Saturday, 26 November 2011

Don't Just Turn Me On And Leave Me...

...was the catchy sticker placed above every light switch at my last workplace.

Other than making me smile every time I walked past, these cheeky stickers made a very good point. With the nights creeping forwards and the days getting shorter a warm glow in the house makes all the difference at the moment but the temptation to rush around the house turning ever single light on should be avoided at all costs.

A habit I have grown up with is walking around the house in the dark at night times. I don't mean sleep walking, but if I'm just popping upstairs to get something I won't bother turning the kitchen and stairs lights on because I know where I'm going and I don't need to. I perfected this art in our family home being able to negotiate from the warm bright living-room into the darkness and through the hall, up the stairs round the corner and along another passageway to get to my room, and then back again. Occasionally if there were two people doing this there were minor collisions and surprises but very rarely. It's even more tempting in Preston because the lights to the stairs and kitchen are both on the far side of the kitchen wall. I can only turn them on or off when I enter the room, not when I go upstairs, so I normally don't bother. If I did, I'd be tempted to forget and leave them on for ages.

My reasons behind walking in the dark were 1) I couldn't be bothered to turn the light on,
                                                                       2) It was quite fun seeing if I could,
                                                                       3) It saved electricity.

I'm not suggesting we should all perfect our night vision but turning lights off when no-one's in the room is a definite must. It just makes sense. Turning lights on only when they're really needed, and turning them straight off when they're not saves energy, electricity and thus precious money.

And don't be fooled by those who tell you it takes more energy to turn a light off and on again than to leave it on. If you're out of the room for more than a few minutes- turn it off!  If you're in the room for less than a few minutes think about what the stickers at my work say, maybe you don't need to turn them on at all?


  1. I have two stories relating to this!

    At my college, there was a poster in the kitchen, with a guy and a girl (cartoon versions!) in bed, with the message "turn it off before you turn it on!" - save the environment, have sex in the dark!


    My boss stole our tube lights because we left the lights on in our office yesterday. She actually took the light bulbs and locked them away! We get them back 24 hours later...

  2. Thanks for the comments EagleBob! Really interesting. Maybe the way to get the environment into young people's mind is to make it sexy?!