Don’t Leave The Light On

On Tuesday night, Nature Boy and I were driving home around 11 pm after a little league baseball game. As we were driving down the main road that leads to our neighborhood, I noticed that the small ceiling fan store had a display ceiling fan spinning in the window. Of course the place was closed, as were all of the shops along the road. “What a waste of energy!” I said to Nature Boy. He concurred, being the more financially and ecologically responsible one of our duo.

Upon further inspection, it seemed ALL of the stores had either illuminated signs on the stores themselves or stand-alone signs closer to the curb. Each of these signs was blazing at 11:00 at night, and none of the stores were open. My question is WHY? Why do these companies waste so much electricity by keeping their signs lit when they’re closed?

Am I missing something? There are plenty of streetlights to keep the road visible. Is this purely for marketing? If so, what’s the genius behind that? “Look, people! Best Buy! Target! WalMart!Blockbuster! What? You want to buy something? Sorry, they’re all closed.”

Since we were children, haven’t we all been taught to turn off the lights when we’re not using them? Has it not been drilled into our heads, especially now, during the economic downturn and the global energy crisis, that we need to CONSERVE ENERGY?

I find these retail establishments to be economically and ecologically irresponsible, in a time when we ALL should be doing our part to make a difference. Imagine the amount of electricity that would be saved if all of these stores would shut off the damn lights already.

Off my soapbox now. And if there’s some LOGICAL reason for these lights to be on, then I’ll simply quote the little old lady (played by Gilda Radner) on SNL’s Weekend Update and say, “Never mind.”



  1. Posted June 26, 2009 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    When I worked for the local police department, we found that it was easier to spot someone breaking in or inside a closed business if there were some sort of lights on. consistency was key – same lights on every night. Any change signified a problem of some sort (either a burglar or an untrained employee). Just a thought.
    They could of course also be carbon-footprint ignorant marketing hacks…

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted June 26, 2009 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the info! Leaving the lights on inside the building makes sense for that reason. But I’m going with your answer #2 as to why they have to leave their huge signs lit. 😉

  2. Posted June 29, 2009 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my crazy teen. It’s good to know I’m not in this alone!

    Oh, can I pop up on top of the soapbox now? I could go on for ages about the wastefulness of businesses. I see it every day at work. Lights on in a building that could get away with using 50% less, the amount of recycleble items that is thrown out by staff, shredded documents that end up in the landfill … I could go on and on. I’m sure most of my co workers think I’m some sort of hippie freak but it reallyonly takes a little bit or work to make such a huge impact.

    Ok, I’m stepping down now. End rant.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted June 30, 2009 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      TELL IT SISTER!!!!

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