Switching From Incandescent to CFL

People don’t like change, but change is coming to your household starting in 2012.  Thanks to an energy law passed by Congress, the incandescent light bulb will be phased out gradually from 2012 to 2014.  Since the light bulb we all know and love has been around since Edison invented it in 1879, it’s not easy letting go.  After all, the incandescent light bulb is iconic to life as we know it since it replaced candlelight—a centuries old source of illumination.

Why is this happening?  We live in an electronic-laden age and culture, and our energy sources are feeling the strain.  It’s imperative we take initiative to avoid an energy crisis.  Ninety percent of a light bulb’s energy output is wasted as heat compared to the compact fluorescent’s (CFL) five percent.  If you are unmoved by that statistic, the “bright” side is that you’ll be saving money by making the switch.  If you’ve ever priced CFL’s, you might wonder how that’s possible, since they often cost six times the price of a regular light bulb.  Since a CFL uses 75 percent less energy and lasts five years, you could see approximately a 12 percent savings in your utility bills.  Depending on how much electricity you consume and the unit amount you pay, savings will vary, but it will be significant, especially over the course of decades.

Until the CFL reaches its final stages of evolution, there will be a few bumps in the road.  For instance, you should leave the CFL on for at least fifteen minutes to prevent shortening bulb life or else it might not endure for the five years it touts.  Yes, CFLs do contain mercury, which makes disposal more challenging.  Contact your refuse company or state EPA office for proper disposal instructions.  Some home improvement stores are already accepting them for recycling, but more needs to be done.  The shade of CFL light is also transitioning from the harsh and sterile light we find offensive to the soft white light most of us find more soothing.  Perfection doesn’t happen overnight.

Take comfort in knowing the legislation only phases out 40 to 100 watt bulbs.  Light bulbs outside of that range will still be manufactured and sold, including specialty lights like appliance lights, 3-ways, and candelabras.  The switch from incandescent to CFL will be a lot easier to swallow when you see more “green” in your wallet at the end of each month thanks to reduced energy costs.  In her book, Best Green Home Projects, replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFLs is just one of 25 ways Brenda K. Cross sites to save money through simple weatherization and home improvement projects.  If you haven’t already purchased your copy to make sure you’re managing your money most effectively, visit   http://www.cuturenergycosts.com/ for more free tips or to place an order.

Thank you, Thomas Edison, for “lighting” the way with your amazing invention.  We’ll take it from here and make you proud!

photo credit: Dreamstime.com

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