May 17 2010

Change A Light Bulb - Change The World!

by April

CFL Light Bulbs

Last week I talked about solar lighting with solar tubes, but if you aren’t ready for a weekend project or want to change something today, change your light bulbs. Traditional light bulbs are incandescent, and changing them out with CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs or LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs will save energy and money. Not to mention that the Energy Independence Security Act of 2007 has put into effect that the removal of incandescent light bulbs from store shelves, homes and buildings will occur within the next five years

CFL bulbs are the ones that look like a small, curled, fluorescent tube – which is what it actually is. These bulbs are a bit more expensive but once they have turned on (it takes them a few seconds to get going) they use 75 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb and will last about ten times as long. Pros are big on these: they save so much energy that if every American household replaced just one incandescent bulb with a Energy Star approved CFL, we would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 9 billion pounds per year. The cons are that they cost more than a traditional bulb, but not enough to break your bank.  Also, they contain mercury, which is not good for you.  But since I don’t plan on eating them or breaking them over my head, I’m risking it. I replaced most of the recessed lights in my home with their CFL counterparts. These are supposed to last ten times as long. I’ll let you know. To learn more check out: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_about

If you really want to go big, you can replace your incandescent light bulbs with LED lights. These use even less energy and last even longer. The pros on these are even better than the CFLs, saving more energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and money. Also, they don’t have the mercury in them and light up faster than the CFLs. The cons: holy crap they are costly! The CFLs I bought for my recessed lighting cost me $8 per bulb. These babies cost me $50 each (though there are smaller ones that cost less). They also give off a different color of light, more white than yellow, which you may need to get used to. I only bought these for the recessed lighting in my kitchen, where I replace the bulbs every year. These beauties are supposed to last for 30 years. Read my blog in 2040 and I’ll let you know.

 

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Comments (2) -

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