| CFL: Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
- Just "buy a CFL and save $30 in electricity over the life of
the bulb", says the US Energy Star website.
- Uses 3 or 4 times less electricity as compared with
incandescent. A 60 watt incandescent will typically produce the
same amount of light as a 15 watt CFL.
- Light costs 20% of your home electricity bill.
- My house has 58 lights I can turn on, not even at Christmas.
- Illegal to throw away in most states
- Difficult to return for recycling (except at Ikea in Renton)
- Possible toxic mercury outgassing if broken, requiring Hazmat
cleanup, details here.
Although a bulb contains only 5mg of mercury, as compared with 500mg
in an older thermometer, atomized or aerosolized mercury is much more
dangerous (since you can breathe it) than liquid mercury. If you
break one, keep everyone out of the room for at least 15 minutes.
- Not for bathrooms as humidity can shorten the life of a CFL.
- Not for three-way or dimmer switches unless specially rated.
- Not for recessed (can) lighting fixtures, use a reflector style CFL.
- Not for quick lighting (lights used with frequent on/off or short-on cycles).
| The bulbs are pretty competitively cheap themselves.
The main effect is that your power bill goes down.
| (58 bulbs in my house) * (US$30 per bulb, which at 6000 hours should last 6 years) / (6 years) = $290 per year
Realistically, I can reduce the wattage of about 20 bulbs for about 90
minutes per day from 60 to 15 watts each:
20 bulbs * (1.5 hrs per
day per bulb) * (-45 watts) * 365 days/yr
= -492.75 kilowatt-hours
660 pounds of CO2 per year.
| $290/year * 1 year / 12 months =