Flip the Switch/Lights Off

It’s so easy; when you leave a room “Flip the Switch” to turn the “Lights Off”.  Turning the lights off not only saves the energy being used to power the fixtures, but also reduces the heat being produced by those fixtures…which requires more energy to counteract.  If everybody would turn the lights off in unoccupied rooms when they leave, the med center could save more than $100,000 per year!


I don’t want to turn the lights off while I’m working, are you asking me to do that?

Absolutely not!  You need to work with the amount of light you need.  We are asking that you turn the lights off when you leave a room and are not coming immediately back, i.e. leave your office when you go to lunch, leaving a conference room, leaving your space at the end of the day.  Don’t forget to turn off any task lighting too.

I have a motion sensor, can’t I just use that?

Not every office/space on campus has motion sensors.  For those that do, you can allow the motion sensor to turn the light off for you.  If you notice that your motion sensor it “too sensitive” turning on when people walk by in the hallway, etc. please put in a work request to Facilities.

I heard that it’s bad for the fixtures to turn lights off and on, negating the savings.  Is that true?

It depends on the type of light fixture.  It is not true of incandescent or LED bulbs, savings are always seen as soon as they are turned off.  If fluorescent bulbs are turned on and off in succession it can damage the ballast which would then need replacing and materials/labor can cost more than the energy savings.  This tends to happen in places like bathrooms that get consistent use.  It’s less likely in offices when the occupant know if they are just running to fill up their coffee mug (leave it on) as opposed to going to a meeting (turn it off).

Is there anything else I can do to save lighting energy?

Yes! You can always use the light you need (see above) but there are times that you may not need all the lights.  e.g. office lights, lamp in the corner, and task lighting.  Turn off what you don’t need.  If you are working in a place with natural light, use then whenever possible.

Why aren’t stickers lined up “square” with the plates?

Stickers are intentionally installed “off-center”.  Yes, this bothers our OCD too!  But not having that straight line often means your brain will notice the sticker and tell your consciousness about it, which can lead to you turning off the light, which is the goal.  You noticed the stickers and their placement, so I guess it’s working!

My sticker doesn’t say “Flip the Switch”, it says “Lights Off”, why is that?

Stickers were originally placed when UNMC and Nebraska Medicine (then The Nebraska Medicine Center) had separate “green teams”.  The stickers were placed at approximately the same time, but they were unique.  The intention is still the same; turn the lights off when you leave a room, please.

My sticker is gone, do you have replacements?

Yes, please email LiveGreen@unmc.edu and let us know how many you need, which style (white “Lights Off” or green “Flip the Switch”), and your campus zip code.