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Candle power

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MadArchitect

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Candle power

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My power bill last month was unforgiveable, really. I've been trying to pare down my expenses, but I'm a night owl, and I find that it's hard to keep lighting to a minimum sometimes, especially when I'm running from one room to another. So I've decided to go a little medieval -- I'm using candles.Not at all hours, mind you. But I have found that the electric lights I previously used as a matter of course are overkill in most situations. I don't need 100 watts -- hell, even 40 watts -- to play with my cat, or wash my face, or even to eat by. I can switch on a lamp when I want to read, but even so, I may just invest in an oil lamp. And I've realized that I like the look of things in candle light. You see features and details lit from a different angle. The light is warm and it wavers a little in the air. Objects are less ugly, rooms are less stark, my eyes feel less assaulted.So I'm not a neo-luddite, but I'm sticking with candles for a while. I'm getting comfortable with the idea that I can scale back the degree to which I depend on technology, that sometimes, low-tech is simply more appropriate. Besides, with the money I'm saving on my power bill, I can buy more video games.
MadArchitect

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Re: Candle power

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I realize now that I didn't leave to much room to comment with that post, so I thought I'd raise a question: What are some other ways in which we can or ought to reduce our dependence on and use of modern technology in and around the home?Or before we even get to that, we might ask ourselves whether or not we even should try to do so. The reasons I offered for sometimes using candles rather than electric lights are economic and aesthetic, but they dovetail nicely with some of the environmental concerns I have. Are their other concerns we should keep in mind? Are their converse concerns that ought to counteract the environmental, aesthetic and economic concerns?I'd be interested to hear all sides of the story.
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Re: Candle power

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Don't forget about your eyes. You might need them later in life, so that should be taken into account as well. Reading by candlelight probably isn't very good for eyesight.Have you checked out getting different light bulbs? There are now light bulbs that give off more light using less wattage. Changing out your regular light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Bulbs or other more efficient bulbs will bring your power bill down noticeably. The bulbs will also last much longer than conventional ones. It may be a bit costly to do the initial change-over, but it would definitely be worth it in the long run. I would bet that better light bulbs would be available at any hardware store at this point. Here are a couple of websites with a bit more specific info:eartheasy.com (This website has lots of great suggestions for better environmentally minded living.)buylighting.comWhen it comes to environmental concerns and electricity, I think that alternative energy sources is the best way to make changes with an impact. What my husband and I are specifically considering is geothermal heating and cooling and solar power for electricity. Instead of only reducing the amount of power that we use, I would prefer to be able to completely run our home with solar energy. Geothermal heating and cooling works by putting pipes deep in the ground and in the house to use the Earth's temperature to heat in the winter and cool in the summer. More and more states are offering tax breaks and rebates for things like this.The main problem with all of these things is the initial cost. Most people can't afford to do it even with the government incentives, even though it would more than make up for starting costs. Electric companies certainly aren't going to be much help because once a home is making its own electricity they can't charge for theirs anymore.
MadArchitect

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Re: Candle power

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Reading by candlelight probably isn't very good for your eyes, no. But I'm not talking about cutting out electric light altogether. Besides, there are probably ways to get sufficient illumination for reading from oil lamps or something similar. But, yeah, health may be a concern. If nothing else, there's a greater potential fire hazard if you're not careful with open flames, no matter how small.
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Re: Candle power

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I am in the process of switching to those bulbs Scrum. They are expensive up front...but last 13 times longer so...and they save $$.Aside from energy procduction, I have started composting and recycling more. I have reduced my garbage output by 1.5 cans per WEEK!I also just got a push lawn mower for free from my Freecycle group...no more gas mower! It is not that bad...and gives better excercise.I also TURN OFF as many lights as possible when not in the room and insulate the windows in the winter.Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
marti1900

Re: Candle power

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I dunno. By the time you buy enough candles (I assume you are not making your own, pioneer fashion LOL) to give you enough light, that cost could be almost the same as using a low watt lightbulb for the same amount of time. And candles give off heat so a candlelit room can be hot in warm weather. Not to mention the danger to wildlife...think of all those suicidal moths. And I hate eating by candlelight. I want to SEE what I am putting in my mouth, thank you very much. I'm just pulling your leg. I know that at MY age I definitely look better by candlelight.And here's another candle thought, only slightly askew of the topic. Have you ever noticed in movies the vast number of people who take baths? And take baths in old tubs surrounded by a kajillion candles? With a drink in their hand? And lots of bubbles? Who has that many candles laying around for this purpose, not to mention enough saucers, etc. to put them on so the wax doesn't get all over everything? And who has bathtubs that are not smack up against a wall on 3 sides? I've lived in so many houses, apartments, etc in my life, and I have NEVER had a tub you could surround with candles. The best I could do would be to group a few on the toilet seat. Hmmmm. Not the same classy effect. Geez, by the time you got all those candles lit, the bath water would be cold. And what about that drink? Isn't it dangergous drinking around so much fire ...and water, now that I think about it. And who has time for a bath, anyway? And what household, other than those with under ten year old people in it, has bubble stuff? And even if you do have a household with munchkins, you still don't have any bubble stuff cause the 6 year old just poured most of it down the drain while the bath was filling.But I like candles. Just not to read by. And wouldn't a couple of strategically placed nightlights be just as cost effective, if not as romantic? Heck, even Mexicans don't use candles.Marti in Mexico
MadArchitect

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Re: Candle power

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marti1900: By the time you buy enough candles (I assume you are not making your own, pioneer fashion LOL) to give you enough light, that cost could be almost the same as using a low watt lightbulb for the same amount of time.Actually, cost was an issue when I initially started looking at it, but Ikea sells 50-packs of candles for less than $6, with an estimated burn time of about 600 hours. And while Ikea's cheap, I'm sure candles can be bought for cheaper wholesale. Plus, it's easier to regulate the amount of light I want with candles -- just light fewer or more.And I hate eating by candlelight. I want to SEE what I am putting in my mouth, thank you very much.Oh, I like it. I usually cook my food at home, so I've already seen it by the time it gets to my mouth.But I like candles. Just not to read by. And wouldn't a couple of strategically placed nightlights be just as cost effective, if not as romantic?Maybe, but harder to carry from room to room. To ensure that you could see in every room in the house, you'd have to have nightlights constantly running in every room.
marti1900

Re: Candle power

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I have a number of nightlights that have on/off switches. That way we can turn them on and off as we progress thru dark room. This place is inky at night! Marti in Mexico
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tarav

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Re: Candle power

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I love candles and use them frequently. I was very happy that I hoard them when the power went out for almost a week. Marti mentioned using nightlights. I just thought I'd add that one can buy these little green nightlights at Lowe's and Home Depot that are pretty cheap to purchase and use. I keep them on all of the time in the bathrooms and hallways. This saves me from turning the big lights on in the night.
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