As part of our ecoEnergy Retrofit we will replace all of the inefficient light bulbs the previous owners had installed. Upgrading light bulbs is not covered by the ecoEnergy Retrofit program, however, we recognize that upgrading to compact fluorescent lights (CFL) or even LED (light-emitting diode) ligh bulbs will save us money. Our personal and financial philosophy dictates that we try to save money and leave a smaller carbon footprint whenever it makes sense to do so. When it comes to electricity usage we recognize there are many ways to reduce our bills and keep our money in our pockets while acting green. Seems like a no brainer to us.
So why replace inefficient light bulbs with CFLs?
An ENERGY STAR Qualified Compact Fluorescent Light bulb (CFL):
- The average rated life of a CFL is between 8 and 15 times that of incandescent. CFLs typically have a rated lifespan of between 6,000 and 15,000 hours, whereas incandescent lamps are usually manufactured to have a lifespan of 750 hours or 1,000 hours. You will buy less bulbs and produce less waste.
- can save more than $40 in electricity costs over its lifetime
- uses about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and lasts up to 10 times longer
- produces about 75% less heat, so it’s safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling
From my research lighting accounts for between 9% and 15% of all residential electricity consumption. An average Canadian home has 30 light fixtures, indoors and out, that consume close to $200 of electricity every year. CFL light bulbs use 75% less power and would then consume about $50 per year.
CFL Light bulb Cost Comparison
Using the conservative light span of 8 years for CFL lightbulbs we can continue the financial argument to using CFL bulbs by comparing the two types of bulbs directly.
|13w CFL bulb||60w Incandescent Bulb|
|Cost to Purchase 1||$1.50||$0.50|
|Buy in Next 8 Yrs||1||16|
|Total Purchase Cost||$1.50||$8.00|
|Total Cost over 5YR||$401.15||$1,608.00|
Replacing our inefficient bulbs to CFLs will save you over $1200 over the next 8 years. From a financial perspective there is really no argument to not make the switch. If you dispose of the bulbs properly (recycle! but make sure you do it properly, most Blue Box programs don’t take them, but The Home Depot does), from a sustainability perspective you will produce much less waste than using traditional bulbs and far fewer bulbs will be produced which will reduce manufacturing waste.