Do you have that one light that never gets turned off? Do you sit in the theater and worry that your home electric meter is spinning? You need a smart wall switch with an occupancy sensor! An occupancy sensor turns out your lights automatically after you walk out of the room and even turns them on after you enter. “Install an automatic light switch? Electricity intimidates me,” you say? The last thing you want to add to your to do list is “Program My Bathroom Light Switch?” Black and Decker says, “This switch is for you,” the LIGHTS OUT Autoswitch.
The switch installs easily and it just works. Your replace only 2 screws and the switch cover plate never leaves the wall. No wiring or special tools required. Wow, that’s easy. “OK,” you say smugly, “This might be a smart wall switch but it’s just another no pain, no gain disappointing gadget.” Wrong again, techno-arrogant one! Check out these features: The time off delay adjusts and it even compensates for backlight. Holy Double Energy Savings, Batman! The light never turns on when the sun is shining through the window!! This switch is saving me $50/year, even with relatively inexpensive St Louis Ameren rates (but it’s noisy, so be careful where you use it.)
WARNING: If it’s been a long time since you’ve been in the 5th grade you might want to skip this part. Get out your calculator, here’s the math!
My bathroom light is left on easily 4 hours a day 365 days a year so multiply 365 by 4 and the bathroom light is left on an amazing 1,460 hours a year. You’re household might be better unless you have kids.
I have 4 light bulbs in my bathroom, 100 watts each, so those bad boys are using 400 watts of electricity. Multiply 1,460 hours by 400 watts and I can’t believe we’re wasting 584,000 watt-hours of electricity a year. Don’t sell the kids yet, that’s only 584 kilowatt-hours on your electric bill.
Ameren is charging me an average of 8 ½ cents (including local taxes) for 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity. So we’re wasting 8 ½ cents multiplied by 584 kilowatt-hours. If you’ve kept your interest this long you know that we were wasting $49.64/year. Wow.
Use this modest switch on its own merits, it installs easily and saves you money. Or just test drive your application before you buy that expensive electronic marvel and you can move this switch on to its next challenge. The choice is yours. The Black and Decker Lights Out Autoswitch is a bargain at only $19.89 from Amazon.
Price to Buy: $19.89
Price to Do Nothing: $49.64/YR
THE GREEN: Easy to install, advanced features and it saves you money. After 6 months it’s putting money in your pocket. No brainer.
THE LEAN: Requires batteries and it’s noisy. Might want to graduate to an electronic switch if the application works for you.
In Part 2 of this series, I’ll report on the installation and easy set up.