Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Light Bulbs - Change the World Wednesday

This one has nothing to do with gardening, but my site is colored green and these challenges are about going green. How's that for a tie in?

This week's challenge is to only change out our light bulbs for LED or CFL.
We already use CFL's through out most of our house, but not in all areas. Call me cheap or decor conscious if you will. For the longest time CFL's were only the swirly kind and did not look good in hanging pendants or ceiling fans. However, the round globe (good for pendants) kind have been out for awhile and I have recently come across candle shaped bulbs - perfect for ceiling fans and dining room chandeliers.

Areas we are not using CFL or LED bulbs (and reasons):
  • I believe they make 3-way and/or dimmable CFL or LED bulbs, but I've been too cheap to buy them. They are more expensive than your everyday use bulbs. It's funny how I now consider $2 (minimum) per bulb normal.
  • When we built the house, it came with incandescent bulbs everywhere. Believe it or not, some of them haven't burned out yet.
  • Three way switches (where you have two switches for the same light - weird two switches is termed a "three-way switch" in electrical speak) cause the light bulb to blink when it is off.
  • Our bird needs a bulb for heat in the winter. We let the house temperature fall to 65 during the day in the winter and that is below the recommended temperature for birds. We turn on his light bulb so he can warm up if necessary. We don't use it in the summer because it's too expensive to cool the house that much.
I like CFL's because we were able to spend less on some of our light fixtures because they took a lower wattage bulb or required less bulbs. The CFL's allow you to get more light from your fixture because you can use a bulb with a higher equivalent wattage than an incandescent (i.e., you can put a CFL equal to 75 watts in a fixture that maxes out at 60 watts for incandescent).

I have to head to Lowes at lunch. I will look for the three-way bulb or the dimmables. I guess it's not that bad if you only buy a couple at a time.


Lillian Robinson said...

We also use CFLs everywhere we can. Also I have added more task lighting... Having small lamps in more places allows for lower wattage bulbs. Solar is my fave. We use then extensively to light the paddock, outdoor steps, horses water trough... everywhere we need to see at night.

Ziggy Stardust said...

I have begun to switch and will soon have them all over the house.

Good tips


Pollyanna said...

Went to Lowes & got a 3-way bulb for almost $9 - gulp!

I suppose if it lasts at least a year, I will have saved in the long run.

Unknown said...

Wow! $9 for a 3-way? I admire you for putting your money where your mouth is (so to speak). Actually, I think you've just made an excellent investment. It may seem like a huge output initially but, you'll lower your energy use (saving money) and I'll bet that these bulbs will last a long time (saving more money). I bought some CFLs when we moved into our current home ... 6 years ago ... and they haven't burned out. And 6 years ago ... they weren't making them as good as the ones today.

YOU DID GREAT!! And thanks ... it's people like you who are making this world a better place!

Enjoy your new "earth friendly" lighting!

Small Footprints

SweetPeaSurry said...

yup ... I'm not switching. Mostly because if I drop and break one of those bulbs, I can't afford the cosst of the hazmat team that's required for clean-up. *sigh*