CFL Simplicity

I think the first environmental thing I did to my living space that required a sacrifice of any type on my part was to convert all our bulbs to CFLs.  I had planned to install CFLs one at a time as our “normal” bulbs burned out, but got impatient and did it all in one shot, throwing out all the older bulbs. Doing it this way was expensive. I’m remembering that we replaced about 8 bulbs at once at a cost of $36.  Doing this today would cost me less than $20, since prices have gone done and bulk pricing has been introduced.

We switched to CFLs in 2005, and we’ve had to replace most of them once, in 2009. A couple we have not replaced yet.  (I had to change my porch light twice – we have trouble remembering to turn it off. Obviously, we need a timer or light sensor.)  When we moved in 2008, we bought cheap, old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, screwed those in the sockets, and took our CFLs with us to the new abode. 

In 2006 I ran a branch of EPA’s Change-a-Light campaign for my work place. It was moderately successful; I was able to get about 100 pledges for bulb changes. Not as high as I’d hoped considering the size of my office building, but not too shabby, right?  My take-away is that I remember the complaints and the skepticism that even educated people have towards change.

Some people complained about the delay when you flip the switch being too long. I never had this issue. Some people complained about the bulbs burning out too quickly. I never had this issue either, but I wonder if it may have to do with putting the wrong bulb in the wrong place… like putting a CFL in a socket with a dimmer switch on it, or choosing the wrong wattage, or something?  I’ve heard complaints about the costs. I still do. But the costs are lower now; you can buy 5-packs at Lowes for not much at all. And in the long run, it saves money. Most of those bulbs lasted me five years. However, it has been a long time since I’ve heard much fight against CFLs, so I’d like to think that the public is more educated and accepting of them now.

Switching your light bulbs is one of the easiest things you can do to increase your home’s performance. It saves electricity, saves you money on both your electric bills replacement cost, and saves you the time and hassle of changing the bulbs more often. It’s not really that expensive up front  (unless you have to buy a large quantity of bulbs at once), and you have to change your bulbs anyway so it’s no extra work. You invest a few minutes of your life by screwing in bulbs and immediately start reaping the benefits.

I like them. I think they’re cool. I think they’re a technological advancement. They save me money. Because I’m lazy, I appreciate not having to change out burned bulbs as often. I have no motivation whatsoever to buy a cheaper product that doesn’t work as well as my CFLs do.

No comments: