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RISMEDIA, June 16, 2009-(MCT)-Q: Our small but heavily used bathroom at work is lit by four fluorescent lights, each of the tubes being 48 inches long. Would less energy be used leaving them on all day, vs. turning them on and off countless times throughout the day?

A: “Turn the lights off,” said Phil Smith with the Minnesota Office of Energy Security. That said, it can be difficult to get everyone in a work environment to turn off the lights.

A cost-effective option is to install an occupancy-control switch. There are different types of controls available. Some work better in some spaces than others. The generic bathroom intended for one occupant can have a simple wall-mounted passive infrared control in place of a switch. Restrooms with stalls are best controlled with “ultrasonic” switching mounted at ceiling height to accommodate the stall walls and doors.

Contact your electric provider’s department that handles small-business lighting and electrical needs.

©2009, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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