>How to Save Energy

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How to Save Energy

March 11, 2009

Volume 1, Edition 1

 In this blog set I will delve deep into my brain to come up with some very high tech, low tech, obvious, and interesting ways to save power. Today’s big way to save power deals with street lamps.

This really only deals with street lamps which are typically only erected for the people who may walk or drive along certain roads. Most street lamps are used to illuminate the roads so people can see at night. This allows drivers to spot pedestrians. It also gives many people a sense of security; knowing they can see someone who might be walking their way, or spot a burglar who thinks night will be a good time to break into your house. It is true that lights can deter crooks as well as make people easier about approaching a house or other building.

Yet, all these lights use a lot of energy. Sure, that energy may be negligible when compared to the amounts of energy needed to power the city during the day. However, it is still energy that is, most often, being used when it’s not needed. These lights already turn themselves on and off every night and day. Using special sensors they can detect when the sun is going down and then when it comes back up. But what if the lights could detect more specific conditions?

If you walk into any Home Depot or Lowes you can find lights with motion sensors on them. These motion sensors detect when something moves in front of the lights. When they detect movement, they turn on. Many people place these lights in their drive way. Others place such lights near the front and back doors to their homes. If a burglar moved in front of these lights, they would turn on. The burglar might think you saw them, or they might become scared that someone will now see then, since he is in light during a dark night. Well, what if the street lamps did this?

Lets pretend that you are walking down the street and the sun begins to set. It is getting dark. You call your family to let them know you’re on your way home. Suddenly, the street lamps begin to light up… but only the street lamps near to you. As you walk down the street, the lamps ahead of you fade on, while the lamps behind you fade to off. In this way, only the lamps you need to see turn on. Considering not too many people walk around at night this may save energy. If you use Bluetooth technology, you could have the lamps turn on in anticipation of an oncoming car. Knowing the speed of the car, the lamp cold turn on at the appropriate time for the passing of the car. With this same Bluetooth technology, cities could tell the lights when to turn on and off for special events. Street lamps could be turned on for parades or block parties, and then turn off after the events are over.

Turing off electronic devices when they’re not being used can save more energy than you think. The less electricity we use, the less fossil fuels the power company has to burn to make that electricity. This reduces greenhouse gasses as well as save money.

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