In this installation, the customer needed a rewire but wanted to bring the house up to date in a low energy consumption way. There were many things that I could do.
The customer was advised to have at least two lighting circuits in each of the multi-use rooms, ie; bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms and kitchen. One for task lighting and one for mood or low-level lighting. The reason for this is that when a low level or mood lighting is required, it is far more efficient and also more aesthetically pleasing to have a dedicated circuit running LEDs or table lamps with CFLs than to dim the main task light (some dimmer’s uses nearly the same amount of energy to dim as to run normally) unless using expensive digital dimmers.
In the kitchen / diner where a high level and long duration of lighting is required I installed six lighting circuits to give complete control of the lighting needs. Circuit 1 is the under-unit lighting using warm colour fluorescents, which give a good level of light where it is needed most at a low running cost. Under-unit lights were ideal because the closer a source of light is to whatever it is that needs to be illuminated (in this case a worktop) then the lower the wattage the lamp needs to be. Circuits 2, 3 and 4 are general lighting using high powered LED downlights (a 3 watt LED lamp is approximate to a 35 watt halogen lamp in light output, with a 100,000 hour life, and running cost of £0.0004 per hour) which give the user 3 levels of task lighting, Circuit 5 is wall lights which give a warm and pleasant glow and circuit 6 is a 5 amp circuit for table lamps fitted with compact fluorescents.
I was also able to advise the customer to fit Sava Plugs to their fridge freezer. Fridges and freezes are among the most expensive appliances to run per anum. The motor which pumps the coolant around the system is switched by a thermostat, the motor needs more power to start the coolant moving around the system than it uses to keep the coolant moving. With the simple fitment of a Sava Plug, you can reduce the annual running cost of your fridge by up to 20%.
I also advised the customer about lighting in communication areas, ie; hallways and landings where lights tend to be left on when nobody is in the area. In response to this I fitted PIRs which detect movement to the hallway and landing areas. So that when someone enters the area, the lights switch on. Then after a pre-determined time they switch themselves off again. PIRs can be used in any room where short visits are the norm.