House Lighting Tip #1

CFL light bulb

Save Money with your light bulbs. How can you do this? By using Compact Flourescent Lights. These light bulbs differ from the normal Incandescent Bulbs, which glow by heating a tiny coil of Tungsten wire, in that they glow using Mercury Vapor.

These light bulbs (which look like the picture on the left) are a very energy efficient way to light certain areas of your house. I say certain areas because these bulbs are only really cost effective when used in lights that stay on for 3-4 hours or more at a time. Here are some interesting facts about these bulbs:

  • Glow when the electric ballast alters the electric current in the tube, activating the Mercury Vapor
  • Can use around 80% less electricity than standard Incandescent bulbs, which use most of their power by creating heat, and not light
  • Can last more than 10 times longer than the standard bulbs (around 10,000 hours)
  • Cost more than the standard bulb at the till, but costs less in replacement and electricity use costs – This should change as production of these bulbs increases
  • Emit a LOT less heat than the standard bulbs

Here is a calculation done using this calculator on the Government of South Australia’s website:

  • A 13 watt CFL bulb will give off the same amount of light as a 60W Incandescent light bulb


  • It will use 78% less electricity
  • It will last up to 8 times longer
  • For a $20 CFL bulb, you could save $13.11 every year on your electricity bill
  • It will lower Greenhouse gas Emissions by 76kg of C, which is light travelling 280km less than normal.

Safet Note:

  • Even though the amount of mercury in CFL bulbs is quite low (around 4 or 5 mg), you still need to be careful when disposing of these bulbs. Especially now that these bulbs are gaining in popularity, and therefore in number.

Terrific Tips:

  • I use Phillips CFL bulbs with built in day-night sensors. I can then leave one on permanently by the front door, and the light comes on automatically at night. If the light is on for 10 hours, it’s equivalent to having a normal light on for 2 hours, which you probably do anyway.
  • Browse around and see what types of CFL lights are out there. New ones are being brought out very quickly due to their popularity. You never know, you might find something you like.
  • If you read a lot in bed, change your lamp bulb to use the CFL bulbs instead. This way, you could save on electricity, BUT, you won’t feel as much heat being generated from your lamp. This is especially good if you live in a very warm climate…

bedside lamp light

Just updating this post to link into Seth Godin’s “How many bloggers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” post. (ALMOST exactly 1 year after writing this post)

5 Replies to “House Lighting Tip #1”

  1. I use them, they really are great and do save a lot! But I’ve yet to find one that can replace the spotlight-type bulb in our track-lighting. =/

  2. Pingback: Pedro’s Spot | United Bloggers
  3. I’ve been using them for the last year and have no complaints at all! Great write up.

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