Energy Efficient Updates

By Robert Robillard on Energy Saving

Kickoff 2013 with Energy Efficient Do-It-Yourself UpdatesEnergy Efficient Updates

Guest blog post by Jay Sherman, Leviton Director of Marketing, Residential

Each year, Leviton kicks off the New Year at the International Builders’ Show (IBS). We attended the show in Las Vegas from January 22 – 24, meeting with builders, contractors and homeowners to demonstrate our newest and most innovative home solutions. As the building and remodeling industry begins to reenergize, IBS 2013 provided the ideal showcase for the latest in home technology. As you dive into 2013 and consider updates to your home, consider simple DIY projects to help achieve energy efficiency and increased comfort, convenience and safety in your home.

Installing New Receptacles / USB Charger Receptacles

With the expanding usage of electronic devices that require chargingEnergy Efficient Updates through a USB cord, today’s homeowner is in a daily battle at home for outlet space to charge their devices. But now, the days of dealing with unsightly, cumbersome cords and bulky adapters are over with the emergence of USB Charger Receptacles.

Install a USB Charger Receptacle for the added convenience of charging tablets, smart and mobile phones, gaming devices, e-readers, digital cameras and a host of other electronic devices, with two vertical USB Ports, providing additional space for maneuvering of charging cords while leaving a receptacle open to power other devices.

AFCI Receptacles

The National Electrical Code® now requires AFCI Protection in many areas throughout the home to offer protection from arc- faults that may lead to electrical fires from damage in both branch circuit wiring as well as extensions to branches such as appliances and cord sets. Install the industry-first AFCI to detect a wide range of arcing electrical faults and help reduce the likelihood of your home’s electrical system being an ignition source of a fire.

Advanced Lighting Solutions:  Dimming Technology

As energy efficient lighting solutions such as LED and CFL bulbs continue to become more and more popular, new lighting control solutions are required for optimal performance of energy-efficient bulbs. Newer, energy-efficient bulbs have specific needs for effective dimming and to address performance issues. Homeowners expect the dimming devices they’ve been using for years with incandescent bulbs will give the same level of performance when using an energy efficient bulb. Instead they often face performance issues – such as flickering, reduced dimming range and low level start-up –experienced when incandescent-only dimmers are paired with dimmable LED and CFL bulbs.

So, what should you do? Here are a few solutions:

  • Ensure you are using bulbs marked “Dimmable.” The marking will appear on the product packaging or the product itself.
  • Verify if the dimmer has a low end adjustment and reset the low end to reduce the flicker.
  • Use a dimmer that is designed specifically for dimmable LED or CFL bulbs.
  • Use the same manufacturer’s bulbs and the same type of bulbs for each dimmer (if there are a series).

Energy Efficient Motion Sensors

How many times have you or someone you live with forgotten to turn off the lights when leaving a room? Or, how often do you walk into a room with your arms filled with laundry or groceries leaving you to navigate around the room in the dark? Motion sensor switches know when you enter or exit a room, automatically turning lights ON and OFF. In addition to the convenience of hands-free switching, motion sensors ensure that lights are not left ON unnecessarily for hours at a time preventing wasteful electricity use.

For added convenience, try a dimming sensor device to easily set lighting levels of compatible dimmable LED, CFL and incandescent bulbs, ideal for a baby’s room or similar applications a low-level of light is necessary when the device automatically detects motion.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Writer / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. He also writes the "Ask the Carpenter" advice column in the Boston Globe, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob <a href="https://profiles.google.com/concordcarpenter"

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