The Task: To (finally) switch our incandescent light bulbs out for energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) and Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL)
The Why: It's kind of embarrassing that here we are on day fifty-eight of this journey doing the first thing most people do when they want to decrease their energy consumption.
When the CFLs first came out we did buy a box of them with a 50% off coupon and replaced three light bulbs in the house. That was about all we could afford that day, so we figured we'd switch the rest out over time and it just never happened.
Incandescent light bulbs are notoriously inefficient. I've read many times that they release 90% of the electricity consumed as heat and only 10% as light! Plus, they burn out more often, which means more manufacturing, more packaging to end up in landfills, and more fuel needed to ship them to our local stores.
So this weekend we had some light bulbs than needed replacing, a reasonably fresh paycheck still partially unspent, and great sale at a nearby hardware store. It seemed like a good time to upgrade.
The How: We replaced most of our lights with CFLs. There is one light above the bathtub that we leave on at night as a sort of nightlight (we live in the country and there are no street lights outside, so we would literally be walking into walls on our way to the bathroom if we didn't leave some sort of light on!) so we splurged and switched that one out for an LED that uses only 4 watts of electricity. Now I can feel so much better about leaving that light on all night!
There are two lights in the master bedroom that are on dimmers, and dimmable CFL's weren't on sale this week, and we aren't bazillionaires, so we're going to wait for the mega expensive dimmable CFL's to go on sale before making that last upgrade.
The Verdict: I added up the watts of our before bulbs and after bulbs. Before making the switch we had 1546 watts of light in our house. Now we have a total of 413 watts of light!
Plus, we did the math, and if these bulbs really last the 6 or 7 years they are supposed to, compared to the old lights that needed to be replaced approximately twice a year, we are actually spending less on light bulbs, albeit, all at once. So the situation feels kind of win-win.
We are doing one small thing (almost) every day for a year to create a simpler, quieter, more intentional life. Take a moment to read all About Us, check out The Rules of our year long project and sign up for our RSS feed or "like" us on facebook so that you can follow our journey to radical simplicity!