Posted by: John   in Projects, Random Stuff

Anyone who knows me knows that I despise CFL light bulbs.  I have never liked them, but ended up purchasing a bunch over the years largely because I got a bunch at Wal-Green for 50 cents each. Surprisingly, these cheapo bulbs were some of the best CFL bulbs I have had the misfortune of using. Flip the switch and they are immediately on, and bright. And the color was nice, about the same as a regular bulb. 7 watts vs. 40 watts. They did the job. 

The ones I had in the kitchen though, the 65 watt floodlight replacements, those sucked. Wait 5 minutes to see anything because it took so long for them to get bright.

I remember when CFL bulbs first came out. They were $10-$12 each and claimed to last 7 years. Some enviro-whackjob that worked in the shop started going on about how we all had to get these things because they were going to save the planet and save everyone money. The rest of us tried to talk reason to him, but you know how the religious fervor of the environmentalist is…you can’t tell them anything. I went back to my desk and fired up my spreadsheet. I determined that IF the bulbs lasted the promised 7 years, and a typical incandescent had to be replaced every 2 years, and if electricity rates went up an average of 4% per year, it would take 12 YEARS for that $10 bulb to pay for itself in money saved. I showed that to the enviro-tard and that shut him up.  I almost felt sorry for him.  OK, not really.  We all laughed at him.

I have yet to have a CFL that lasted 7 years.  Not. One.

On the other hand, LED bulbs, now that the prices have come down some, look like they are a much better option. Right now, Lowes and Home Depot have 40 and 60 watt replacement bulbs for about $2.50 each. These draw 6 or 9 watts respectively. Nice color light too. The CFL bulbs that replace a 60 watt real bulb draw 13 watts and actually cost more!  So, I now have LED bulbs throughout the house. I took out the 23 watt (100 watt replacement) CFL’s and replaced them with the 6 watt LED’s and found that there was more light, of nicer quality. The only fixture left which has CFL’s is in the master bath and the only reason those are still there is because I can’t seem to get the fixture open. I am not sure what the problem is, but I am about ready to just break the glass and replace the whole thing. 

The three CFL floods in the kitchen got replaced with three LED lights. That made all the difference in the kitchen, which always seemed dark and dreary. Not any more! 

In the garage, there were two old 8′ fluorescent fixtures in there. One of them did not work at all. The other one buzzed and flickered and generally promoted epilepsy. At 80 watts per tube (and I assume the ones that did not work were also drawing some power), they were awful for the crummy light they provided.  I determined that I would replace them, and gave some consideration to installing some pot lights. However, a better option turned out to be some LED strip lights.  These cost a few dollars, but for 20 watts per 4 feet, these fixtures put out more useable light than the fluorescents ever thought of and beats a CFL any day of the week. I only got 4 of them and need to get 2 more to finish the job, but the $80 has been needed other places.

Anyway, I can’t argue with the results. The electric bill has been lower here than it has ever been. I imagine it will take a couple years for the LED’s to pay for themselves, but after that, it’s money in the bank!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 at 6:53 pm and is filed under Projects, Random Stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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