light bulb savingsCan making such a simple change in your home much such a difference.  We just read an article about how we think about the cost of savings when we make big purchases, but not with small ones such as light bulbs.  We liked the article and decided to make it today’s post.

The article come from and was written by: Brice Particelli

There are two basics types of light bulb, fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are the most commonly used because they are the least expensive bulb by bulb, and also include a variety called halogen light bulbs. They are not the least expensive over time, even the halogen variation.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Fluorescent light bulbs are energy saving bulbs that screw into a regular light socket or lighting fixture. In comparison to incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent bulbs last between four and ten times longer and use approximately one quarter less energy. While they are more expensive initially, the cost is paid back between three and twelve months (depending on the types of bulb in question). This means that the typical homeowner, or many renters, would do better with fluorescent bulbs.

Do Fluorescent Bulbs Flicker and Buzz? 
The first generation of fluorescent light bulbs used magnetic ballasts rather than electronic. What this basically meant was that it took longer for the charge to get to the bulb causing it to flicker, make noise and take a bit to warm up. The connection was not as strong or consistent. Similarly, they also used mono-phosphors rather than multiple-phosphors, causing the light emitted to be a bland yellowish tint. Since then, the technology has made leaps and bounds. While once they were the very definition of institutional gloom, they now come in even more variations of white (and color) than the older generation bulbs. The only difference left is the cost.

Ancillary Benefits
Because fluorescent bulbs use less energy and last longer, there is less waste. You use less energy and go through bulbs far less often (average 8000 hours life vs. 500-2,000). The only environmental consideration to keep in mind is that fluorescent bulbs use trace amounts of mercury. It is important, then, to recycle them at either your local recycling center or return them to the store you bought them from so that they can recycle them for you. Even with that minor consideration, you will use as little as one bulb rather than ten, and consume one quarter the energy. Not only do you reduce waste, then, and save considerable money over time, but you also end up pulling out that step stool far fewer times in your life. And honestly, who doesn’t want that most of all?

Brice Particelli, formerly a carpenter in Colorado and Kentucky, manages continuing education programs for Columbia University and is a freelance writer for both the home improvement and travel industries.
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