Do We Need To Leave The Light On?

Do We Need To Leave The Light On?

December 1, 2008

With apologies to Motel 6 and Tom Bodett I couldn’t resist their “catchy” trademark promise for the title of this blog post.

For the past few years, I have been scratching my head about the practice in some hotels to leave one, two or more lights on in vacant guestrooms promising a “warm welcome” to guests upon arrival.

Has any significant research been done to determine if guests think this is “warm,” too bright or not to bright?

What brought it to mind most recently was an e-mail I received from one my “greener” friends, P.J. Stafford – co-founder of Green Irene. His comment is below:

At a hotel in Washington, D.C., where I came to visit family, they have this GIANT certificate up on the counter where guests register about how they are GREEN and awarded this and that certificate… Then I go to our room and there are 15 lights on, along with the TV. It seems like they leave EVERY SINGLE light on all day so the guest feels welcome when they arrive at the room – and mostly incandescent too. Seems like a disconnect between the preachin’ and the practicin’.

As a consumer of about 40 room nights per year myself, I would prefer that hotels just use some L.E.D. technology or other method to show me where the light switch is located as I enter the room with the added benefit of it serving as path/night light for those middle of the night bathroom visits. This would save the kilowatt hours for a better purpose versus leaving the light(s) on when no one is home.

Please feel free to share any research or knowledge you may have to the contrary. I enjoy a healthy debate.

“We’ll leave the light on for you,” an ad-libbed line Bodett offered in the very first recording session, has become the trademark promise of one of the most long-lived and successful advertising campaigns in history. The winner of over 150 individual advertising awards – including eight Clios and Best National Radio Campaign an unprecedented two years in a row – the Motel 6 campaign with Tom Bodett continues in its effective service to keep Motel 6 the leader in economy lodging nationwide.

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