Fun Fact Fri-Yay! Lightbulbs!

Yup, I’m an energy kinda gal so there will always be a little sustainable message in my words.

Myth #1 – Energy-saving light bulbs will save me money on my next electric bill.
The fact is – although energy-saving light bulbs will save the average consumer money, the switch to this kind of lighting is more likely to show long-term results. For one, energy-saving light bulbs simply last longer. Most studies show that fluorescent bulbs, for example, last between 10 and 20 times longer than your traditional incandescent. Although energy-saving bulbs like the compact fluorescent often have a higher purchase price than incandescent light bulbs, they will easily overcome this initial cost once their (very) long life cycle reaches its end. You might not see huge changes to your bill the first time it arrives after a switch to energy-efficient bulbs, but over time, your savings will add up!

Myth #2 – Compared to things like heating and cooling, lighting costs are hardly worth worrying about.

It might surprise a few people to know that in the United States, lighting makes up 8.8 percent of the total electricity usage in residential homes. That’s about three times as much as color televisions, and more than twice the amount attributed to freezers and AC/furnace fans. Lighting even comes close to matching water heating, which represents 9.1 percent of total residential electricity usage. So, yes, conserving energy with efficient light bulbs is certainly worth doing.

Myth #3 – With government regulation of power, there’s no point in using energy-saving light bulbs in my home.

While government regulation of the average power bill can limit the immediate results sometimes expected by the average consumer, the system’s public nature simply rewards those who conserve in different ways. For one, the cost of power is based on everyone’s use. If the general public gets on board – in one united effort – the cost of power to the average household will decrease. Simply put, tell your friends and neighbors to conserve energy by using efficient lighting, because eventually everyone will benefit from the effort. In the meantime, it’s still worthwhile to save energy. You should notice some differences once you switch the old incandescent to LED or compact fluorescent lighting.

Myth #4 – Energy efficient light bulbs don’t provide the kind of light that traditional incandescent light bulbs do.

It’s all about the wattage and color. Make sure you replace your incandescent light bulb with an energy-saving bulb of the same power. For example a compact fluorescent lamp of 13-15 watts will produce the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent lamp. Read the chart on the packaging and get what you need. These lamps are also now available in several different colors. A 2700K lamp will look more like an incandescent bulb. The 4100K lamps will be whiter in color and will provide a more fluorescent light look to them.

Fun Fact #1 – Sure, everyone knows that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, right? Well, not the British. In many schools across the “pond”, children are taught that Joseph Wilson Swan is the true inventor of the light bulb. He patented a way to bring a filament to a white-hot state without causing a fire at least one year ahead of Edison (in 1878). So, who do you have to thank for not sitting in a dark room right now? The answer just might depend on which side of the Atlantic you call home. It is a very interesting story regarding the “invention” of the bulb and worth a read sometime. Just Google it!

Fun Fact #2 – The average elephant weighs about 6 tons, or 12,000 pounds. Sounds like a lot, right? Do you know how many greenhouse gases we could keep out of the air if we all switched just five of our household fixtures to energy-efficient bulbs? You might be surprised to hear that if every American home changed five lamps from traditional incandescent light bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, the country could prevent one trillion pounds of greenhouse gases from polluting our air. That’s about 83 million elephants!!

Fun Fact #3 – Energy-efficient light bulbs don’t just save the environment and your wallet. They also prevent your house from becoming an oven (especially in the summer) by drastically reducing heat emissions. The average energy-saving bulb emits 70 percent less heat than the incandescent kind.

Fun Fact #4 – A little bit goes a long way. If one person in every 110 million American homes replaced a standard 60-watt bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb, the power saved would be enough to electrify a city of 1.5 million people. Now that’s brilliant!
Fun Fact #5 – Need a few extra bucks? If every household in the United States switched just five of its lighting fixtures from incandescent bulbs to a compact fluorescent bulb, a startling $6 billion could be saved collectively every year by Americans. With the current U.S. population at 295,734,134, the potential savings for every American is over $20 dollars. Andrew Jackson would be proud.

By: Sir Marty Hamilton

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