Philips "warm glow" bulbs are the best dimmable LED's I've seen and weigh
less than CREE's non-dimmable bulbs. They're still heavier than a 60W
incandescent bulb, but not by much. I just bought Philips 60W replaceable
"warm glow" bulbs from Home Depot for $8 each.
Sylvania's sunset effect bulbs are fairly light weight too, but I like the
Philips bulbs better.
Ironically the power company is giving you your own money back - they have
added extra fees to your monthly bill to cover the subsidy. That basically
means if you don't buy subsidized bulbs, you're buying them for your friends
and neighbors indirectly. Such a deal. NOT!!!
I don't see any extra fees on my bill. I pay the same basic service fee
I've paid for 20+ years, plus my actual energy usage.
It's cheaper for most utilities to pay for free light bulbs and whatnot
than it is to build more power plants. Saving electricity costs less than
And energy usage (incl transmission costs) have NOT increased in those
20 years? :> Each rate increase folds the costs of operating the
utility into the calculus. Don't think you're getting something for
In Chicago (or maybe it was Denver?), the utility would give you free
light bulbs. But, they were "commercial" grade bulbs (130V) so less
efficient (i.e., more power sold to you per unit of light output) AND
more durable (so less FREE BULBS that you'll request). "With friends
like these..." ;-)
OTOH, the local utilities, here, are quite concerned about all the "savings"
that solar installations are taking from their bottom line! And, having a
say in the sizing of each solar installation, take pains not to oversize
any (I suspect even if you waived any subsidies, they'd resist/fight any
installations that threatened to take folks off the grid entirely!)
I only have records going back to 1998. My energy "Usage" has gone down.
We averaged about 104 kwh/day in February from 1999 to 2002.
We peaked around 134 kwh/day in February 2004, when we were doing
Today we average around 65 kwh/day in February.
My "service fee" was $12.80 in 1998, and is only $12.00 today, so that
actually went down slightly too.
Our electric "Rate" has gone up over the years, from 4 cents kwh in 1998
to 8 cents kwh today. But, costs for everything else (food, gas,
clothing, etc.) have gone up too.
Of course operating costs are rolled into our electric bills. As you say,
nothing is free.
I can see that becoming an issue at some point, but around here it hasn't
been enough of an issue to worry about. They may lose a few customers out
of thousands. I doubt it is much of a concern at this point.
Besides, most solar systems feed the surplus back into the grid, so the
power company is getting extra energy that they didn't have to generate.
There's actually a usage related "green" fee in ours. No idea what
they cram into that justification...
Our electric consumption has slowly crept upwards. Primarily a result
of the various pieces of equipment that I use. Summer months are
roughly double Winter months. Holiday season is a "winter exception"
as I do a lot of baking (electric oven).
I think we pay 5.5c just for *delivery*; another 3 for KWHr used.
Plus assorted taxes, etc. IIRC, last month was ~$200.
I'd guesstimate about 20% of homes in our neighborhood have PV panels.
Utility is already talking of charging a monthly "solar fee" -- justified
by claiming solar users are unduly benefitting from the AVAILABILITY
of the grid as a fallback in non-producing hours. As well as only
reimbursing cogeneration costs at the "power" rate (yet selling you back
"your" electricity later that evening at the power+distribution rate.
[Did you notice the relative costs of our distribution and power rates,
above? :> ]
I.e., here, they not only want to exploit solar to defer adding additional
generation capability -- but, also want to make money on it! :>
They don't seem to feel they are benefitting. Or, just seem to want to
benefit *more*! :>
We are all electric (lighting, heating, hot water, cooking, laundry, etc.).
We currently average about 30-40 kwh/day in the summer and 60-70 kwh/day in
We have a mild climate so we don't need air conditioning during the summer.
Our kitchen stove, laundry, and wood working tools use a lot of power, but
they're on for such short lengths of time they don't really add much to our
Electric heat is our biggest energy user during the winter. Otherwise our
well pump and hot water heater are probably the worst offenders.
We're on an equal pay plan for $149 a month. With our usage going down our
balance is getting rather high, so the power company will probably lower
our monthly rate in a few months.
We're in the forest surrounded by hills and trees. Minimal sunlight would
make solar panels useless, and the trees block most of the wind for wind
power. The power company is really our only option, short of installing a
Two neighbors are "all electric". At one point, had separate metering
for heat but that tariff got changed, recently -- much to their chagrin.
Extending the gas line through ~50 ft of roadway and then up to their
homes is prohibitively expensive.
We have, on average, 65 days above 100F. I can recall 99 of them in one
year. The times when ACbrr is most welcome (Monsoon) the temperatures
moderate (closer to 100 than 110) but the humidity goes up. So, the
ACbrrr acts as a giant dehumidifier.
The dry portions of the year (Summer) we could be very comfortable with
the swamp cooler -- even, at 115-ish outdoors -- but it uses a fair bit
of power (6500CFM blower that is essentially on, forever to achieve
the desired effect) *and* a lot of water!
We only use the stove top (burners) nowadays. Anything that would be done
in the oven is handled by a countertop convection (baking a potato, making
a steak, etc.) or the mmicrowave (heating up marinara sauce, defrosting
items, etc.). The big exception is baking; I bake at least once every two
weeks. And, over the holidays, can easily heat the kitchen with just the
surplus heat from the oven! :<
Your heat load plays the role of our cooling load.
I don't think our bills ever get down to $100 -- even on the "off months".
There are just too many fixed fees and taxes that set a lower limit on
what you realistically can expect to pay.
Clear skies, here. I can count the number of trees that are taller than
15-20 feet within several blocks of the house on two hands. And, many
of those are palm trees (no shadow).
I was interested in a (commercial) Stirling engine solar generation project
many years ago but it never got off the ground. I would have gladly accepted
a prototype unit as payment for my services! :> (then, have to argue with
the tax man over its "value")
My present concerns are more regarding water than power/gas. As it gets
harder to acquire/use, the lifestyle consequences are significant. I'd
like to defer that inevitability as long as possible!
[Back to my snail-mail correspondence...]
Various jurisdictions handled things in different ways but ask yourself: "if
the power company had the choice of reaching into its own profits or the
customer's pocket to pay for the bulbs, what would most companies do?" In
some jurisdictions the charges were slip-streamed into operational costs and
very hard to track. The company in the article below even tried to charge
customers for the amount the CFL bulbs would be saving!!!!!
Here is an article explaining what happened in my area (there are many
similar stories across the nation):
<< Nearly two years ago, Allegheny Power apologized for mailing
energy-efficient bulbs to its 220,000 Maryland customers without letting
them know they would be footing the bill. Maryland regulators said the
company ignored instructions to inform customers about the program.
FirstEnergy's Ohio is now promising to work with the state's Public Service
Commission to settle the dustup.
Total planned charges for unsuspecting customers for two light bulbs was
$21.60, though it cost only $3.50 to buy and distribute them. To make up the
cost plus lost electricity sales, FirstEnergy planned to charge customers
using an average amount of electricity 60 cents a month for three years.
FirstEnergy says it will mail or hand deliver nearly 4 million bulbs over
The light bulb distribution program was in response to a state mandate that
requires utilities to reduce energy usage by 0.3 percent this year and 22.2
percent by 2025, FirstEnergy said.
The bulbs, known by their twisty, tubular shape, use up to 75 percent less
electricity than a traditional incandescent bulb. Customers can save up to
$60 over the life of the bulbs, which last much longer than incandescent
bulbs, the Akron-based company said.
Other utilities have similar programs, but they usually provide coupons to
customers or work with retailers to make discounts or rebates available.
Those programs were rejected by FirstEnergy because they don't bring down
energy usage fast enough, company spokeswoman Ellen Raines said Thursday.
"We needed to find some proactive way to get bulbs in customers' hands," she
Proactive was not how many customers described the program to the state's
Public Service Commission, which received about 1,000 calls or e-mails
Wednesday. The program was launched Monday.
Commission Chairman Alan Schriber said Thursday that the commission approved
FirstEnergy's plan to hand out the bulbs, but not the rate increase.
"They just dropped the ball," he said.
And just for fun, here's a picture of a CFL zit
On Saturday, November 28, 2015 at 11:54:59 AM UTC-5, HerHusband wrote:
Just got back tonight from thanksgiving with my dad who is ill:( and my brother.
my brother reported he installed LED bulbs in his outdoor lights on a light detector, the bulbs flickered and burned out.......
he didnt believe me when i said oh buy dimable LED bulbs, they cost a bit more , but the light detectors actually dim the bulbs and with a non dimable LED, causes them to burn out.
just so happened i had a similiar issue on my pole light when converting to LED bulb.
my goal is to be ALL LED shortly.
They work well and have actually cut our electric bill.
That's my goal too. I noticed a drop on our bill when switching from
incandescents to CFL's years ago. The switch from CFL to LED isn't as
significant, but I have noticed a difference in our usage already.
So far I've focused on the lights that are on most often. I'm slowly
replacing the lesser used bulbs over time. I actually still have a few
fixtures with incandescents in them, but we don't turn them on enough to
For incandescents, there's no "savings" waiting for the (cheap, inexpensive)
incandescent to "burn out" before replacing it. The same is true of the
(heavily subsidized) CFL's. I think we paid ~25c for each (?). Of course,
the fact that you aren't GAINING any savings on the CFL's means there's
less payoff to their replacement with LED units.
Doing a quick mental count, ignoring bulbs *in* appliances (refrigerator,
dryer, garage door opener, oven), we have about 65 "bulbs" here (and it's
by no means a "big house" -- we just like a LOT of light!) That breaks
down to about 15% LED, 10% halogen, 15% incandescent and 60% CFL/fluorescent.
We're waiting for "affordable", dimmable, LED floods to replace the remaining
incandescents. And, affordable, BRIGHT, *robust*, "appealing" LED lights to
replace all of the 300W halogens. The fluorescents in the garage are waiting
for affordable, bright LED floods (though that will probably result in NO
net power savings as the tubular fluorescents throw a LOT of light per watt.
I only hope this doesn't make a mess of the "local" RF spectrum :-/
While LED's do use slightly less energy than CFL's, I've been switching to
LED's for other reasons.
The CFL's are rather dim when we turn them on, especially on cold mornings.
LED's are full brightness instantly.
Our heavily used CFL's tend to burn out every 3-5 years or so. Many are not
very easy to replace (vaulted ceiling over a bed or something). I'm hoping
the LED's last longer and won't need replacing as often.
The electric company mailed out a big box of CFL's a few years back but
this time they just sent 2 LEDs. I've got a dual bulb fixture in the
bathroom and put a LED in one side. At 50 degrees it definitely beats
the CFL by a couple of seconds. I'd gotten used to the CFL lag but
having them side by side makes it stand out.
I like the slow turn on of the CFL at night in the bathroom, but that is
A few years back our electric company (Duke Enegery)sent out about 10 or 12
CFL bulbs, but I have not heard of any LEDs being sent out yet.
The electric co-op sent out a big box of assorted CFLs, everything from
candleabras on up and used the USPS. I don't think they let the Post
Office in on the secret that they were going t be deluged with a few
thousand big parcels.
I already was using CFLs so I asked a friend if he could use some. He
said yes so I took the box back to the PO to mail it over. The nice lady
behind the counter said "Oh, shit, let me just guess what that is." They
were pretty sick of them, particularly the rural contract carriers that
had to stuff a hundred or so into their cars.
This time around it was 2 60w equivalent LEDs, a low flow shower head,
in a much smaller box that came by UPS.
I've noticed many of our fluorescent bulbs start getting dimmer as they age
too, particularly the smaller undercabinet lights. I don't really notice it
until I have to install a new bulb and see what a difference the new bulb
makes compared to the other old ones.
I just replaced a couple of 24" undercabinet fluorescent fixtures with four
12" LED fixtures from LightKiwi. They use half the power (12 watts instead
of 24 watts) and put out way more light. Instant on, no fading, and
dimmable. The only real negative was the cost.
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