Using efficient lighting really pays; spending a little extra here gives savings in other system costs, extends the potential of the system and gives a superior quality of light. Keeping rooms as light (in colour) as possible, and maximising natural lighting will reduce lighting demand and improve overall lighting efficiency. Lampshades should enhance the light and not be used in place of a lower wattage bulb! Lights should be placed where needed most, eg using desk lamps instead of lighting the whole room. Work lights should be placed to avoid working in your own shadow. Most importantly, any lights not being used should be turned off! A good plan is to use high efficiency fluorescents for general lighting where lights are used for many hours each night and in DC systems use quartz halogen for localised lighting or for lights that get switched on and off more frequently.
Low Voltage DC Lighting
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Using low voltage DC lighting run directly from the battery store not only saves the cost of using an inverter but is also more efficient since low voltage bulbs give more lumens (brightness) per watt than equivalent 230 Vac bulbs. Fluorescent lights are the most efficient.
Inverter & Grid Systems
If 230 Vac lighting is used then low energy bulbs incorporating folded fluorescent tubes and high frequency electronic ballasts should be used to keep the lighting load to a minimum. These use approximately 20% of the power of conventional bulbs. For some load sensing inverters and automatic starting generators these will not appear as sufficient a load for starting purposes and so an ordinary filament bulb (say placed on a landing) or other load can be used just to switch the inverter on. All lights have been selected as having high levels of illumination, whilst giving low current drain. Essential for any battery storage system.