Making Life Greener with Technology

What comes to mind when you think about technology that helps us to conserve resources and live greener lives? Energy efficient appliances (smart thermostats, energy and water efficient dishwashers and the like) is usually one of the first things we think of, right?  But there are many ways technology in our homes can help make our lives greener – here’s our top 3:

Lighting Control – Greener Living Made Easy

People who have lighting control love it and often wonder how they ever lived without it. Lighting controls save energy – and money – by automatically turning lights off when they’re not needed. And also by reducing light levels when full brightness isn’t necessary.

Simply dimming the lights saves energy. For example, dimming a light 10% saves 10% of the electricity and extends the bulb life by two times.  Dimming a light by 50% can save 40% on electricity and make the bulb last 20 times longer.

Lighting Control App - Greener Living through technology

Lighting control systems make it easy to be energy conscious. For example, being able to press one button on your smartphone (or a touchscreen or keypad) to turn off all inside lights and turn on all outside lights right before bed is much easier than running around the house flipping switches.

Being green means using resources wisely, not wastefully, and lighting control helps achieve that. And, integrating lighting control with other systems can result in money and time savings for the homeowner.

Simplify and Greenify with Integrated Control Systems 

A control system that integrates multiple systems (such as lighting, HVAC and motorized window treatments) so they work together maximizes the benefits of each system as well as overall sustainability goals.

For example, to use less electricity on lighting, automated shades/blinds can be programmed to automatically adjust to provide natural light.  The HVAC system is typically the biggest energy user. Integrating it into the control system provides a reduction in energy consumption. A smart control system can measure indoor and outdoor temperatures. The system will open shades and motorized windows/skylights for ventilation. Proper shading can reduce the energy used for air conditioning by an estimated 10%

A control system can ensure more efficient use of water too. An irigation system can be added to a control system utilizing soil sensors and rain detectors. These will help to know when and how much water is needed.  As long as you’re investing in an elaborate sprinkler system, it’s a good idea to have a smart control system in place managing it. 

Green Energy – Increase Solar Use with Battery Storage

A common misconception about solar power is that you can count on it only when the sun is shining.  Solar energy systems paired with battery storage provide power regardless of the weather or time of day without having to rely on backup power from the grid.  Homes can become greener by creating “virtual power plants” using battery storage.  sonnen’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP) technology virtually links together local networks of sonnen batteries to form a single renewable power plant that is capable of deploying enough stored sunshine to reduce the use of traditional fossil fuels and lower CO2 emissions.

If you’d like to learn more about any of the technologies discussed above can make your life greener and more convenient, please contact us!