Thursday, January 4, 2007

A Bright idea

What if... you replaced every bulb in your house with compact fluorescent bulbs?

I probably should have done this first, but I wanted to save the best for last. Put simply... change every single bulb in your house to fluorescent. Why you ask... come on ask!... It saves you money.

Lets assume all the same figures from the previous post... see I am making you read.

Incandescent bulb (60 watts)

  • purchase price cost $0.50
  • lifespan 750 hours (3 months)
  • yearly power consumption 175,200 watts ($7.88)
  • 3.5 year cost, bulbs $7.00 + power $27.58 = $34.58

Compact Fluorescent (13 watts, same as 60 watt Incandescent)

  • purchase price cost $2.00
  • lifespan 10,000 hours (3.5 years)
  • yearly power consumption 37,960 watts ($1.71)
  • 3.5 year cost, bulb $2.00 + power $5.98 = $7.98

In short, over the life of the CFB you will save about $25.00 per bulb. The payback time for the original purchase is less then 1 year. I have picked up CFB at the Dollar store which makes the payback about 3 months.

Again there is a lot of guesstimation, but the fact is they will save you money. The newer bulbs are cheaper and provide a pleasing light... as in colour temperature. You can usually pick up a 6 pack on sale for $10.00 at CTC.

A few problems... they don't like the cold, and they don't dim. But you can always use halogen or another efficient bulb there.

CANDU 6 rant. (Cost 3 billion dollars, 700 Mwh)

If we replaced every bulb in our homes with CFB's, let's say 3 CFB's on per household, with 4.5 million households in Ontario, we could save 634 Mw every hour the lights are on. That is about the output of 1 Candu 6 Nuclear Reactor. BTW... I am pro Nuclear, there is no other choice except conservation.

Right now (as of this minute) Ontario is using 18,284 Mw per hour.

The New Math

If Ontario Hydro bought every household a 6 pack of bulbs at $10 a pack it would cost $45 Million dollars. The interest (5%) on 3 billion dollars (Candu 6 cost) is 12.5 million per month. So... in 4 months Hydro would recover their investment by not building an additional reactor. Just by converting everyone to CFB's Hydro could defer the cost of at least one Candu 6.


At January 5, 2007 11:06 AM , Anonymous Bernie said...

I like that you explain this in a way that doesn't cause my eyes to cross.


At January 7, 2007 10:33 PM , Blogger Paula said...

I thought fluroscent lights weren't really good for people?
No wonder corporations use fluroscent lights.

At January 10, 2007 3:11 PM , Blogger Dave said...

You have come up with some very novel ideas and some very good points. I just replace about 9 of my bulbs. Gotta start somewhere I suppose! :-)

At January 12, 2007 11:18 AM , Blogger Peter said...

Fluorescents have come a long way. Gone are the days of flickering lamps and buzzing ballasts. They have also done wonders is trying to increae their spectrum of light to closer emulate natural lighting. Corporations use them because... get this… they save money.

Imagine building a huge office complex and wiring it for all incandescent lamp lighting. All main wiring would have to be increased to accommodate the 70% increase in load.

Of course nowadays the problem is not lights but the huge load caused by the thousands of computers in use. They all run on switching power supplies that all draw load at the same time. It would take a bit to explain, but basically it is like flooring a car and then coasting but at 60 times a second. Causes havoc in neutral lines, but that is another rant… maybe.

At January 12, 2007 11:23 AM , Blogger Peter said...


We just purchased 20 bulbs for our new home. We now have about 90% CTF saturation. In our old place our hydro bill reflected the savings.

One package of 8 bulbs claims they will save you $300 over the life of the bulbs. I assume that they are referring to the entire package. I guesstimated at $25 a bulb.

You will not be disapointed with your choice.


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