Lighting Control on the Cheap
It’s a well-kept secret that with Belkin’s WeMo light switches, a school can program lights and appliances to go on and off on a schedule without the expense and hassle of a school-wide power control system. The WeMo switch replaces a traditional single pole device, costs about $50 and is rated to handle 1,800 watts. They can’t replace three-way switches or be used with metal wall plates, but can replace the majority of switches in a school.
There are also WeMo LED low-power light bulbs and outlet switches that can help cut a school’s electricity costs by reducing vampire power from appliances and computers that are plugged in but not doing anything. They sell for $60 and $40, respectively.
The key to WeMo is that they not only have a toggle for turning the lights on and off when you’re in the room, but can be controlled via a WiFi connection. This opens up a world of control for a school’s lighting, such as having classroom lights turn off automatically at 7PM or have outdoor lights go on at sunset and off at sunrise. In fact, the WeMo switches can turn off the power to an outlet so that there’s no vampire power consumed from electrical devices.