Lights Out! NOW!

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There are so many things our kids (and ourselves!) take for granted these days. How many people do you know under the age of 50 that do NOT have internet access? I know one, and even he goes to the library from time to time to check in online. How about a house without a phone of some sort (cell or land line) How about one without running water? Electricity?

Exactly. Yet there are large portions of this planet that do NOT have those items, yet here we sit, fat, happy, sassy, and oblivious to how good we have it.

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Honestly, that is fine by me, many of us have worked hard to get where we are. I prefer to be in an air conditioned structure, I won’t lie.

But I also prefer to save money, particularly money that shouldn’t have been spent in the first place.

Yes, I’m talking about lights. Empty room, lights are on. Drives me nuts.

Sure, there are other money guzzling things in a house, as far as electricity goes – wall warts (those over sized plugs that convert 110 into some low voltage, normally

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for some small electronic device),  VCRs/DVDs/BlueRay players, TVs, water heaters, fans, A/C units, freezers, fridges, clocks, video games(!), answering machines, the list seems to go on forever….and I know it, and fret about it from time to time…

….but the damned lights burning when no one is in the room, pisses me off on a daily basis. Every second of wasted light is wasted money, as far as I’m concerned. And that is a funny statement coming from me, since I’m not normally money-motivated. It must be the “senseless waste” parts the bugs me….

I walked through the house tonight, working on renovating a bedroom for my youngest, and I promise from 5pm til 9pm, I turned off the same four lights at least 5 times each. What was my out of pocket cost for the time I saved from those lights burning? Probably not even a dollar…. But even if it is only a dime, it is a WASTED dime.

We are such a wasteful, complacent society, I am almost embarrassed at times.

Want to see your family lose their minds? Go throw the main breaker, and pretend to not know what happened, or how to fix it for a day…or two. Even if you did it at a time when weather (hot or cold) wouldn’t adversely affect the situation, I would bet the farm that your family would be ready to go spend the night at a hotel before spending one more night in “the Dead House”.

After a power outage happens here, I’ve seen my family start wandering aimlessly, looking for something to do. Immediately, everyone would gravitate to their cell phones (a very sad statement). My wife would putter around cleaning up a bit, then go grab her Kindle to read. At least that was constructive. My teenager would moan and groan, begging to go ANYWHERE with power.

But after the power came back, all the lights were turned on, as though we had to catch up on the lost opportunity to burn energy up.

It just frustrates me. So I think I am going to take a page out of my local grocery store’s operations manual. When you walk up to a refrigerated unit, motion sensors turn the lights on. Shortly after you move away, the lights go out.


I want to put one of these motion sensing light switches in every common room.


And then I’m going to buy a Kill A Watt electricity usage monitor, and find out just how much juice we are wasting….

That should REALLY piss me off!


Do you have issues with waste, particularly electricity and/or lights? Let me know in the comment section below.



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  1. I get equally upset when someone turns a light ON when it is day time and bright and sunny in a room. Then when they leave the room with the light still on I really lose it!

    When I try to teach kids about a time before electricity (in the pioneer house) may bigest challenge is for them to actually understand the concept of electricity. They just take it for granted that it has always existed and will always be there.

    Great idea to flip the switch for a day or two……just like your TC Muzzleloaders the family would probably be most uncomfortable – but just maybe appreciate electricity that much more.

  2. Great article as usual! I started looking at water waste differently after having the teen german girls stay with us. They turn the water off at least 4 times during their showers. I don’t go to that extreme but i definitely cut the length and don’t “soak” in the shower anymore. I also pour un-drunk water bottle and water cup remainders into the pet’s water dish instead of down the drain.

    Your brother is the same light and ceiling fan “enforcer/teeth clencher” you are! I always thought about (but never implemented) having something like a swear jar but for lights left on.

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