Convert to Fluorescent Lights

There is a huge debate right now in many circles about ending the production of incandescent lights and converting to fluorescent lights. Many people do not want to be told what to do and incandescent lightothers are just upset at the cost of the fluorescent lights compared to the regular incandescent lights we have used for many years. We have made the conversion and are finding that there are benefits. We will cover some of them in this post, since this conversion supports reduced energy needs as well as avoids the new construction of undesirable power generation through coal of nuclear generating sites.

Ugly Fluorescent Lights

Many people are just not interested in converting because the light bulbs fluorescent lighton sale at stores are just not that attractive or do not fit the form factor that we are used to.  We have a lot of the type shown on the left , however we use them in locations were the bulb is hidden by a shade or they are outdoor lights and we do not care how they look since they are really there to provide security. These bulbs really last for a long time and operate fine outside as long as they are in a dry place protected from the weather.

There are also the straight line fluorescent lights as well, however the bulb shown in the picture are really intended to replace the fluorescent lightstandard incandescent bulbs. In the last few years we have found more and more products available on the market which makes them more attractive in many areas of your home. The picture on the right is one such example. They are now beginning to come in all sizes and shapes, with quick start ballasts that cause them to immediately brighten a room, rather than need to take a few minutes to warm up and light up a room.  We use these new fluorescent bulbs outdoors now as well as long as they are protected from the elements. We also found a light sensitive switch made to work with fluorescent bulbs so that they turn on at dusk and off at dawn.

What About the Cost?

You can purchase an incandescent bulb for around a $1.00, while many of the fluorescent bulbs will cost as much as $8 or $9 dollars. They do last longer and they use less electricity, but do they save money over the long run?

This is a bit complicated, so please stay with me. Here are the assumptions.

  • Incandescent bulbs last approximately 1000 hours while
  • Fluorescent bulbs last 10,000 hours
  • Incandescent bulbs consuming 60 watts of power produce 800 lumens of light.
  • Fluorescent bulbs consuming 13 watts of power produce 900 lumens of light.
  • Our cost for power is 5.9 cents per kilowatt hour
  • The manufacturer claims that you save $56 per fluorescent bulb

Using our assumptions above and the price we pay for power in the evening which is the lowest rate, we calculated that we are saving $29 per fluorescent bulb, which is still substantial. At our highest rate of power which is 11.6 cents per kilowatt the savings goes up to $55 per bulb which is very close to the manufacturers estimate.

These savings for consumers are substantial considering that most homes will have up to seventy five lights or more. At the same time you are causing much less energy to be produced which reduces our dependence on coal, oil and nuclear generated power and the associated pollution they generate.

We have already noticed the difference in power consumption. For example, we leave one light on all night inside the house, and 3 lights on all night outside our home. In addition, we have the standard set of electronics with their always on LED lights that consume small amounts of power. During the middle of the night with these lights on we use 4 or 5 cents worth of power, which is pretty cheap!

Comments are welcome on ways to save money and help with alternative energy sources or in this case alternative consumption sources.

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