Simple Ways Wednesdays – Episode 11

Posted by A. Caleb Hartley on October 1st, 2008 filed in CFL, Simple Ways

Replace your incandescent light bulbs with more efficient bulbs

Ever burned yourself on a light bulb? Ever think about where that heat comes from?

All that heat is energy that is used, but does not create light.  There is waste in just that realization.  But if you also think about how much energy you use (read: “money you spend”) to cool your home, you realize that you can save even more.  If your light bulbs don’t create so much waste heat, your cooling system will not have to work as hard, either.

So replace those incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs).  If each household in the US changed just ONE incandescent bulb to compact fluorescent, the US would save enough energy to power all the homes in Delaware and Rhode Island combined. And because of that, CFLs save money that can be spent on other things.  The money saved could be spent on necessities (right now, with the credit crisis, this might be the most important point), or on other things that will increase your quality of life.

Congress agrees that this is important, as in December of last year they passed an energy bill which included a phase out of incandescent light bulbs.  In actuality, what the bill said is that all light bulbs sold after a time period phasing in between 2012 and 2014 must use 25% to 30% less energy than today’s products.  By 2020, all bulbs must use 70% less energy.  CFLs already meet the 70% requirement.

Between 2012 to 2030, consumers will save $40 billion in energy costs.  14 coal-fired power plants will avoid construction.  And 51 tons of carbon emissions will be avoided annually, according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

But what about CFL’s mercury content?  Well – this is a concern; however, bear in mind that a compact fluorescent light bulb holds an amount of mercury about the size of the tip of a ball-point pen.  If you are considering avoiding CFLs based on this, take a look around at your mercury thermometer.  It holds MUCH more mercury than a houseful of CFLs.

But if this is a huge concern for you, there is another option: Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Bulbs!

Read a comparison of Incandescent Bulbs, versus CFLs, versus LED bulbs.

A. Caleb Hartley

Do you use CFLs? What do You think of them? How about LEDs? Light up the comments and tell us what you think!

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9 Responses to “Simple Ways Wednesdays – Episode 11”

  1. Dan Says:

    Here’s another take on the mercury in a CFL. If you consider the amount of mercury released into the atmosphere through the burning of coal (and a good deal of electricity in the US is from coal), then by reducing energy use, you are also reducing mercury emissions. Studies have shown that because of this effect, using a CFL puts less mercury into the environment than using an incandescent bulb.

  2. Going Green Says:

    I never realized that all of the heat was wasted energy! Thanks so much for enlightening me!

    Going Greens last blog post..Quick Tip: Buy Food Locally!

  3. wilson Says:

    WoW, this is an amazing project, as the $40 billion is not a small amount here…

    wilsons last blog post..Your Children Are Allergy with Egg Products?

  4. Claire Says:

    Congrats on your being numero uno on here –

    I read the list on another blog and was happy to see yours listed.

  5. Nilz - e-Shopping Says:

    Replacing incandescent bulbs with CFL or LED is the move towards going green! I have experienced appx. 20% savings in electricity bill using CFL in my home.

  6. blanne Says:

    thanks for posting this up. really useful stuff. and if im not mistaken, using Fluorescent bulbs help lessen the global warming pollution. dual purpose! saving money and going green.. :)

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    blannes last blog post..Ongoing Constructions Sometimes Scare Me

  7. Think Green Articles Says:

    Thank for the great post on light bulbs…it really only takes a few small steps to create a large impact on reducing your environmental foot print.

  8. Noraiza Braun Says:

    I never knew that all of the heat was wasted energy! Thank you for sharing this with us. I gained more knowledge. 😀
    Noraiza Braun´s last blog post ..Unclaimed funds Texas search for unclaimed funds in Texas

  9. Victoria Taylor Says:

    This really is a very wonderful project! Thanks for the post!
    Victoria Taylor´s last blog post ..Unclaimed funds Texas search for unclaimed funds in Texas

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