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According to the Energy Star website, “If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year (more than $600 million in annual energy costs) and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.”
With the recent worries over oil, Wall Street and gas prices is it any wonder that Americans are concerned about saving money and helping the environment? Replacing light bulbs with CFLs seemed like an easy solution for a busy person, such as myself. So the last time I went to Walmart I picked up a box.
Picking the right bulb may seem like a science harder than what goes into making one of these energy efficient bulbs, but all of the boxes were clearly labeled and, if you’re still in doubt, you can check Energy Star’s site for more help.
Now the upfront investment on CFLs is higher than your plain box of light bulbs, but the bulbs last up to 10 times longer, making the total cost either equivalent or slightly less than the cost of traditional bulbs. And the overall savings per bulb? About $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb’s lifetime, which more than pays for your bulb!
When CF bulbs first came out, my parents had installed some and were disappointed by the light they produced. They were too dim to read from and they soon replaced them with conventional bulbs. After installing my CFLs I was very pleased with the amount of light, and the heat produced was noticeably less.
With many different sizes and types, it’s extremely easy to replace all the bulbs in your home. And the time involved is the same amount of time it takes to screw in a light bulb! I currently have CF bulbs in my reading lamps, my floor lamps, my hallway lights and over my kitchen sink and I’m loving them.
Recycling CFLs is something that’s been largely ignored but it’s important to not just throw away CFLs because they contain mercury. (I believe it IS less mercury than a power plant would emit to power a regular bulb, but we still shouldn’t be dumping mercury in landfills when we can so easily dispose of the bulbs properly!) You can check earth911.org to see where near you recycles them. Also, if you have an IKEA and Home Depot in your neighborhood, check to see if they’ll recycle your used bulbs. Plus many CFLs are starting to have specific disposal instructions right on the box.
To make sure your CFLs last as long as possible, it’s important that you purchase the correct ones. Find bulbs with the US Department of Energy’s “Energy Star” logo/label on the box, these are less likely to die. Also, the lifespan of your bulb will vary based on how often it’s used and what kind of conditions it’s under.
All in all, this is a great product and a great value, especially when you factor in the overall savings. So do your wallet and the environment some good by reducing your energy consumption and trade out your old bulbs from some CF bulbs