Replacing Bulbs Could Save You $55 Yearly

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Xcel, Home Depot Offer Cheaper, Energy-Efficient Bulbs Replacing Bulbs Could Save You $55 Yearly
POSTED: 4:24 pm MDT October 3, 2006
DENVER -- Need a light bulb? Xcel Energy is hoping you'll buy a compact fluorescent light bulb.
Replacing five of your most used regular incandescent bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs can save you up to $55 a year in electricity costs. The compact fluorescent light bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy than typical incandescent light bulbs and they also last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
The fluorescent bulbs aren't cheap, but Xcel wants to make it easier. It's teamed up with Home Depot to offer discounted packs. The 60-watt pack has six bulbs for $5.97 or about $1 a bulb. The 100-watt pack has four bulbs for $5.97 or about a $1.49 a bulb.
Customers will be limited to two discounted packs.
"Replacing the most frequently used incandescent light bulbs in your home with Energy Star qualified bulbs is an easy way to save money and help protect the environment because compact fluorescent bulbs conserve energy," said Kim Sherman, product portfolio manager for Xcel Energy.
The most frequently used lights include kitchen lights, living room table lamps, living room floor lamps, bathroom vanity lights and outdoor porch or post lamps.
The list of Home Depot stores offering the deal:
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Some of these are "slow starters." They are dim when first turned on and do not reach acceptable brightness until minutes later. They can be a poor choice for many locations in your home.
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Earlier this week I bought two GE 20-watt "Daylight" CFLs for outdoor use and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with the product. At 1,250 lumens, each bulb provides about the same amount of light as a 75-watt incandescent. However, due to their high colour temperature (6,500 K), they appear MUCH brighter, i.e., the equivalent of at least a 100-watt incandescent (the human eye is more responsive to the blue end of the light spectrum and it seems even more so in low light conditions).
The first time you turn on these lamps, they strike you as VERY blue; way too blue in fact. That said, the 2,700 K (warm white) CFLs they replace use to make the white siding on my home look dull and dirty. It took a couple of days to get over my initial reaction but now I prefer them far beyond all else.
These bulbs have a rated live of 12,000 hours based on 3 hours per start. Since mine will run all night, I expect they will last 15,000 hours or more. At current electricity rates and at 12,000 hours life expectancy, these two bulbs will save me over $150.00 on my power bill. I paid $7.00 CDN per bulb (approximately $6.00 U.S. each).
I would not recommend these bulbs for indoor use unless you prefer your light "icy cold". Personally, I think 3,500 K or 4,100 K is better suited for indoor applications (I find 2,700K CFLs too warm). It's a shame lamp manufactures only offer products at these two extremes -- a lamp with a more neutral colour temperature (i.e., neither too warm nor too cold) would be, like porridge, "just right".
Cheers, Paul
wrote:

[...]
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On Fri, 13 Oct 2006 22:30:55 GMT, Paul M. Eldridge

( 3 for $7+ ? )
At last, a cfl without the sickening blue/green cast.
I'm very pleased ! I've replaced every bulb in the house. It's even passed "the critical housewife" test.
Now, what to do with the old incandescant lamps ( and the spares ? )
<rj>
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wrote:

Great deal. I bought mine at Zellers (the Canadian equivalent of Walmart/Target) at regular price. I'll probably buy a few more when they go on sale.

Amen to that. I have a couple Commercial Electric CFLs that are positively ghastly; the light they provide could be best described as "sickly green". At the other extreme are those that are way too "pinky".

I tend to favor Philips and Osram Sylvania products, but GE has some excellent offerings as well. I have GE 39-watt 2D lamp that I consider to be the "gold standard" of all CFLs. I can't quite put my finger on it, but for some reason I find the light it provides very pleasing. These 6,500K "Daylight" CFLs are outstanding as well but, again, I'm not sure I could use them inside my home due to their very high colour temperature. But who knows? Perhaps it's just a matter of getting readjusted.

I know, I've got the same problem; I'm quickly running out of places to hide all these old bulbs. :-0
Cheers, Paul
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they go in the well-house, as heating elements.
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Paul M. Eldridge wrote:

I bought a number of 6500K CFLs and installed them. Now they seem natural to us after 4 months of use. The linear lamps we have at 4100K seem dingy, dark, dull, and unnatural to us now.
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Hi Robert,
I remember we had a similar conversation a few months back and perhaps there's hope for me yet as I seem to be slowly working my way up the temperature scale. Whereas I once thought 3,000K was the sweet spot (compared to 2,700K), I'm now more inclined to go with 3,500K and, in some cases, 4,100K. Still, it would be a huge leap for me to then go on to 5,000K or 6,500K (for outdoor applications, yes, I think 6,500K is great but for indoors I'm not so sure).
I live in a heating dominate climate and when it's minus 20C outside and the winds are howling I need everything I can muster to help fight off the chill. Also, in terms of decor, I have mostly warm colours and they don't respond well to cool light sources at all.
Here's an example of what I mean: http://server3.pictiger.com/img/601431/picture-hosting/den.php ]
Cheers, Paul
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Paul M. Eldridge wrote:

Yes, we are poles apart in our thermal outlook.
To ME, the 6500K CFL in this room, on right now, appears to have the same color as a bright, sunny to partly cloudy day, near noon.
The yellow of the others looks more like setting sun. Colors in the room are reminiscent of the photos we see of the golden California hill sides as the sun sets over the Pacific.
Why not swap one of the 6500K units that you installed outside with the one in the lamp on the desk?? Actually, the fixture on your desk takes TWO bulbs.

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Hi Robert,
Actually, I did try out these bulbs in my living room table lamps and, unfortunately, the colour distortion (or, more correctly, colour shift) was just too great. The dark reddish-brown cherry furniture turned blue-grey and the pale gold/green/crme fabrics turned a sort of silver metallic. The lampshades (a warm crme) turned blue. 3,500K is about as far as I can push it.
One other issue is that the low-voltage MR16 down lights operate in the range of 3,000K and as you start to climb up in colour temperature the contrast between these two light sources becomes very noticeable and thus distracting.
I don't have a good nighttime photo of my living room but this one of the dinning room will give you a sense of the colour scheme.
http://server4.pictiger.com/img/641670/picture-hosting/dinning-room.php
So, no question, for outside applications 6,500K CFLs work extremely well (the white siding on my home now looks "clean" at night, not the dirty pale yellow it appeared to be under the previous CFLs). As for inside use, well, I'm afraid there's little common ground between us as yet. ;-)
Cheers, Paul
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when will they make CFL's that are dimmable?
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There have been dimmable CFLs on the market for many years now (e.g., you can buy dimmable CFLs made by Philips at Home Depot).
For a list of dimmable CFLs that are also EnergyStar rated, see:
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseactionls.advanced_cfl_search
(be sure to select "Dimmable CFL" as the search criterion).
Cheers, Paul
On Tue, 24 Oct 2006 15:54:33 GMT, "readandpostrosie"

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wrote:

Keep in mind that this is an effect of scotopic vision or "night vision". It is very significant for outdoor illumination at night, and I suspect a 6500K lamp with photometric output of 1250 lumens would do as well as a 100 watt incandescent.

I find 4100K not good for most indoor illumination - like higher color temperatures, indoor illumination can look "stark" or "dreary gray" unless really high illination levels like those in offices and classrooms are achieved. (That would be around 1100-2000 lux, or about 100-180 footcandles.)
But I agree with you on 2700K. My favorite for indoor home use is 3500K. Sylvania makes 13 watt (60 watt equivalent) spirals of this color, but calls this "Daylight". Others use the term "Daylight" for much higher color temperatures, not a whiter shade of warm white. You can get Sylvania 3500K spirals at Lowes.
Meanwhile, N:Vision spirals are available at Home Depot in 3 colors and many wattages. 3500K they call "Bright White". I have seen these at Home Depot ranging from 9 watts (40 watt incandescent equivalent) to 30 watts (claimed 120 watt incandescent equivalent, and in my experience is worth "110 watts incandescent equivalence"). N:Vision's other colors are "Soft White" (the usual 2700K) and "Daylight" (5500K).
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com, http://www.misty.com/~don/cfx.html )
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Hi Don,
On Mon, 16 Oct 2006 17:44:59 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@manx.misty.com (Don Klipstein) wrote:

I agree. I think these bulbs are particularly well suited for outdoor use for the reasons you mention. As noted in a previous post, they appear (at least to my eye) to be as bright as a 100-watt incandescent.

I have 3500K CFL PAR38s in my kitchen and they seem to be a good fit in this environment (again, mostly warm colours).
See: http://server4.pictiger.com/img/643989/picture-hosting/kitchen.php
I could probably get away with 4100K here but the room would take on a different appearance and I would prefer to keep things as they are for now.

Funny you should mention that. Last night I was going through some Osram Sylvania literature and thought it odd that they use the term "Daylight" to describe these CFLs. I hope to try them out in the not too distant future.

I don't think Home Depot here in Canada carry this line but I'll keep my eyes open. Thanks.
Cheers, Paul
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Paul M. Eldridge wrote:

OTOH, we rarely light homes to the same foot candle level that commercial businesses use in their offices. If these cabinets were lit with 2x or 4x more light, I MIGHT react differently.
I have 4100K linear lamps in my kitchen 4 of them - F25T8 2000 lumens each in a space that measures roughly 8x12, Changing from the default 2700-3000K to 4100K made things look much more natural, that is the way they look in the day when sun is streaming in the windows.
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Hi Robert,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts -- always appreciated.
You're correct that 4,100K lamps will more closely approximate daylight and I'm guessing 5,000K and 6,500K even more so. And, obviously, things do look more "natural" under daylight. But that doesn't necessarily mean they will always look "better" which, of course, is a subjective matter. As you can well appreciate, the lighting in a fine restaurant isn't likely to be the same as that of a school cafeteria.
There seems to be a basic, biological mechanism that controls how we respond to various colour temperatures -- daylight or high colour temperatures stimulating increased metal activity and alertness and warm temperatures (like fire) equating to rest and relaxation. When nighttime rolls around and I've mentally packed it in for the day, I find a slightly warmer light (in the range of 3,200 to 3,500K) generally more appealing. Likewise, if we are entertaining friends, I want the atmosphere to be casual and relaxed and in keeping with my guests' expectations.
You happen to live in a cooling dominate climate whereas mine is decidedly heating(*), so while "cool" or even "cold" colour temperatures might be welcome in your part of the world, those of us trying to escape the cold (both physically and mentally) will tend to naturally gravitate to the warmer end of the temperature scale, at least in our residential environments.
Cheers, Paul
* Today may be the day I break down and turn on the heat. Indoor temperatures that have clung surprisingly close to the 20C mark have fallen to 15C almost overnight (literally). Right now, our outside temperature stands at 8C with an expected high of 13C. There's sun in the forecast but unfortunately my home is oriented east-west and the south side is shaded by a cliffside and line of spruce trees. :-(
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3.97 this past weekend, so way less than a buck a bulb.
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Twisty Creek wrote:

You certainly don't need any specific brand or outlet. There are good deals on good lamps available many places. I suggest that anyone considering replacing a number of lamps start by buying one or two and using them for a while and see how they like or don't like them. If good then buy the quantity you need of the exact same lamps.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Replace all the bulbs and save $55? Wow. Just think how much more you would save if you _didn't_ replace them. :)
--
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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On Sat, 14 Oct 2006 21:19:13 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@fellspt.charm.net () wrote:

Assume a 100W lamp you run 10 hours a day. ( 1KWH )
If your electricity costs ten cents a KWH, that's $3 per month.
A comparable CFL will produce the same light at 1/3 the power... $1 per month.
...and if you have teen-agers in the house ( who only know how to turn lights "ON" ) your savings will be considerable.
<rj>
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