if you just need "a little light" to avoid tripping over the floor, or walking into the wall, LED lighting is ideal (as you can leave it on constantly, due to the very low power usage of each "nightlight" (I have some LED nightlights that only use about 1/3 of a watt of power each)!!!
DracoFelis,

To add to your note, I'm using some motion sensing night lights in the hallways. So "motion sensing LED based nightlights" may be better because why keep a hallway lit when no one's moving through it? The motion sensor also detects if it's daytime so the nightlights automatically stay off during the day, no matter how much motion occurs in front of it.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:05 PM   #13
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How much do said motion sensors cost?
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:43 PM   #14
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i have the same ones it sounds like and i think mine were 18 bucks.
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:02 PM   #15
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To add to your note, I'm using some motion sensing night lights in the hallways. So "motion sensing LED based nightlights" may be better because why keep a hallway lit when no one's moving through it?
Keep in mind that most "motion sensors" use a little power for the sensor itself (how much I'm not sure, but virtually all "motion sensors" are active circuits that do use some power even when their "load" is "off"). While this is a great trade-off when you have a higher power light/load (as the small power for the sensor will be more than recovered by not running the "light" as often as you otherwise would), the trade-off gets worse and worse as power levels for "on" get lower.

So if you are powering a really low power load anyway (say a 1/3 watt nightlight), my theory is that you may be better off (power usage wise) avoiding the motion sensor, and just powering the light/load more often then you technically "need" to. IMHO you should save the "moton sensors" for those situations where you want a fair amount of light (for example, several florescent bulbs) to come on when someone walks in the area. Because motion sensors make a lot of sense for auto-controlling less used (but still noticeable) power usage lighting situations. But for really low "night light" situations, I think you are usually better off avoiding the motion sensor, and instead just letting the low power light run more often.

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The motion sensor also detects if it's daytime so the nightlights automatically stay off during the day, no matter how much motion occurs in front of it.
FWIW the LED "nightlights" I got had built-in light sensors. So when it was "bright enough" (i.e. when the light figured it was "day" based upon it's light sensor), the nightlight shut itself off (saving even the slight power the light otherwise uses). Honestly I don't think this saves a huge amount of power (when you are talking only about 1/3 watt of power during "on" anyway), but it was a feature built into the nightlights I got. And that feature probably does save a very small amount of power, by allowing some of the nightlights to run only about 1/2 of the day (on average), instead of running 24/7.

But really, even if all my 1/3 watt "nightlights" (around the house) were running 24/7, their electrical loads would still be small compared to things like the fridge (or even just the chargers for my wireless phones). Remember, at about 1/3 watt per light, we are talking only a 10 watt load for 30 of the things scattered in stratigic places around the house. And while none of those nightlights produces much light (they really are "nightlights"), they do produce enough light to avoid tripping when walking down an otherwise "dark" hall...
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:12 PM   #16
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they stop me from turning the big lights on that go down the hall way 80% of the time so i think that saves the most
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:36 PM   #17
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i love using the twisty style flourecent ulbs in my fan cuz usualyl the vibration would be enough to burn out a standard bulb in about a month. i have the same twisty bulb and my fan stays on 24/7 its been in there for shees a year or more.i also love how the bulbs do not radiate much heat at all. so their perfect for those garage clamp lights or a clamp reading light.
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Old 06-15-2007, 12:03 AM   #18
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How much do said motion sensors cost?
SVOboy,

Honestly, I forget because it was a while ago. I got them from Home Depot if that helps. They use incandescent bulbs, but I intentionally bought a set of lower wattage bulbs. I've even forgotten the exact wattage of either original or replacement bulbs. I mainly got it for the motion sensing, daytime sensing , bright enough to see, and dim enough to avoid bright enough induced insomnia.
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Old 06-15-2007, 07:08 AM   #19
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Aren't skylights bad for insulation? I've heard this but I'm not sure...

I just walk around in the dark anyway.
In general it's a tradeoff with a net gain in solar heating - if direct sunlight shines through them during the heating season. The tubes that I have installed however are a relatively small surface area and do not present a noticeable cooling effect on even the coldest nights.

Where people get into trouble with skylights is with overdoing it. They end up with too much direct solar heating in the daytime only to be frozen out at night. Moderation is the key.
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