Did you know that switching from the standard incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent ones is one of the easiest things you can do to save energy, save money, and lower your carbon footprint? Fluorescent bulbs last ten to fifteen times longer than incandescent ones, which only last a few months and obviously produce more trash for the landfills. CFLs use only one quarter to one third the energy as incandescent bulbs to produce the same amount of light. If every American household switched to CFLs, it would cut power demand for lighting in half.
Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) cost more than a standard bulb, but as always there is a hidden cost to being cheap. According to the US Department of Energy, only 10 percent of the electricity an incandescent light consumes is actually used to generate light. The other 90% becomes wasted heat. In addition, one 18-watt CFL bulb will replace ten 75-watt incandescents and save $45.00 in electricity costs in its lifetime. My electricity bill went down around $20 per month once I switched to CFLs!
CFLs come in a variety of sizes and shapes and can now be used with dimmers. Most hardware stores, Lowes, Home Depot, and even grocery stores carry them. One downside, CFLs contain a miniscule amount of mercury and must be disposed of properly when they burnout. You can recycle them at the dump or at some retailers like Whole Foods.
Make the switch and feel good about saving money and energy. And don’t forget to turn off your lights when not in use!