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Saturday, October 28, 2006

How many lightbulbs does it take....

We're a household that's is changing out most of our bulbs to CFLs. Please read this article and consider doing the same in your home.

Recently the city and hydro company put together a program to give one bulb to each household. It's a great idea for once you try out one of the newer bulbs you'll change your mind about using them. If you've tried them even just a couple of years ago, give them a try again. The technology has come a long way.

Of course, down the pipe is the LED... but hey, they might be what you'll get to replace the CFLs when you finally have to change them years down the road.

[Update:] You do have to change how you buy and compare lightbulbs. I used to compare how much light I can have from a bulb by wattage and then put a bulb in the socket that has a maximum wattage above or equal to what I've chosen. However, with CFLs you do have to compare on lumens instead of wattage to see if it's enough light for the area you want. I'm using some bulbs in the bathroom that used to be 40W regulars and I'm using 15W CFLs and it's actually brighter than what I had in there before. Go figure :) It is harder to compare on lumens though since most regular bulbs don't tell you how much they output. I don't have enough empirical experience to back it, and mostly have to guess. However, I've been moving the bulbs around the room. Since they are all mostly 15-20W, they will fit into all the sockets that will take anything higher and I move them around the apt until I have a bulb in the area that has the appropriate amount of light. Usually as older bulbs die out.

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Comments:
I wanted to change to CFLs. I bought a pack of 3 60 watt bulbs at Home Depot and brought them home, only to find out that I have exactly 1 standard 60 watt bulb in my place. I think the overheads are brighter and everything else is dimmer.
 
You know, we switched to all CFL's a few years ago and we noticed our hydro bill literally dropped after a few months. I was shocked how quickly we made back the cash we spent on them, and you know what else? I can't even remember the last time I changed a lightbulb -- its been years.
 
we changed the upstairs bulbs two months ago - they're definitely a bit dimmer but I don't mind.
 
We found CFL versions of the small spotlights we use in our track lights. Not only has it saved us money, we don't have to change them nearly as often which is a good thing with 12 foot ceilings and 5 foot something humans. I didn't realize that's what they were because the swirl bulb is enclosed in the spotlight casing.
 
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