Lighting the house up…without emptying your pockets.


Wow! I’m so over the electricity bills.

And yet we don’t have the money to move over entirely to solar panels.

We’re in an area where the temperatures are high and dry in summer – mid to occasional high 30’s and dry as.
In winter, though…..-10C is normal, with occasional -14C.

Whilst solar companies sweep through our area from time to time promising A Good Deal, with Premium Panels and the Clincher….backup for maintenance….well let us just say that once they sweep out again they are not inclined to be found for back up. I’m not very techie….I find it easier to deal with the human body than with electricity and all it’s vagaries.


I’m not Off Grid. There. I said it out loud.

Not that I wouldn’t like to be.

I am however, coming to the conclusion that if we lived as if we were Off Grid, that we would use less electricity.


In the interests of this we are looking at testing our appliance’ electricity list. That’s interesting in itself. I could only find testers on ebay. Both of them tested one or two appliances and then died. Finally we found one in Australia. Jaycar has them. Simple ones. And very complicated ones. I have the simple one. So far it works.


Next we are looking to change our fridge over to something that would work if we only had solar. More on that when we try it out.


Also looking to put up solar hot water on the roof. Hoping that it will reduce the usage megabucks.
More on that when we do that as well. We have a model that is recommended for these super cold areas. Saving for that in spring. Not keen to try using it in winter, for the first time.


Whilst trying to find answers to the above issues, it was pointed out to me that LED lights are cheaper than CFL lights. Just for your information, in case you are as clueless as me: LED: Light-Emitting Diodes. CFL: Compact Flourescent Lights.

We’ve been using CFL’s for years to reduce our use of electricity and proud to be doing it. The house has been a trifle dim to be honest, since we started using them. That combined with my failing eyesight has really made it easy to mask some general messy rooms. So it does have some advantages.


On advice that LEDs actually use less electricity than CFL’s I raced to good old Bunnings, and bought 7 of them. 6 bayonet fittings and one screw in fitting. 60W=7.5W.

It was remarkably hard to find the bayonet fittings. Then the 7.5W ones. Other people were obviously into general messiness as well – there were different fittings, Wattages, everything’s in all the boxes together. Arrived at the checkout where the girl showed me we had 3 warm white and 3 day light bulbs. I’d been up for 27 hours at that stage and was in the Care Factor Zero Zone – and went home with them that way.


I climbed up on the kitchen ladder stool (up around 30 hours by then) and replaced the CFL’s in the large Kitchen/dining/everything room – 3 daylight ones and 1 warm light one (over the fireplace/relaxing area.) Turned on the lights and OMG! WOW!
Luckily I was down off the ladder by then, as I kind of reeled backwards at the intense Daylight bulbs. Even the Warm light one was pretty bright.
I put two Warm light ones in the hallway at either end.
My room is lit up by the unexpectedly intense Day Light screw in bulb in my bedlamp. Wow.


Initial reactions in the kitchen were….Whoa there! As the 4 lights are on two switches we put two of the lights off – it was hurting our eyes it was so bright.
Then I realised that the general messiness was so much more apparent, and possibly not so general…
I’m wondering now if we could put each light on it’s own switch, as I’m pretty sure we could just use one light for most purposes, not 2 or 4.


My son came home, blinked twice, then picked up the special glasses he purchased to dull certain parts of light so he can reset his body clock.
I might need a pair now myself!


In my room, I realised it really is time that I get cracking and sort out all those things that have no other place in the house…except to clutter up my room. That’s today’s job.


Back in the main living area…..as I sat there, up in excess of 30 hours….drinking a glass of red wine, watching the kids cooking dinner, it occurred to me to wonder….are these lights really cheaper to run? Or did I just believe someone was telling me the truth, and in my walking asleep state just buy a load of bills that would turn up in another 3 months?


Online today I looked at this site http://www.thesimpledollar.com/the-light-bulb-showdown-leds-vs-cfls-vs-incandescent-bulbs-whats-the-best-deal-now-and-in-the-future/ and I was relieved to see that it is true they use less. CFL’s use A Lot Less than the old style bulbs. LED’s use A Little Less than CFL’s and don’t cost that much extra, and that’s not taking into consideration how long the LED’s should last, or how many lights you have in a house.


I am tentatively happy with changing over the bulbs. I have just started a new bill cycle for electricity so will be pleased to see any difference in the bill taking these into consideration.


There is another issue with them though.
After living in the dimness of CFL’s for years, Daylight bulbs are a bit wearing on our eyes. I’m thinking of putting one of them into the bathroom, where it would be nice to be able to see well as you put on your make up (about once or twice in a blue moon) and not go out with your cheeks lit up like Rudolph’s nose because you couldn’t see well.


It would also be a bonus to be able to pick out the Huntsmen spiders on the walls. If we decide to paint the wood walls white we may need to tone down that bulb as well though.

4 Warm lights in the main living room may make it only visible to anyone in space, rather than in the next solar system is it would be with 4 Daylight bulbs.


My daughter (who was not up for 27 hours prior to going to Bunnings) says that there were also bulbs labelled Classic and Cool White.


I’m not sure where the Classic and Cool White come on the Blindingly Bright to Bearable Light Spectrum. Daughter has suggested that I ask them to plug them into their light display at Bunnings before I puchase them. If you see a Bunnings lit up from across the globe could you txt me just two letters, please? N and O.

I can see clearly now…..and yes, that d@mn ceiling Does need painting!

Here is a photo of Daylight Outside, in lieu of my dirty ceiling – nature is so much cleaner.


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