Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)


Over the past couple years, we have been switching out every single incandescent light bulb for the newer, more efficient CFL bulbs. While they do cost a bit more on the front end, the savings in your wallet and in the environment are huge over the long run.


Think about it. A 13 watt CFL produces the same (if not more) light as a 60 watt incandescent. By using 4 CFLs, we are still using less energy than 1 incandescent (13×4=52 watts).



In our apartment right now, we have 16 CFLs between 10 and 13 watts each. That means we are using roughly 200 watts to light up most of our apartment. With traditional bulbs, we would be using 960 watts!


According to cflbulbs.com:

Replacing a 75-watt incandescent bulb with a 20-watt CFL will reduce your consumption of electricity by roughly 550 kilowatt-hours — over the life of that bulb. In relation to a coal-fired power plant, this amounts to nearly 500 pounds of coal (about the size of a couple garbage cans) that didn’t need to be burned to power your bulb. That reduction translates to 1,300 pounds LESS carbon dioxide and 20 pounds LESS sulfur dioxide released into our atmosphere. This is one bulb. Multiply this by all the bulbs in your home, then by all the homes in your neighborhood — think of the savings. You’ll see how small, easy changes, can make a huge difference in the future of our planet.



Hesitant to make the switch? Well, the government is actually following in the footsteps of many European countries by phasing out the production and sales of incandescent light bulbs.


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It is important to remember that CFLs are not the savior here. Really, they are just a stepping stone towards the LED bulbs which are even more efficient. LED bulbs can produce the same amount of light on just 2.5 watts! There are still some kinks to be worked out, and they are still extremely pricey (between $20-40 per bulb). But they contain no mercury (one drawback to the CFLs), and they can last for nearly 25 years!


As soon as they come down a bit in price, you can bet we’ll be switching over to LED. But for now, we can do our part by waving good-bye to this Edison-era relic.