Okay, to answer your first question, I've replaced all of the lights in my house with flourescent bulbs except for a few. The three in the bathroom are still regular bulbs b/c the flourescent bulbs are actually green and the incondescent bulbs are really yellow. You can't seen teh green/yellow b/c your eyes adjust and compensate.
Green lights in the bathroom would piss off some people (especially people who put on makeup with those lights).
Anyway, the rest of our house has all flourescent bulbs. They consume about 1/3 of the power of incondescent bulbs and last forever. I also was able to buy a few 8-packs a few years back at Costco for $2. We're still using the same lights.
Our electric bill for the house is something like $35/mo and that is with my computer on all day.
I did the same thing. My wife bought a box of about 20 to 25 on eBay for $35 plus shipping (was almost $50 all together). Replaced all the lights in my apartment except for some 40W mini bulbs in our night stand lamps because the low energy bulbs are too big to fit. Our low energy bulbs consume 13W, less than 25% of a standard 60W. Also in the bathroom we are only using two bulbs in the vanity instead of four. The 4 bulb ceiling fan fixtures are the same way. It's really just as bright with the flourescent bulbs. I haven't noticed them being green. The light looks very white, like one of those blue tinted "daylight" bulbs.
Our last electric bill was around $40, but a loft is not the most efficient design for heating/cooling. Since the weather has been nice we leave the windows open and didn't run the A/C once. The month before we set the A/C to around 83 and left it on all the time. The bill prior to our last one was $160. So that's like $120 a month to run our A/C, or about $4 a day.
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I've used fluorsecents on and off versus incandescents.
Here's what we've learned:
Fluorescents burn out faster when used on/off a lot. They're also a toxic hazard, so you do want to avoid having to replace frequently. Don't use them in bathrooms or other rooms where they tend to be turned on and off a lot.
Incandescents are less efficient as lights, but they generate heat. We've found that using incandescents as reading lights warms the reader enough that we can run the furnace lower in the winter. Not helpful in the summer, of course.
Best idea of all, though, is to regulate one's lifetyle activities so that when the sun is down, one does not need light. It is highly unusual in our house to ever find a light on at all, so our energy usage does not change perceptibly with what bulbs we choose.
The electric savings are dramatic. My power bill is only about 40-50 bucks a month in fall, winter, and spring, and I have a 3000 ft2 home! It's higher in summer due to A/C, but the fluorescent lights save electricity TWICE because they don't give off much heat like incandescent bulbs.
I also installed automatic setback thermostats and an tankless gas water heater. My winter gas bill is about 10% less than last year and 50% less in summer due to the tankless heater. These things work!
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I have one screw in, edison base, 1 watt LED, got it mostly to find out what they are like, very useable as a night light, or reading light, but it's more of a spot light, seeing as how it draws less then your clock radio, or vcr when it's turn "off" I think it's pretty sweet.
we might still have one incondesent bulb in the house hiding some place in the basement, or a bathroom, I'm not sure, the largest of them being a 28 watt, high in a ceiling light, and the smallest being the 7 watt bulb that above the computer desk (plenty bright for doing paper work, and taking electronics appart) and a 9 watt CF that stays on alot.
picking the right size bulb for the aplication helps alot, also differnt brands are differnt colors, some list color temp, and it doesn't alwas pay to stock pile CF bulbs, as the advance faster then they burn out, I can get 13watt bulbs for $1 a few times a year, and those are bright enough for most reading lights, and unshaded fixures, reflecter CF bulbs are of course better for track lights, and resesed lighting.
we've had our electric bill, for 5 people down around $20, and now with more electronics, computers, bigger TV, another freezer, and fridge, supemented with some solar/pv our monthly bill is still only $15 a month... for 5 people.
On my old Si, I had LED turn signals on the front -- kinda cool (only drawback, at the time, the LED array for each "bulb" didn't draw enough power to convince the blinker system that a bulb wasn't out, so it blinked super-fast 'n furious style -- basically had to hide a bulb (I tried a resistor, but the damn thing got so hot it melted the electrical tape -- later calculations confirmed the heat generated) -- would've liked to have had LED brakes, tails and signals, but the tech at the time didn't allow it. I wonder if it's possible now...
At any rate, since I'm on the road so much, I just let the outside bulbs run 24/7 for security purposes (most of the time, the street light isn't working). Incandescents burned out constantly -- fluorescent replacements seem to last longer and use much less energy. I'd love to replace the bulbs in the dining room: 5 bulbs of 60 watts in the light = 300 watts of HEAT.