Monday, September 01, 2008

Why are these lights sticking out the top of shades?

We've taken our first steps towards going green, replacing three incandescent 75 watt light bulbs with fluorescent ones.

We were in our home away from home, The Home Depot, (because that is were we spend just about every weekend) to "pick up a few things".

We found ourselves at the lightbulb aisle checking out "green" light bulbs.

The first thing we noticed was that these lights last 8000 hours compared to about 800 for standard incandescent ones. I figured this would mean they would last until the next Clinton administration, the Chelsea Clinton Administration.

They also use much less electricity. The ones we were looking at were comparable to 100 watt bulbs and use 23 watts. This is a no brainer, right?

We were trying to determine what the difference is between "soft white" and "daylight" when I remembered my last adventure with these bulbs.

The eyeball lights in the family room.

These were on a dimmer and in the ceiling. Every time you turned on the lights, they would hum like a chorus getting ready for a concert.

And buzz. And the light was dim until they "warmed up".

Eventually they went in the trash.

This time I was prepared and demanded that we use the "dimmable" fluorescent lights.

These cost $8.97. I bought three nine dollar lightbulbs, thinking that I had lost my mind. Nine dollar lightbulbs? These bulbs had better make electricity at night for that price.

Then I replaced the other bulbs and found out that they stick out of the top of the light compared to the old bulbs. Ok, that's not great but let's see how much they save.

I figure the nine dollar light bulbs actually pay for themselves at about 1000 hours.

With three of these bulbs, at my current electric rates, I save about 2.7 cents per hour. Divide the cost of three bulbs plus tax by the 2.7 cents and you get about 1075 hours. The next 7000 hours are all gravy and this does not take into account the fact that I would have to replace the old ones nine times during that 8000 hours.

That made the lights sticking out the top a little more bearable.

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