Monday, July 23, 2012

Green Light

By now everyone's heard about the benefits of using CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) light bulbs. So why would anyone still use regular incandescent light bulbs? CFLs use only a quarter of the energy a regular bulb uses and last about 10 times as long (between 6,000 and 15,000 hours). That can save you $30 to $45 on your electric bill over the lifetime of the CFL. CFL wattage is less than that of regular bulbs, so you can use this conversion chart to find out what you need.
And if you don't like the shape, they now come in all different shapes, including that of a typical light bulb. So you have no excuse! The only thing is that they do contain mercury, so they need to be properly disposed of. Home Depot and IKEA both have nationwide recycling programs, so you can drop them off there. Or check to see where else you can drop them off. My suggestion is just keep a box in the garage or basement where you can store them so you don't have to make a trip every time one burns out. Just make sure they don't break, or you'll be exposing yourself to mercury. So next time you need to change the light bulb, switch to a CFL. And what can you do with the old light bulbs? Obviously turn them into fruit to decorate your home. Check out this DIY project.
In the future, look for LED (light-emitting diode) lights. Right now they're used in things like flashlights, traffic lights, and holiday lights, but they're going to be the next thing in home lighting. They last about 10 times as long as CFLs and they don't contain mercury.

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