Sunday, April 22, 2007

"Take that, Fossil Fuels!" Sincerely, Compact Fluorescents

Happy Earth Day everyone! We spent earth day driving around -- which sounds worse than is is! We never drive (we don't have a car in NYC), but when we visit the family, we usually borrow the family car. So while we were driving, polluting the environment, we made the best of it.


Seen here are the fruits of our labor:
  • (4) 23w (100w) n:vision CF Bulbs
  • (6) 14w (60w) n:vision CF Bulbs (thanks multiple home depots!)
  • (2) 14w (60w) bulbs from brother in law (brand unknown)
  • (2) 26w (100w) GE Daylight bulbs
...and I stopped because I thought we might over buy. After all, these things last so long, it doesn't make sense to buy replacements for these right now. By the time one goes, it'll be affordable to buy LED lights anyway.

So we went around and replaced the bulbs in our overhead bulbs, our bathroom, our over-the-table light, and a bunch of accent/reading lights.


Hey, wait! Two of those aren't going to save me any energy consumption in my home! The two GE bulbs sucked me in with "daylight light quality" -- and I thought that meant "better light". The truth is, the light was horrible. They're going back to the store, but the other ones look great.

I also love to see the quality of the bulbs that the image took (thanks to the flash) -- the "whiter" bulbs are actually the better quality bulbs. For the "Reveal" line from GE, I do actually like their light better. But the fluoros... expensive is not better. The n:vision soft light line are superb, and not too expensive either.

And the results are in!
The power consumption of the incandescent bulbs: 770 Watts
The power consumption of the compact fluorescent bulbs: 204 Watts

The savings?
We reduced the amount of energy we consume in our home (on lightbulbs) by 74%, without having to change our habits. If today was any kind of indication, we are about to start the air conditioning season. This means we'll have to compare to last May's energy bill to see the savings.

There are also two added benefits to these long life, low wattage replacements. First, changing the bulbs in our overhead lights has once resulted in a near electrical fire due to the rickety-ness (and yeah, that's a word) of the unit, and there are two of them, each using three bulbs. I will be very glad not to have to get up on the stool with fingers crossed any time soon.

I also will be eager to see if the decrease in wattage (which relates almost directly to heat output) will make the window and fanless kitchen more bearable this summer. Maybe there will even be a noticable reduction in cooling needs.

What a great opportunity to help out the environment (and our pockets in the process!). If you're not using any CF bulbs yet, why not?

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