I know many of you, like me, may have questions about the new energy efficient light bulbs. I've borrowed some research from Audubon.org to help answer some questions about these new bulbs and hopefully dispel some myths as well.
1. CFL's contain mercury- while this is true the actual amount of mercury is minute, the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen. However, "CFLs sharply reduce coal-fired power plant emissions, created by powering incandescent bulbs, preventing much greater quantities of mercury from being pumped into the atmosphere from smoke stacks — coal fired power plants spew 45 thousand tons of mercury into the air each year."
2. CFL's don't really save money- Fact- "Yes, compact fluorescent bulbs require less energy to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb. Watts are a measure of energy consumption not the amount of light output.
• A CFL that uses 20-watts of electricity can produce the same amount of light as a 75-watt incandescent bulb.
• CFLs make 90 to 95 percent less heat then incandes- cent bulbs, making for cooler home in the summer and saving on air conditioning costs.
• Replacing three incandescent bulbs with CFLs will save on average 300lbs of carbon dioxide and $60 dollars a year."
Other things we've noticed, the lights do take a second to warm up but the time is literally minimal. We actually like the way the new lights look and after they are on, you aren't looking into them anyway. The new lights fit our can lighting better than the old light bulbs too!
Today we spent $60 starting to replace the HUGE amount of bulbs we have in the house. Each paycheck of the new year we'll replace a few more bulbs. I'll start monitoring our bills in comparison to last year and let you know what we discover. I think that reducing our energy consumption is a great way to ring in the new year.