Tuesday, January 16, 2007

An Easy New Years Resolution

Among the other things that I got for Christmas, was bronchitis. My cough finally seems like it’s going away. I’ve been taking it easy and my blogging fell a little by the wayside, but hopefully I’ll be back to blogging more now.

I thought of a New Years resolution that didn’t take much effort. It’s so easy that I already did all the required “work” by the last week of the old. year. My resolution was to buy and install at least one compact fluorescent light bulb. After studying the idea I realized that if everyone did this, the impact on energy usage would be huge. We’d all also save some money.

My municipally owned electric company charges 11.38 cents per kilowatt hour. At this time of year I burn a 75 watt bulb for at least 5.5 hours each night during winter in the room I sit in during the evening. A compact fluorescent bulb that gives the same amount of light uses only 20 watts.

Old 75 watt bulb
12375 watts each 30 days = $1.41 electricity cost

New 20 watt compact fluorescent (75 watt equivalent) bulb
3300 watts each 30 days = 37.5 cents electricity cost

Savings with this one bulb in 30 days is 9075 watts and $1.03 in electricity cost. I paid .$1.04 including tax for this bulb so it will be all paid back at the end of the month.

The bulb seems just as bright and doesn’t flicker, or buzz. It may have a very slight green tone, but it really seems very very close to a regular incandescent bulb. It does NOT resemble the light from the florescent tube type light bulbs in my shop in the cellar.

I was so happy with the outcome that I bought some more bulbs for other rooms. Watch the price of the bulbs. They seem to vary wildly from store to store and even within the same store. I found a 75 watt equivalent for 99 cents in a local hardware store. In H*Depot I bought 4 100 watt equivalent for $8 a package and 4 60 watt equivalent for $4 a package but saw others for more. A friend told me some electric companies give them away for free so it may be worth checking that out.

Below is a 100 watt equivalent and a 60 watt equivalent. The size is proportional to the wattage, but I had no trouble using any size in the lamps I have.


  1. I worry about the disposal. They say we can't throw the bulbs in the landfill due to mercury. Also the bulbs never seem to last as long as they claim they will, not even by half. I used to think these would be 'the solution' but have become disillusioned. :( Still, I use them. Hopefully something a lot better will come along. My solution in our tiny cottage is to have more windows for light and we have a fish tank in every room - which does use a fl light.

    Say hi to the boys for us!

  2. We have these in all our fixtures except the really hard to get to ones, and when those incandescents burn out we'll replace them with compact fluorescents, too. We're quite happy with them. Oh - you can't use them in lamps with dimmers on them. We do still have a couple of incandescents in our dimmable lamps.