This weekend marked the completion of one of my major electricity-saving projects — the conversion of our house from incandescent lighting to compact fluorescent bulbs. We still have (I think) four incandescent bulbs in closets, but those get so little use that it wasn’t worth switching them over. All in all, I ended up swapping out 107 bulbs. In terms of energy savings, we reduced the total wattage of lights in our house by nearly 80%, broken down as follows:
60W ‘Regular’ Bulbs (74 Total)
Before: 4440 combined watts
After: 962 combined watts (using 13W CF bulbs)
Savings: 3478 watts (78.3% reduction)
60W ‘Chandelier’ Bulbs (9 Total)
Before: 540 combined watts
After: 63 combined watts (using 7W CF bulbs)
Savings: 477 watts (88.3% reduction)
65W Recessed ‘Spotlight’ Bulbs (16 Total)
Before: 1040 combined watts
After: 256 combined watts (using 16W CF bulbs)
Savings: 784 watts (75.4% reduction)
150W Exterior ‘Floodlight’ Bulbs (8 Total)
Before: 1200 combined watts
After: 184 combined watts (using 23W CF bulbs)
Savings: 1016 watts (84.7% reduction)
The only place that we traded down in terms of intensity were the ‘chandelier’ bulbs and the exterior floodlights. We replaced the 60W ‘chandelier’ bulbs, which light our front porch and the garage service door with 30W equivalent bulbs. However, when bunched in threes (as they are in our fixtures) they cast more than enough light to get the job done. As far as the floodlights go, we have two on every corner of the house, and we replaced the 150W bulbs with 90W equivalent bulbs. Again, these are more than enough to get the job done.
From a financial perspective, it’ll take us quite awhile to break even — after all, these bulbs aren’t cheap. However, they last far longer than incandescent bulbs, meaning reduced replacement costs, and the power savings will really start to add up over time. Hopefully all of this will make a dent in our recent high electric bills. Yes, air conditioning is our main summer expense, but lighting isn’t trivial, and the two aren’t completely unrelated… After all, incandescent bulbs generate an awful lot of heat which makes your AC work even harder.
Setting aside the financial considerations for a moment, we’re also doing the right thing with regard to scaling back our energy usage, so we’re getting a bit of return in terms of warm fuzzy feelings.
For more information on moving, check out my Roadmap for a Successful Relocation.