Energy Saving Bulbs.

Pooh BearOctober 23, 2003

I found some energy saving bulbs a few days ago at Walmart.

GE brand, 3000 hrs, about $3.50 each.

This seems like a good deal for anybody that wants to try them.

We bought a couple and we like them.

60 watt equivalent, use only 15 watts.

We are gonna get some more for some of the other rooms of the house.

The only lights we often use are the kitchen and family room.

So it makes sense to use these type bulbs in those rooms.

Pooh Bear

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We have some of these bulbs and agree that they are good. Unfortunately they don't fit the harp of our lamps and we are still using the regular bulbs in there....anyone else have a problem like this? Maybe I'm just not buying the correct one.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2003 at 11:45AM
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There are now more and more varieties that fit different lamps. Also there are adapters. It's a good idea to stock up when these go on sale.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2003 at 12:17PM
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(Coming over from the Appliance & Kitchen/Bath forums)

I have tried to use Compact Fluorescent lamps whenever possible, but I have a number of fixtures in this house in which either the smallest CF is a fraction of an inch away from fitting, or the bulb is visible and the inexpensive "spiral" CFs just don't look very good. I've used a couple of Sylvania CFs in the latter fixtures, but they're slow to start up and I find myself leaving the light on, negating the effect of using a CF.

I think we have a little way to go before CFs can replace incandescent.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2003 at 7:03AM
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Personally I think anything fluorescent is downright ugly, no matter how much energy I'm saving. Why would I want my home to look like an office building? It's very unflattering, I think.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2003 at 9:50AM
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Pooh Bear

We are using them only in 3 rooms.
And in all 3 rooms, you can't see the bulbs in the fixtures.
They are the standard square fixture that hangs in the middle of the room.
I can't tell any difference between these and regular bulbs,
other than the appearance (spiral).

We got some more bulbs Friday at Walmart.
They were $3.77 each.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2003 at 12:27PM
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Hi all,

I was disgusted, a few months ago.

I got a CF some months ago for my table lamp that sits on the desk, two U-shaped tubes. The shade, intended for round bulbs, didn't fit very well.

After three or four months, I swatted a fly on the shade - and broke the bulb! It had cost about $7.00, I think.

After that I bought a pack of two (spirals) at Wal-Mart, for about $8.00, I think. One in table lamp on desk, one in kitchen.

So far - so good.

But - they'll have to last a LONG time, for me to break even.

Saving energy means less pollution. Deferred cost of building new generating plants.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2003 at 12:07AM
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We use the compact fluorescent spiral bulbs in every fixture that doesn't show, and even a few that do. When you sit down and multiply the wattage and what you are paying to light a regular bulb, it sure feels like throwing your money away to use incandescents. Laundry room, furnace room, closets, etc. are great places for CF bulbs, in case you forget to turn off the light.Annieil

    Bookmark   November 8, 2003 at 10:48AM
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Phyllis, the color of the light from many new compact fluorescent bulbs is very good. You're right that many of the early ones were similar to "office building" style light, but the new ones are actually truer to natural daylight than incandescent bulbs. Now that I've switched almost all my lights over to CFLs, light from incandescent bulbs looks yellow and somewhat "dirty" by comparison.

Not only do CFLs consume one-fourth the wattage for an equivalent amount of light, they also add less heat to your house, which is not a big deal in the winter, but is a great energy saver and comfort helper in the summer.

When choosing fixtures or lamps to put CFLs into, choose those that you typically use the most hours, and don't frequently turn on and off. Closets are not a good application for CFLs for this reason. If you turn a CFL on and off frequently, it won't last as long as it's supposed to last. Most people have living room, family room, and kitchen lights that are left on for hours at a time. Those are the ones where CFLs should go.

There are some great CFL flood-style bulbs for recessed kitchen fixtures. I got some of those for my mom, and she loves them. The incandescents in her eight recessed fixtures would draw over 500 watts, whereas the CFL flood bulbs draw a total of 120 watts -- and she likes the light from them better. And a side benefit: CFLs last many times longer, reducing the hassle of bulb replacement.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2003 at 1:29AM
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I bought some of the spirals a few months ago when an electrician told me they would lower my a/c bill. He had me put my hand about a foot from the light in my ceiling fan. It was unbelievably hot. When I changed to the spirals, it was much cooler. I live in Texas and I don't need to add heat to my rooms in the summer. Personally, I don't think their "ugly" but delightfully different.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2003 at 10:43PM
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I agree with you; it's all a matter of what you get used to.

That a/c savings point is really good. If you were to replace ten 100 watt incandescent bulbs with 25 watt CFLs, you will not only be using 750 less watts, but you will reduce the amount of heat in your house by 2,560 BTUs, which is about half of the capacity of a small bedroom-type window a/c unit.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2003 at 7:18PM
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I use these evberyone I'm not using a dimmer switch. In my track lighting and similar fixtures I use PAR halogen bulbs.

Compact Fluorescents last longer, use less energy, and give cleaner light than standard incandescents. They've come a long way since they first came out and can not fit in almost any fixture, dont flicker, and give plain white light (not blue or yellow).

I can get them locally for $1 a piece.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 3:50PM
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They've come a long way since they first came out and can not fit in almost any fixture, dont flicker, and give plain white light (not blue or yellow).

I had a heck of a time finding CFLs which will fit some of my lamps (primarily overhead fixtures); I finally found some at IKEA which are very small and offer decent light. I notice, however, that some of the very cheapest CFLs which can be bought at the local home-improvement center are spirals which are either not-quite-bug-light-yellow or a cold, cold blue-white. I wouldn't want to use either of them in a fixture where you could see them.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 4:25PM
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Contray to popular belief you cannot save $$$ by using a dimmer switch.

An electrician explained it to me and although I can't reiterate the exact words he used to explain it to me, basically it was that the fixture draws the same amount of current, but only uses the amount needed for the dim setting and "wastes" the rest. It had something to do with the trasformer.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 12:59AM
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Incandescent light bulbs are one of the most common sources of internal heat gain. ...are actually rather inefficient sources of light. The convert only about 5-10 percent of the electricity that flows through them into light. The rest is converted to heat. It would be more accurate to call them "heat bulbs"!

Replacing incadescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) - CFLS convert electrical energy into visible light much more efficiently than incandescent bulbe, using 75% less energy to produce the same amount of light. Not only do they consume less electrical power and save you money, they also emit less heat--about 90% less heat than a similarly rated incandescent light. They are also color adjusted to produce a pleasing light, not the cold bluish light of a standard fluorescent bulb. (Source: "The New Ecological Home" by Daniel D. Chiras)

We've converted nearly all our incandescent light bulbs to CFLs and did so as soon as they became available on the market years ago. There are now some that look just like an incadescent light bulb which makes it easier to get under the harp of some lamps.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 9:59AM
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Any Wisconsinites here can get a rebate of $2/bulb or $5/multipack for CF bulbs through Wisconsin Focus on Energy. We got them from our local Menards for less than $1/bulb with this rebate.

Others should probably check if their states offer similar incentives.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wisconsin Focus on Energy Lighting Rebate

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 2:25PM
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I bought some at the "higher" price many years ago to try them out. I had shop lights in the basement along with a ring light down in the basement essentially since I moved into the place. Always liked fluorescents. I like the cool white much better than warm white. Warm white bulbs really hurt my eyes. I'll have a headache in short order. Daylight bulbs are the best for me.

By replacing just two bulbs that were used often, I noticed the difference on the electric bill within two months. Then Menards started having rebates and sales so you could get them virtually free after rebate or definitely less than $1 ea so I started buying more and more. Last fall they had them on sale for $1 each without rebate. Cost isn't an issue anymore. Even at a higher retail price, if it's used a lot, you'll recap the cost in a respectable time. I think people will be surprised at the number of hours they actually burn light. Often they don't take into account the wintertime hours are far more than summertime. So the savings is often more than you'd initially think. Plus just common sense tells you that 13-25w vs 60-100w per bulb times the number of bulbs replaced equals savings. Yes you have a little upfront expense, but just like paying for insulation, it comes back later. It amazes me that people will pay tens of thousands of dollars to replace windows in the house to save some on their heat bill but won't spend a couple dollars on a CFL! Plus if you even start replacing burned out incandescents with CFLs you cut the upfront cost by the offset of cost. When you really look, incandescents aren't always that cheap a bulb.

You can get CFLs in the candleabre shape (teardrop design), mini "floodlight" style and all sorts of shapes and sizes. Just go to a place that handles a lot of lighting.

One thing that surprised me. I thought I'd have to use more of them to get the amount of light, since I was using 100w bulbs in my floor lamp by which I'd read but I have one that is a 75w comparable and I find it's just fine. And I don't think my eyes have gotten better with age!

They're not ideal for places where you turn them on for 30 seconds and off again and not use them often. So I don't have CFLs in my entry foyer light or in the hallway light. I tried one in there to see how it would be, but it's brighter than I need and the amount the hall light is on is so little there'd be little savings. I've pretty much converted the whole house to fl. lighting. I do have the main kitchen fixture left, but that has a dimmer on it. Not that I use the dimmer itself, but I use a remote with it so I can turn the light on/off from across the room and not have to walk through the room in the dark. If I can get a remote switch, I'll probably put CFLs into the fixture and use it more. There's three bulbs in there. 180 watts down to 39 watts when being used. There's quite a savings.

And FWIW, it doesn't bother me if the CFLs show. They have a more interesting look than a boring old bulb! But that's a personal thing.

I had to chuckle at my cousin. He's realizing the value of CFLs but at his lake place he has a chandelier with an odd base size. He insisted they didn't make them to fit. I found them but he wouldn't buy them until they went on sale or rebate. I did some quick calculations and showed him that he would have saved the cost of the bulbs at full retail if purchased right away. Now it's just costing him more. Stubbornness can hurt frugalness! :)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 2:08PM
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