Can Home Automation reduce my electric bills in reality?

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by kripalikutir, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. kripalikutir macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2016
    Hello Everyone,
    I am looking to automate by home, in terms of Lighting & sensors, but the problem is that i am layman in terms of Automation.
    Can anyone please assist / guide me on the above concern raised regarding Home Automation.

    Thanks in advance..

    Kripali K
  2. chuyn macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2015
    That depends on your habits. If you're already in the habit of turning lights off when you leave rooms, only using the ones you need.. sensors won't save you much, if any. If you were "lazier" and just left all the lights on all day, yes, motion sensors can help. What will save the most electricity is switching to LED bulbs (~9W per bulb vs 60W).
  3. SouthernTeuchter macrumors newbie


    Nov 14, 2016
    There's also the security side of things to consider. Some of my house lights now come on automatically when it gets dark to make it look like there's someone home. This might arguably cost me more in power. Except that in switching to Hue lights I've move from standard bulbs and/or CFL to LED - and so am almost certainly saving power despite the lights being on longer... ;)
  4. vondo macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2013
    I use the Lutron Caseta stuff and the default way to do this is with dimmers. I actually use the low setting a lot. OK, I often have lights on I wouldn't otherwise. But a lot of the time those lights are set to 10% which is enough to wander the house by, not enough to read a book by. So yeah, it depends on your habits, but it opens up the possibility to use lights at less than full power.
  5. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    but then at £50 for a single Hue lightbulb, that'll take a while to recoup in terms of electricity savings.. :p
  6. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    I'm not sure automation has saved much money with the exception of my presence-detecting thermostat. Lights and such make up a very small percentage of my electricity bill to be honest as I have all LED bulbs everywhere. Certainly there's a cost in the initial investment, but given how long they last, it's just a matter of time until they pay for themseleves. But as it's only $0.50 per year per light if I leave them on 24/7, it'll take a while.

    As for automation, I view it more as a security measure. Outside lights coming on before sundown and turning off at sunrise - don't have to remember to turn on/off and don't have to worry when on vacation. Same with certain inside lights - can give the impression that someone is home even when not.

    Voice control of out lights is certainly convenient, however. Yes, it's easy enough to get up off one's butt to turn off a light. But it's nice to be able to just ask Siri/Alexa to "turn off the downstairs lights" when I'm on my way to bed.

    My big electricity users are things one can't really automate - washer/dryer, refrigerator and water heater (yes, there are some options for water heaters, but as there are usually four or five persons living in the house at any one time, there's not much of an opportunity to shut the water heater down for any significant amount of time).

    The thermostat is the main one that can be managed, and of course there's tons of options in that regard.
  7. SouthernTeuchter macrumors newbie


    Nov 14, 2016
    Not entirely sure who you're paying £50 a bulb to but... Hey, there's this great new online store for hue stuff - think they do them for around £15. Well, not just hue stuff; they sell all sorts of things actually. The name? Oh yeah, sure. It's called "Amazon"... Yeah, like the rain forest.

  8. mrklaw macrumors 68020

    Jan 29, 2008
    The colour ones are £50. I bought some of the £25 colour temp adjustable white ones (ambience?) for the living room, and some of the cheaper £15 simple white ones for hallway/stairs.
  9. SouthernTeuchter macrumors newbie


    Nov 14, 2016
    I know. So quoting £50 as a comparison is somewhat disingenuous. Unless you are running a disco at home.
  10. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Same here -- my Ecobee thermostats (that sense when nobody is home) have saved me a decent amount of money.

    The other home automation I've done has been just for fun, with the side benefits of convenience and safety. No money saved there.
  11. gsmornot macrumors 68030


    Sep 29, 2014
    I might save some with my Ecobee's as well but I was already using programable units setup pretty well. Most of what I have done is for automation and comfort. Some is for security or the appearance of it anyhow. Most of my bulbs I used most often were already LED before I started with smart bulbs. Like said earlier though, we dim some of them that in the past we used on full power. Not a big savings but some I guess. Long answer short, with the current cost of hardware I'm not sure the cost will justify the savings anytime soon. The payout is in the convenience and comfort.

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