So this posting is a little unlike me but I just had to share it.
Since I moved in to this new apartment – which is in the basement of a house – I have been doing little things here and there to spice it up. I got a long way to go before I get it all done but one thing I have done is even a little green. I have switched all the bulbs in the house to low wattage bulbs to help save on the energy bill. Today I picked up the last bulbs needed to make the full switch over to low energy ones. So instead of running a total of 720 or more watts I am now running under 185 watts. This will make a huge difference in energy consumption, which should have a big impact on the monthly bills. I am rather proud of this move and encourage many people to explore the same, if not for the environment then for the pocketbook.
No post would be complete without mentioning the technology behind these bulbs. The reason they are considered low energy is that they are not your typical Incandescent bulbs. They use Fluorescent bulb technology, which is more efficient. This is how! Incandescent bulbs pass electricity across a filament which produces light. Much of that energy is given off as heat, so much that touching the bulb would burn you, but a warm yellow light is produced. A typical 60 watt light bulb produces about 855 lumens (the standard measurement of light). In contrast a Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL) only burn 15 watts and produce around 900 lumens. Since the bulb uses energy more efficiently, it is also cooler to the touch since the typical byproduct of heat is not generated in large quantities. Although, with just about any use of energy, heat is a byproduct and unavoidable, to do so would be cold fusion.
Another thing to note about CFL bulbs is that they last much longer than incandescent bulbs. The typical CFL is expected to last for 10,000 hours while incandescent bulbs last for about 1,000 hours. Given they burn less energy, and require less frequent replacement, the slight cost difference of purchasing CFLï¿½s is negligible.
One final thing about CFL bulbs. Since they are fluorescent bulbs it can take a moment to get to full brightness and lower quality bulbs will have a noticeable delay between the time they turn on from when you flick the switch. I noticed this with the two GE brand bulbs I picked up today. I had been using the Philips brand in the rest of the house and decided to try another brand while at the local hardware store. I had found the Philips brand Marathon® bulbs were providing the best quality, and at around $25 for a pack of 10 not a bad deal.
I know that others who had made the same conversion have saved a bit on their electrical bill. Exact numbers I donï¿½t know, but enough to notice a difference. Since my heat and light is built into my rent, I won’t notice but I am sure my landlord is thankful. So while I suggest switching for the pure fact it will save you a few dollars, you can also feel good about doing a little bit for the environment.