Saturday, July 12, 2008

Compact Flourescent Light Bulbs (CF) - going for 100%

I've been pondering how we can both help the environment and reduce our electrical usage.

Last weekend at a cost of $110 I replaced the incandescent bulbs in almost all of our ceiling fan fixtures (we have 5).

I still have a large number of sconces and ceiling fixtures that use flame tipped bulbs. Although Costco does not have any, Target does for about $4.50 or so (+/= $0.50) - however these are for the normal ligh bulb width screw base.

I remember seeing a narrower screwbase with an adapter somewhere - but have to track it down.

I'll need 20-30 of them.

With the cost of summer air conditioning, i'm wondering how quickly i'll see a cost savings. Probably not too quickly.

we're currently setting our hvac temperature at 75 degrees. Outside temperature usually goes into the 80s in Chicago for this time of year. I'm wondering if we should raise it 1 degree to 76 - perhaps at night time? Maybe it won't be noticed. We'll have to see how the family accepts this.

I realized that I have not replaced the incandescents in the garage - that may be a morning project.

One of the most challenging projects is replacing the light bulbs in a lofted area of the house that are very high up. Somehow we'll have to tackle that - I imagine as soon as a light goes out we'll replace all of them with long lasting CF bulbs.

Additionally, we should consider converting outdoors lights as well, however, we don't use the outside lights very often.

One question I ask myself, does it make sense to spend $300 - $400 on CF bulbs? We certainly noticed a $50 per month reduction in electrical bills during winter, so i think it does.

One area, where we have little ability to convert are the dimmable can lights in the kitchen (6) and finished basement (12?). The kitchen is a high use area, however, the basement is not. However, I have not yet seen dimmable floods and I wonder how much they would cost. Dimabble flame tip or torpedo style bulbs cost $11+ each. That would be a very big investment!

In the next few years, manufacturers will stop making incandescent bulbs. I can only imagine that chepaer CF and CF dimmable technology will be created. One question remains - will it work with current dimming systems?


PS I wonder how we're doing lowering our carbon footprint. I have a sneaking suspicion keeping the swimming pool heated in September will not help.

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