Helping my kids learn to turn off lights…

Until I can wire my entire house with smart lights (insert narrator comment: “it would never happen…”), I’m trying to help my kids turn off lights more frequently.

Threw together this quick video on my YT channel explaining it.

Anyone interested in a tutorial for this? Happy to throw together a blog post.


I installed a couple of motion sensitive bulbs in the Hall and landing in our house.

Ironically, this means that people forget to turn off the light in the bathroom as they’re just used to it happening automatically.

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As opposed to trading out your traditional kids for “smart” kids. :slight_smile:



I want to hear more about this!!

Would love to turn this into a game somehow - what do they do with the pennies LOL

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Just deduct the amount from their allowances :grin:. They will pro actively switch off any lights that are ON in the house if incentive is an option for finding lights that are left ON by family.

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lol good to know…maybe I’ll keep the dumb bulbs and the smart kids :laughing:


Hahaha I mean, why not both? Smart bulbs and smart kids? :joy:

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We’ve done it two weeks now. The first week they left their lights on 26 times. This last week, only 16! Currently, they’ve hoarded the pennines in their little banks in their rooms. No big expenditures yet, although my 8 year old has promised to buy a camper … so we may have a wild spending spree coming soon :joy:

We haven’t actually done an allowance before for the kids, so they feel this way now I think. Before they all got 0 pennies. So now they feel like they’re earning money all week and are very invested in this new money-making opportunity.

With today’s LED lights, how much does it really matter to turn off the lights? Also consider motion detecting light switches – we use these for storage rooms and dark hallways.


With the cost of Energy at the moment, every saved Watt helps.

In the UK Energy is currently almost double what it cost 3 years ago. Brexit :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: and the war in Ukraine significantly affected prices.

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Around here the average energy price is 19 cents per kWh. If we consider that an LED bulb equivalent to a 60W incandescent bulb uses about 10W of power, then that’s 100 hours of light per 60W bulb for 19 cents.

Assuming that the maximum time the lights will be on is 16 hours per day (all lights off at night), and assuming the bulb would be completely off otherwise, that’s a maximum of 480 hours per month. Divide that by 100 and you get 4.8, multiplied by 19 is about 91 cents per month per bulb. That’s going from “on for 16 hours per day” to “left off all of the time.”


I just wonder if it would be more useful to get children to turn off their video games. There are two LED bulbs on in my office but my iMac is gobbling 80 watts as I write this. Also, keep the outside doors closed! Look at the bigger picture rather than micromanaging a light bulb.

When I was a child our living room had a floor lamp with 3 100 watt bulbs and a 100-200-300 watt bulb. That thing was on most of the time and consumed more power than every light in my home now combined (just a guess here, haven’t actually measured).


Every little helps Tom, doing the “right” thing is important.

Just because a tap only drips one drop of water every 5 minutes, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fix it

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Ha! Love all the math!

In our case, it’s mostly about building a habit. As an example, the week before we started this I walked upstairs to find nearly every light and fan had been left on for nearly 3 hours. That happened 3 times that week.

We’ve shut off 26, 21, and 13 lights on the kids’ behalf the last three weeks since then.

We’ve handed out 225 pennies since then. I doubt we’re saving money, but it is nice to see the kids picking up on the habit.

We’ve truly just made it fun. It’s not been a point of contention with the kids or a personal major frustration for me. But at 3, 6, and 8, my kids are able to see it as a fun way to earn a little extra money and I see it as a fun way to teach a good habit.

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When I was a kid, that would have gotten me an enormous amount of candy.