Switch to Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

by Justin Weinger on February 14, 2007

Okay, first off, let me preface this article by saying that I just watched An Inconvenient Truth and, in some small part, this is my very feeble attempt at trying to do my part to help the environment.

In that same vein, if this article can help you save a couple of bucks at the same time, then I definitely feel like I’ve done my job!

Anyway, today I’m going to encourage you to go ahead and switch from your regular incandescent light bulbs.  Lately, a lot has been made of these relatively new bulbs – so much so, that the California State Legislature is looking to pass a bill that would outlaw the sale of regular incandescent light bulbs within the next decade.

So why all the fuss?  Well, according to Energystar.gov:

“If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR [compact fluorescent bulb], we would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gasses equivalent to the emissions of nearly 800,000 cars.”

That’s some pretty serious stuff for just one simple light bulb.  But what does all of that mean for you?  It means you can do your part to help the environment and potentially save hundreds of dollars doing so.

According to Energystar.gov, you will save nearly $30 in energy costs for each incandescent light bulb you switch out with a compact fluorescent bulb.  And, because the compact fluorescent bulbs last longer than regular bulbs, the extra $2 or you have to spend for each bulb is essentially a wash due to the fact you won’t have to replace the compact fluorescent nearly as often as you do the regular bulb.

But now I’m ready to talk some serious numbers – I went around my house today and I counted the number of light bulbs I currently have, and I came up with a total of 48 bulbs.  That means that if I were to switch out all 52 regular bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, over their lifetime I would save roughly $1,500 in energy costs.

And on that note, this weekend I’m going to go swing by Wal-Mart or Costco and buy some compact fluorescent bulbs in bulk and begin to put them in my light fixtures and lamps once the regular bulbs start to burn out.

I’ll gladly throw down $60 in light bulbs if the return is $1,500!  Oh yeah, and I’ll be doing my part to help the environment, too!

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