The deal of the century . . .OK, maybe not the century, but at least of the last couple of days!
So a couple of weeks ago, I was on an inspection with a client. As we entered the kitchen, as is common, the kitchen was outfitted with can lights in the ceiling. The inspector mentioned that the bulbs in the lights were flourescent. I looked at them and sure enough, if you looked closely enough, you could see the little pig tails in the lights. But had he not mentioned it, I would have NEVER have known they were flourescent. I'd never seen flourescent bulbs in the shape of can light bulbs before. He mentioned that I could pick them up at Costco.
Yesterday I headed to Costco for some various houshold items and wandered down the light bulb isle. There they were. In packages of 6. Flourescent can light light bulbs. AWESOME! Now one of the things that has put me off about buying Flourescents in the past has been A) the look of them and B) the expense of them. With these looking just like normal can light light bulbs, A was history. So on to B. Normally these 6 packs of bulbs went for normally just shy of $18.00 per pack, or $3.00 per bulb. However, this particular item had an INSTANT manufacturer's rebate of $12.00 per pack! That brought the cost down to less than $1.00 per bulb. Even less expensive than normal can light light bulbs! So I picked up 4 packages. We have 15 of these in our home. So I've got extras should they ever burn out. But they supposedly last 5 times longer than normal bulbs, and none of them has burnt out in 2 years, so in all likelyhood, I'll never crack open the last package of bulbs.
So lets do some math. Normal can light light bulbs burn at 65 Watts. I have 15 of them. 15 times 65 is 975 Watts if all of them were on at once. The new flourescents only use 15 Watts of energy each. 15 times 15 is 225 Watts! Or a savings of 77%! Just in the kitchen alone, which are the cans that get used the most, all 5 cans use just over what ONE can used previously. AWESOME!
It does take a bit of getting used to. The lights aren't "instant on" like traditional bulbs. There is a slight delay as they come on, and they take a few seconds to "warm up". But once they're at full intensity, I think they're brighter than the ones before. I'm pretty stoked.
Here's a really good article that explains why Flourescent bulbs are more efficient than standard Incandescent bulbs: http://home.howstuffworks.com/question236.htm