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Project84 01-08-2008 05:50 AM

energy saving light bulbs
Without having done much research, I was just curious what the general concensus was on flourescent (60W) bulb replacement.

My entire home only has 12 regular 60W incandescent lights in it if I don't count the 3 lamps I have w/ 50W/75W/100W multi-throw settings.

I've been considering making the switch to flourescent bulbs but was wondering, with the added cost, will the energy saved actually translate into money saved or does it take years to profit from making this switch?


lunarhighway 01-08-2008 06:45 AM

i just replaced two conventional spots in my room with energy saving fluorecent lamps. and i'm quite happy with them so far.

the price difference is huge when you first look at it... the conventional lamps where somewhere around 2€ a piece, maybe less and the energy saving ones 16€... quite a shocking difference when you need to buy them and a little discouraging. however according to the package they're supposed to burn 15 times longer than a conventional bulb (cheaper energy saving lamps listed a lower value), wich should put them in the same pricerange of not better than conventional lamps in the long run. My mom who's been using these lamps for a while now around the house, said she did indeed have the feeling that since they made the switch they didn't have to relace more than one or two while they ran into dead lamps more regularly before. she also said energy consumption of the house had dropped notably since they started useing them.

the ones i got replace 60W bulbs but are the equivalent of 80W conventional bulbs while only consuming 15W.

the downside is they take a short periode to warm up and produce full light strenght, so the room is not fully lit when you first switch on the light.

i'd considder replacing only the rooms where the light is on constantly. unless you make sure you get lamps that warm up quickly.... but for rooms you just pop in and out conventional lamps might be better as the power saving ones.

so while initially expensive, good quality lamps that hold their promises should not be any more expensive to install than conventional lamps combined with a lot of energ saving imo it's worth replacing your most used light with these...

WisJim 01-08-2008 07:22 AM

We have replaced most of the bulbs in our house with compact flourescents (CFLs), starting 18+ years ago. Now we buy the common sizes for $2 or $3 or sometimes less after a rebate through the power company. Even the regular price seems cheaper than what "lunarhighway" mentioned. We still have a few incandescents, where the light is only on for a few moments, such as the far end of the basement, or the part of the barn used for storage. Have some regular flourescents in the garage and barn, but plan to replace many of them with CFLs as it would give me more control of what areas are lit up. We have some LEDs in a few places, where lights are left on when we aren't home, for example, so we have a lit room to greet us when we get back at night, but the LED bulbs are a bit more expensive. We like them, even though we have had a couple of bulbs (out of 50+) that didn't last as long as we had expected--but some worked for 7 or 8 years of regular daily use. Newer ones are available in better colors of light, and that give full light quicker, too, and also that have less mercury in them.

And, we notice a significant reduction in our electric bill the month we went through the house and replaced a lot of bulbs with CFLs at one time.

I recommend them highly.

VetteOwner 01-08-2008 11:01 AM

yea we have almost zero regular bulbs except one, its outside in the "cat house" so our outside cat can stay warm in the winter. CFL's dont give of much heat which is why i LOBVE them for thos elittle liek reading lamps, usually the metal shade used to get really hot and when u would reach up to turn it off it would burn like mad. ive noticed my room is alot cooler when i switched my celing fan bulb to a cfl (and i havent had to change it in over a year, before it used to be monthly). the tiny one sin our bathroom like vanity light strip(4 25watt regular bulbs) we converted those over to the fancy looking cfl bulbs and when you first turn them on thier really dim, but in 30 seconds they get bright as day. VERY nice at 2 in the morning bathroom run and you dont blind yourself.

GasSavers_SD26 01-08-2008 12:27 PM

I have some mixed and matched. We have some recessed lighting, and I use three CFL's with one regular. Allows one to see initially, and then, after a period of time, the area lights up.

I have had some CFL's burn out.

I'm really concerned about disposal.

I haven't seen a dramatic change in electric use. As it is, we don't use a whole lot of lights in the house. Kids are pretty good about shutting stuff off also.

bobc455 01-08-2008 12:44 PM

Our house is electric heat, so energy consumption is a zero-sum issue during heating season (most of the year).

We have them in our outside lights, and they are great.

-Bob C.

GasSavers_Pete 01-08-2008 02:45 PM

The new gen CF's are a lot quicker than the earlier version and have practically no "warm up" time or whatever the correct term is.

Here they will soon be all you can buy retail anyway.

No real downside apart from not being compatible with some dimmer systems.


VetteOwner 01-08-2008 06:52 PM

yea MOST cfl bulbs arent compatable wiht dimmers

101mpg 01-08-2008 08:58 PM

I've had the same experience - you can blow up most CFLs with a dimmer. You CAN also get multi-wattage CFL bulbs, btw! Sort of expensive, but they ARE available.

When we lived in Washington, there were coupons at Lowe's and Home Depot and the electric company was basically paying you to get CFLs. We ended up getting several thousand of them for basically tax, as we'd watch deals. We have given most away to friends and family, including extras, plus our own, moved twice and left the eco-friendly bulbs. On average over 35 bulbs in most houses - there are a LOT of bulbs in Washington state!

So if cost is equal for acquisition - then the best part is that we have cut our electricity by about HALF. LCD monitors (and laptops) mean that we have LOW usage on computers. Biggest electricity hog other than the electric dryer is the TV.

Switching to on-peak/off-peak metering this month. Use up the cheapest electricity at night after 9. More than pays for the bulbs there, btw.

Life is about 5 years on most I've seen. Bad power can wreck them though - firsthand experience there - repeatable and verifiable. Many come with up to a 9 year warranty now. Bottom line for us - it saved SO much more electricity than even regular retail cost if we'd have had to pay full price for them. We just wouldn't have given so many to friends & family.

bobc455 01-09-2008 05:22 AM

Speaking of electric clothesdryers, one thing that most people overlook is the makeup air. Dryers push a LOT of air out of the house, which means that air has to come back into the house (makeup air). This comes in through cracks, windows, etc., and will have to be heated up or cooled down to match the desired environment. This costs a lot more than people realize, and is a great reason to line-dry your clothes. If line-drying isn't an option, at least use your dryer on the warm days during winter or the cool nights during summer (when it takes less energy to heat/cool the makeup air).


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