Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Save More Than Energy

The following is a guest post from Wilfred Baptiste:

Compact fluorescent light bulbs, also known as energy efficient light bulbs, are gaining more and more traction in the marketplace, since their benefits are becoming more and more apparent. So much so that some states have taken steps to move to an incanndescent-free future. There’s a possibility that traditional (incandescent) light bulbs could be outlawed in California. Democratic politician Lloyd Levine has proposed a bill dubbed the “How Many Legislators Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb Act” and that groundbreaking environmental legislation would spell the end of incandescent bulbs in favor of compact energy efficient ones.

When you look at the savings, it’s hardly aguable that using CFLs in light fixtures is a financially sound idea, because the user saves money both on the cost of the bulbs (they last longer than traditional incandescents) and on electricity costs (each bulb will save you at least $30 over its useful life as opposed to traditional bulbs) [Source: Energy Star]. Those are savings that quickly add up!

But there’s more to the picture than money. Switching to more energy-efficient lighting is one of the best ways (in terms of cost) for the United States to cut down electricity use and, therefore electricity production and its associated emission of greenhouse gases. As most of the energy used by a traditional light bulb is wasted as heat, a CFL with comparable lighting uses about 75% less energy. And the potential here is lightly untapped, because it’s estimated that sales of CFLs amount only to 5% of the light bulb market. [Source: Mac 1 Industries]

Replacing 75-watt incandescent light bulbs with 20-watt compact fluorescent light bulbs results in the same amount of light. The difference is established when you look at power consumption and useful life. Switching to energy efficient lighting would save 1,300 pounds of carbon dioxide and save customers $55 over the life of the bulb (while the life of one 75-watt incandescent bulb is roughly 750 hours, the life of a compact fluorescent is a whopping 10,000 hours). Meanwhile, incandescent bulbs use 750 kWh over 10,000 hours, while compact fluorescents use only 180 kWh. High oil prices having driven electricity prices up, it’s no surprise that consumers have been showing renewed interest in CFLs. [Source: IT Wire]

When we look at the big picture, things take a whole different dimension. According to the NPR, if each and every household in the country switched from an incandescent bulb to an energy efficient one, the United States would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of nearly 800,000 cars!

Coupled with traditional good sense (like turning off lights whenever they’re not in use), moving to energy efficient lighting promises to be one of the meaningful changes we can make to help both our finances and the environment. Throw in the fact that it’s something that can easily be implemented, at minimal cost, and it’s safe to say that we’ve finally seen the light (pun intended).

Author Byline:Your Finish Rich Plan, a personal finance blog that highlights what we can do to both make more money and make the most of the money we make.

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4 Responses

  1. Ashley @ Wide Open Wallet 10 years ago
  2. Krissy 10 years ago
  3. Andy @ 10 years ago
  4. Ben 10 years ago

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