Monday, July 21, 2008

Light bulb update

A little over a year ago, we swapped the majority of light bulbs in our house for compact fluorescent bulbs. This morning I finally got around to replacing out one of those new bulbs that had burned out. In the past year I think we have had two of the smaller, desk lamp sized bulbs burn out. But this is the first full-sized, 11 watt bulb I have needed to replace.

I knew going into this that compact fluorescent(cf) bulbs last longer than incandescent bulbs. And though this bulb didn't last too long, there are something like 20 other cf bulbs that are going strong into their second year of service.

I did try some cf flood lamps a few months ago, but they were a miserable failure. I thought that I could use them with a dimmer switch, as long as I ran the switch on full power. But these are controlled by a sliding dimmer switch and the process of turning these switches up to full power caused the bulbs to burn out within a few on-off cycles. Now you know.

Ans another side note, we never noticed a huge drop in our electricity bills after the bulb swap. But once we finally commit to fluorescent capable dimmers and we replace the last of the incandescent bulbs in the house, that should make another little dent, too.

5 comments:

postulatesandpasttimes said...

I ask this in all seriousness, because I've moved the majority of our non-dimmered lights to the new "mercury laden, yet supposedly enviro-friendly" versions...how much do the fluro-capable dimmers cost?

Cuz...regular dimmers aren't cheap and I have a lot of them in my house.

Rick said...

I read some stuff once. Along time ago. My memory now serves another master.

My current and probably incorrect recollection is that lighting only accounts for about 10-15% of your power bill. With CFL it would be even less. Unless your power bill was mondo you probably wouldn't notice the decrease in the bill simply due to the normal monthly fluctuations.

The majority of your power usage is applicances: HVAC, Fridge, Deep Freeze, Stove/Oven, Water heater, TV, TV, TV, Computer.

The real benefit of the CFL is not having to replace the night light every couple of months. :)

kaicevy said...

In the past year I think we have had two of the smaller, desk lamp sized bulbs burn out

Mike said...

You are right, Rick. When we dropped a new $6K HVAC systenm into the house, we cut our electric bill by almost 80%!

That system paid for itself in two years.

Ginger said...

Our kids leave their closet lights (like nightlights) on all night and sometimes all day, too. We were replacing regular bulbs every month until we went compact and it's been a year since I put those in. We still have some regular bulbs in our house but they aren't used as often.