Need advice re energy efficient closet lighting
I building a new home in an unincorporated area in Texas so I'm not bound by any particular codes or energy efficiency laws. Nevertheless, I'm trying to be as "green" as possible but I've run into a quandry in selecting light bulbs for my walk-in closets.
A single 60 W incandescent bulb has always been sufficient in my current walk-in closet so I had planned to use a single 13 W (daylight) cfl in our new closets. Problem is, the dang things take way tooooooooo long to warm up and get bright enough! And until they do warm up, the color is an absolutely LOUSY cold pale blue that looks like something from outer space.
It usually only takes me about a minute to pick out my clothing for the day but I do need bright, clear light to do it. I need something that comes fully on when you hit the switch.
I've also been reading that cfls that are turned on and then off again in less than about 15 minutes don't really save any energy. PLUS the bulbs burn out quicker. With the price of cfl bulbs and the mercury they're going to add to the landfills when they're thown away, I sure don't want to be replacing one every few months! I think I've replaced the incandesent bulb in the closet in my old house maybe three or four times over the past 25 years.
To a slightly lesser degree, using cfls in powder rooms presents that same problem. I mean, except for morning showers and getting make up on, MOST of our daily trips to the bathroom take - what? - maybe 2 to 4 minutes? Like closet lights, bathroom lights really aren't on long enough for cfls to be efficient there?
For now, I'm thinking it is probably best to just use incandesent lights in the closets and powderrooms - but what do we do when they quit making incandesent bulbs in 2012?
Do some brands/colors/wattage cfls come on quicker? Or, is there some other "green option" one can use in rooms where a nice bright light with good color balance is needed multiple times each day but for only a few minutes at a stretch?