Viva Las Vegas

Hello dear reader,

Thanks for dropping by again. The nights seem to have drawn in so quickly this season and it’s dark as I arrive home and by the time I’ve walked the dogs, it’s well and truly night time. I’ve noticed something. Some houses are lit up like Las Vegas. They have the wide screen TV, all the lights on, the curtains wide open and no one in the room. I often blog about saving water but tonight I wanted to take time to think about light.

We make some of our own. All of our exterior lights are solar powered. We charge our phones and batteries with solar power and then use that stored energy. We put the batteries in a couple of battery powered lamps and have them glowing gently where we need to see to get by, but not necessarily read or do anything that requires bright light. We only have the light on in the room we are in. The room is heated by wood, gently lit by solar power and we only turn on the mains power if we need to read something. All of our bulbs are eco bulbs and I really like their warm glow and the fact you have to let them ‘warm up’ for a few seconds. I usually put my bedside light on, go clean my teeth and then come back and read.

All this may sound somewhat parsimonious but we’re using a fraction of the energy we used to and every quarter, after a meter reading, we discover we’re using less than before. You see, my house isn’t lit up like Las Vegas and we cope just fine. We heat and light one room, live in in quite cosily, with lap tops, cosy blankets, warming cuppas and the stove glowing in the hearth. I don’t even put the lights on as a move from room to room, I allow my eyes to adjust to the dim winter light and then dim lamp light and enjoy hunkering down in the evenings. I go to bed earlier at this time of year, I’m always in bed and asleep by nine at night and get up early to make the most of the low winter sun in the mornings. I like adapting to the seasons in ways I never used to when I heated and lit my house at the touch of a switch. I’m living lightly on a lot less and I like it.

I’m off to bed now and as always, I’m reading two books at once. I’m flicking through and settling occasionally on pages from………..

Also, I’m also engrossed in and totally loving this…..(Foster Mummy – I must pass this on to Man Wonderful….)

Do you save light? ~Do you hunker down and cosy up on these dark winter nights? Do share xx

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

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23 thoughts on “Viva Las Vegas

  1. I have been trying to cut back on my energy consumption for the past year. I have a solar powered battery charger one little torch, could you let me know what your battery operated lamps are please and where you get them from.?
    I have become so tight with my energy usage

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  2. Hello Your frugal majesty!

    I heat one room using an oil filled radiator – as and when we need it. I have the heating on for one hour a day during the week to take the chill off when weeny gets up. We use/light one room/two at the most for short periods then retire to bed early – weeny often falls asleep in my bed – we live inteh bedroom from as early as possible and I transfer her ro her own bed later unless really cold then she stays ( I know tut tut but I don't care).

    I need to stockpile and batch cook more often but as I am moving soon I am trying not to overfill the freezer. We shower hardly ever bath and are out of the house for 11 hours a day at least and use fleeces and blankets to keep warm in other rooms. Beds are double duveted/quilted and pyjamas are the order of the evening. I never buy pyjamas I recycle t shirts, old tops and jogging bottoms, Biggles boxers etc etc Very comfy!!!

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  3. I love reading your blog… i have it bookmarked and check it out each day.
    Iknow no ones lives are purfect and you have had your share of difficulties.
    But tonight i must let you know that i used to be like you.
    Saving money one way and another, payed down our mortgage worked very hard, started to pay down our mortgage, eat plainly, just like you and a lot of others who are reading your blog.
    The thing is 18 month's ago i was told i had stage 4 lung cancer, terminal.
    I had never smoked in my life.
    I just want to add to this money saving blog that anything can change… in a split second.
    The best thing i ever did was to insure my life.
    This has made things a lot easier for me, paid off my mortgage, money for my husband.
    Not how i planned to but you never know.

    Itell everyone i am friends with to get as much life insurance as you can.
    Keep up the good work, love Debbie, aged 50. x

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  4. Where can you buy those solar phone chargers please?

    I also notice the wasteful use of electricity around where I live. I can see that their heating is on by the pipes from the boiller or whatever they're called. The same people are always saying they have no money. They drive to the shop regularly and that is at the most 8 minutes walk.

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  5. Ikea sell solar lamps. If you buy one they donate one to a child in the third world. You have to set the voltaic in the sunlight at an angle for about 8 hours pop it back in and and it give 3 hours light. I read by my mine but dont remember to charge it every day and I dont put it out in the rain.

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  6. Your home sounds so cozy, especially now on these cold Autumn nights, a blanket, a cuppa, and the glow of a wood stove, what could be more perfect !

    I tend to light rooms by lamps, candles, and oftentimes nothing more than the glow of the hearth, I use solar lights also, I smile when all those little lights turn on at dusk, knowing they are costing mere pennies to operate.

    ~Jo

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  7. I have to go around after my kids turning off lights. They are getting a little better at remembering, finally! Hydro is one of the fastest rising utilities here in Canada. I truly pity anyone whose home is heated using electricity.

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  8. I can never understand why people light up the OUTSIDE of their homes… it baffles me! we never use outside lights, and just never leave lights on – it keeps our elec bill at a level we're happy with, I'd like to get into the habbit of batch cooking more though as I know that saves lots too. We always batch bake at the weekends – lots of fun, and such a frugal way to spend an afternoon with the hubby 🙂

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  9. We too only try to light the room we are in, but with a teenager in the house thats easier said than done! Bless em.

    We heat only the room we are in, normally the lounge and most of that is usually through the tv, snuggle under blankets and are in bed no later than 10pm. In a morning the first person in the bathroom puts the heater on to warm it up for the rest of us and we still have no heating on down stairs.

    It amazes me how anyone can afford to light the house up like vegas, its far too expensive.

    X x

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  10. Hi there,

    I've just recently been reading your blog, and now I'm a bit addicted, actually 🙂
    I'm curious as to which solar charger you use? Id like to switch over to using solar to recharge our batteries, but am at a loss as to where to start….

    Thanks!

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  11. We are spoiled with relatively cheap hydro electric power, but the utility has been encouraging everyone to conserve. We have put in the requisite light bulbs, programable thermostate, etc, but as I get older, I seem to need more and more light to do basic tasks in the winter evenings. The eye doc says it is normal and we need 40% more light to see when we are 60 than when we were 40. Since I do lots of reading, knitting and quilting, I cannot keep it down to a flashlight or torch, but I do confine it to one room. As for the heating situation, I have an electric mattress pad that I turn on for 1/2 hr before bed and it takes the chill off the bed. I never leave it on all night. We just had 30cm of snow today-shoveling gets the blood circulating for sure!!

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  12. We finally took the plunge and had solar panels installed recently and of course we've had the coldest, wettest start to our spring here in Western Australia for 20 years! Hopefully though our energy bills will go right down – will try to use as much of the 'free' power will the sun shines (we don't have daylight saving here) and use minimal amount at night as we're about to have more cost increases.

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  13. I love just having the light of the fire glowing with maybe a small lamp too. It makes it seem so much more cosy in the winter. Like your in your den all snug and warm and the world outside cold and stark. In the summer we dont have the lights on as its hot enough already and the heat from the globs makes it feel even hotter. we may have a candle going that has the dual purpose of killing the mossies but thats about it.

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  14. We try very hard to remember about switching off lights. We have solar panels which give us hot water in the summer; our heating is a wood burning stove downstairs, supplemented by aircon heat when absolutely desperate, and a calor gas heater which we move from room to room upstairs. We have to use an immersion heater for hot water in the winter but keep it to an absolute minimum. Electricity here in Greece is pretty expensive, so we just save as much as we can!

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  15. I am finding the new eco blubs very bad for my eyesight. I am very shortsighted and even tho I buy the brightest I can find it still doesnt equate to the equivalent old style ones. I am finding more and more that i have to give up reading at night ( a horror for me)as it makes me tired to concentrate on the books. I was interested in your eco lamp that runs on rechargable batteries that you said seems to blaze out. Can you give me any further details? How ironic that I have to buy a lamp cos of eco measures 😦

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  16. Yes, we too have no lights on in the rest of the house and walk in the dark (put the kitchen one on as we need it). We have one eco bulb lamp in the front room and are still using the wood-burning rather than the heating. Got a 'we need to increase your monthly payments' letter today which OH will shortly sort out – again. They have just credited us with £10, previously £70 so can't understand this letter. Ah well, let battle commence.

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  17. Froogs, how does your solar recharger work on cloudy days. Ok winter sunshine is not unheard off but here in Midlands we tend to get a great deal of White cloud. Can you tell me the make of your recharger and where you got it from? thank you 🙂

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  18. As one of your other followers said I cant understand lighting up the outside of your house either. We live in the middle of the countryside so even when its dark dark you can see….Once your curtains/blinds are closed just what is the point of showing everyone your garden. We do have a light back and front which comes on when someone – or a cat – triggers it. But on all night I dont think so.

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  19. Hi – when I get home from work – I can't see the gate handle, so we have a solar light by the gate which comes on because of a motion sensor. We have one by the wood shed, so we can see the wood , my next one will be by the front door so I can get the key in the fecking hole! All round the key hole are stab marks where I can't actually get into my house because it's pitch black! No street lights on my street

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  20. Hi Froogs and followers. Head torch, rechargable battery. Useful. Very. Reading, writing, knitting, and finding the keyhole:)

    And Debbie, my heart breaks for you, find peace my love xxx

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