Thursday, July 5, 2007
Changing the Lights
With the cost of electricity in Texas overly high, our first todo was to swap out nearly all of the light bulbs in the house with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. We removed nearly 30 light bulbs totaling about 3000W. Went to Home Depot and spent about $40 in CFL's along with some that we've used previously. I also Freecycled the 28 light bulbs for someone else to use.
For instance, in our main living room the previous owner had 6 - 150W bulbs going, and we switched to 6 - 23W bulbs giving out about the same lumens. With rates around 15c/kWh, we are saving around 11 cents per hour in lighting costs for that one room, not counting the amount of money we save due to heat savings. Not a bad savings for a pretty small initial investment.
Some people say that CFL's are actually doing more harm to the environment since they contain mercury. Since there is an IKEA nearby which recycles CFLs, that part is easy to solve for us. It would be nice to see more retailers or government bodies to give more options to recycle the lights. You can also go to Earth 911 to see recycling sites and other general information. On another note, it is nice to see IKEA taking a proactive approach to conservation, with their program to try to force people to use their reusable bags.