T Nation


Recently someone mentioned the Kyoto treaty trying to connect a completely separate issue from his argument. Well I made a reference to the fact that I replaced 7 of my light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs. Regardless of your opinions on global warming, and the environment, being liberal or conservative, I actually recommend everyone change at least some of their bulbs to compact florescent. If you care about the environment then getting as many people to change will cut energy usage, and possible emissions.

If you care about finances then by changing one light bulb you cut the cost of the use of that bulb by 76.7%. If you hate the energy industry then changing as many bulbs as possible will mean that they make less money.

I bought a 5 pack from Sam’s club, and it cost me $16. That is $3.20 per bulb. If each bulb is used an average of 8 hours a day, you will save over 55 kilowatt-hours each month. (Or 660 Kilowatt hours per year.) At 5 cents per kilowatt-hour that equals $2.75 each month. That is a 17% return on your money each month. Or saving $33 a year on a $16 investment. (This is based on a 14-watt bulb that equals a 60-watt bulb.)

Getting as many people to switch as possible will cause the supply/demand ratio to force prices down, and reduce the chances of brown outs. I cannot see a downside to this. (Other then affecting the energy stocks.)

Mage: thanks for posting this.

I began switching bulbs several, oh, must be about 4-years ago. Smartest thing, too.

Our entire homestead isn’t outfitted completely with CF, but VERY soon (like this month) it will be. I do encourage others to do the same!

I have doubts on the profit-stopping effect. My educated guess is that, should people widely use your strategy, the companies would have to find a way to finance their FIXED COSTS, and will revamp fees or create new ones. Since there’s few players in the industry, you can expect lobbies to do such a move. Widescale, nice dream though. But you’ll definitely see the effect on your bill, indeed, whether people change or not (short term, you’re saving money). Thanks for the input.

I’m known as “Darkman” at work because I keep the lights off in my office. I turned them off three years ago because I hated the florescent lighting. I have a window in my office, so I get enough natural light.

At home, I usually have the lights off unless cooking dinner or eating at the table (or in the bathroom). I don’t like the lights and prefer to have natural light (window shades open or porch glass door open) or just have the lights out.

I save all sorts of money on my electric bill, and my eyes don’t have to suffer to florescent lights!

While I think the idea behind this is a good one, CFs give off a different light that incandescents: notice how CFs remain white when you dim them, whereas incandescents yellow? I have switched several bulbs to CFs in lighter trafficked areas like the garage, spare room, and front porch, but I really don’t care for the look of them in places like the living room.

Incandescents give off a much warmer light. CF manufacturers are making tremendous progress in this area lately, however, so if they can pull off a full-spectrum CF in the next few years, that would be great.


I was worried about the coloring also. I started with two and couldn’t really tell a difference. Every type of light actually gives off a different light. My understanding of fluorescents is that they either lose one color or another. If you can find out which color is lost, and can combine two CF’s in one area it might give off a better spectrum. Another option are led lights. They are just coming out and tend to be expensive, but already cities are replacing traffic lights with led lights because they last very long and use 80% less power then incandescent light bulbs. California replaced 200,000 traffic lights with led based lights during last years “energy crisis”.

Oh yeah, you are not supposed to use a CF with a dimmer.

  Tyler's right. It's called ergonomics, and as much sense as you make, there is no way im having bright white lights at home.

  My living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom MUST have a nice warm light. I dont think im going industrial and replace my warm lights with bright, irritating, white lights any time soon

  I'd rather have to walk in the pitch dark than having those things hanging over me on my own house.