Turning the lights off

I’m always shocked when I’m in the home of an intelligent individual who leaves the lights on in every room. But we weren’t all brought up with, “Did you leave the light on?” constantly heard from the age of birth. And for this, I thank my parents.

Granted, my parents might have been trying to save money on the electric bill or teach us lessons on waste, but whatever their reason, it stuck. For me anyway. My brother (brought up in the same exact household by the same exact parents) is a full-blown-light-leaver-oner, bless him.

I have to make myself not turn off the lights in other people’s homes, but I’m not very good at it. “I turned the light off for you,” I say smiling, hoping they don’t hate me. I just can’t take the waste. And I don’t want them paying any more money to the electric company than they have to–because they are my friend, and I love them. I’ve done it my entire life, when I was in the Air Force and in every business building I’ve ever worked in. I can’t believe I even have friends.

What about you? Do you turn off the lights religiously or do you forget? Are you on your kids about it the way my parents were with me? Accustomed to possessing light at the flick of a button, how can we remind ourselves not to take it for granted?

Spend a week with the Amish, maybe? I’m all for that. I used to want to join the Amish. (Big surprise there, huh? Ha!)

13 responses to “Turning the lights off

  1. I do mostly turn out lights in our house and since it’s only my wife and I it’s pretty easy to keep it that way. I’m kind of like you in this respect. In fact, often if I walk anywhere through my house at night I usually walk in the darkness. I even did a post about this:



  2. Well I used to be a light leaver on. Before we had kids I use to spend many hours at home by my self waiting for my hubby to get home. I hated sitting in the dark. So I had a habit of leaving the kitchen and living room light on. Now that we have kids I keep the lights off in any room that I don’t want them to be in. Keeping the lights off has another benefit of keeping children out of dark rooms. They have a tendency to stay in lighted rooms. But I will admit that I turn a light on as I walk through any room. I guess I just don’t want to be surprised by something that could be in the dark.

  3. I try. We have a multi-level house so It’s important to remember to turn off when leaving the room because the basement light could be left on for a whole day with no one going down there. Now public bathrooms have automatic lights which is probably a good thing for saving energy, but it might get some folks out of the habit.

  4. I wish we lived in a one room house so I don’t have to run around three levels turning off lights after my ascent minded spouse an kids. It drives me insane! They call me the light nazi.

  5. My partners ex used to make him take a torch into a room if he was only going in there to grab something (i.e a book from the study). It seems he’s gone the complete opposite with me – he turns every light on in every room, even if its not dark, grrr (AND we have glass doors and windows everywhere so lights are not needed unless it’s completely dark outside). *sigh* I am also a light nazi.

  6. Jen,
    I turn lights off, husband doesn’t and we are still married after 41yrs. I turn off lights leaving public bathrooms but not in other homes BUT can’t understand when they visit me and I say repeatedly we are a green home, please don’t run the water in the sink and please turn off the lights when you are not in the room. oh and unplug your cell phone charger when finished charging and I’m ignored. Hope you are well, Claudia

  7. I learned to be frugal from my folks and grandmother. They viewed waste as “sinful” and to this day I still even unplug the modem when I am going to be away from the computer. Is there a reason that the Amish are one of the fastest growing segments of the population? Simple is saner.

  8. You’re gonna laugh at this. We won’t turn ON the lights unless we really, really HAVE to. Yes, it’s not uncommon for me to startle a kid using the toilet in a dark bathroom. We always laugh at how much we can do without the help of our eyes (boys in a dark bathroom, not-so-nice). I’m accustomed to cleaning the kitchen in the dark after dinner. Kinda peaceful.

    It helps that we usually are blessed with tons of natural light as the window coverings are always fully open. And since no one wants to be in a fish bowl (open blinds), lights are dim if at all at night.

  9. Oh, I just LOVED these comments. They made me laugh and smile. Light nazi! ha! Claudia’s 41 years of patiently turning off the lights. Shannon’s family living in darkness. The Amish population growing and Arlee Bird—you can be sure I’m going over to see what you said. These were my favorite comments so far. You guys are so great!! 😀

  10. Oh my word, this post made me chuckle! I always leave all the lights on (or I did before I got married), because it was something my parents just never worried about, so we just didn’t do it growing up. My husband is the exact opposite, and he walks around behind me and turns them off, or nags me about it. I’ve gotten much better living with him.

  11. This was a fun topic, Jennifer. It brought back memoires of when I was a kid, we constantly heard, “turn the lights off when you leave the room!” And we did, although once in awhile, we would forget and leave the garage light on. Dad would yell about that one, and now, we make fun of it by pretending to be like him. My ex would leave lights blazing in every room, the TV blasting, computers on, even if he left the house! Drove me nuts, but oh well—HE had to work to pay the bill! Now my husband will turn off the light in the kitchen practically if i just turn my back–makes me mad!!! I say, “Oh, I didn’t know I was finished in the kitchen!!” I’d say I try not to leave lights burning in an unoccupied room, but I might be headed right back in there! And, if I am alone, I like a light to make me feel safe. I have been known to feel around in the dark instead of turning on a light… my ex also called me “Mole Woman” cause I don’t like lights on early in the morning.

  12. My father was a relentless light bulb policeman, and I confess that I need one in my life. Fortunately Bonnie Lee has happily taken over the role for the past 20 years or so.

  13. I used to be good about not leaving the lights on and would always follow my husband around and turn off the lights behind him (he will have the kitchen light on, plus the microwave light, plus the light over the sink… not sure why we need THAT much light on during the day), but I’ve gotten a bit lax with it lately. This is a good reminder, though. I can see the difference in the electric bill!

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