The Tipping Point for Low-Energy Light Bulbs

Posted September 6th, 2006 by kyle

The time to eliminate the incandescent light bulb has arrived. These Fast Company and BBC News articles cover the latest info in great detail.

In summary, CFL (compact flourescent light) bulbs have finally hit a sweet spot of price and functionality. They produce excellent light, fit in a standard light bulb socket, are extremely energy-efficient, and are now inexpensive. An 8-pack of 60-watt bulbs can currently be purchased for as little as $12. That’s about 6 times the cost of incandescent, but they last about 8 times as long and consume one quarter as much electricity.

We recently replaced most of our bulbs at home (except a few on dimmers, covered ceiling light fixtures, and some with non-standard plugs) with CFLs. There is about a one-second delay when turning on, and it takes several seconds to brighten fully, but the quality, consistency, and level of lighting is very similar to incandescents. That’s a small price to pay for the benefits.

Taking into consideration the bulb and electricity costs over its lifetime, it’s a no-brainer to switch. Plus, it’s beneficial for the environment (decreased electricity use reduces carbon monoxide emissions from coal plants, longer life reduces production, shipping, and disposal costs, etc.) and a time-saver (bulbs only need to be purchased and changed once every several years rather than multiple times per year). I’m looking forward to not having to change a light bulb for several years and saving at least $1,000 during that time.

LED (light emitting diodes) bulbs hold even more promise than CFLs for the future, but CFLs should clearly be what you’re buying today. Hopefully we can all make 2007 the year the incandescent light bulb became obsolete.

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2 Comments on “The Tipping Point for Low-Energy Light Bulbs”

  1. Alexander Deliyannis Says:

    Thanks for the info; nice to see that Kinook’s interests extend beyond information management to its actual content :-)

    BTW, the BBC link seems to be non-operational.

    alx

  2. kyle Says:

    Thanks — that link is fixed now.

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