No, I don’t drive a hybrid or electric vehicle. There are no solar panels on my roof. I am not on litter patrol. However – as technology progresses and brings us things that are good for the enivronment and my wallet, I hop aboard. Such is now the case with compact fluorescent lighting.
Tonight, I started by replacing a single 3-way lightbulb with one of the new 3-way CF bulbs from The Home Depot. Surprisingly, this thing is just as bright and uses less than 1/3 the energy of the incandescent bulb it replaced. I’ve got it on the equivalent of 150 watts right now, and it’s only drawing 32 watts of electricity – that’s 18 watts fewer than the lowest setting on the bulb it replaced. And to top it off it’s a lot cooler. It seems to be producing only around 1/4 the heat the old one did.
I talked to the guy working in the lighting area and he said that companies are making all kinds of visual improvements to the bulbs so that you don’t notice any difference. I think I could replace just about all the bulbs in the house, except for the bulbs in the ceiling fan with the clear globes. These just wouldn’t look right.
Financially – the math seems to indicate that I could save over $110 in electricity based on using the thing 3 hours a day over 9 years. This is the lamp on my nightstand, so 3 hours a day isn’t that far fetched. It’s probably on 1/2 hour in the morning and 2 1/2 hours at night. The bulb was about $9 – that’s probably $6 more than a regular 3-way bulb. You don’t have to have an MBA in Finance to see the return on investment here.
Environmentally, according to the US EPA & Department of Energy Energy Star program, if every household in America replaced just 1 – ONE – lighbulb with a compact fluorescent, it would have the impact of removing 800,000 cars from the roads and save enough electricity to light 2.5 million homes for a year.
This truly sounds like a win-win situation to me.