Posted by Trevor Smith on March 9th, 2010
Written by Guest Blogger: Bridget Oland
We all know that swapping out old incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs(CFLs) is one painless way to reduce your annual power bill. (Lights account for about 5% of overall household power use). CFLs use 75 percent less energy than their incandescent counterparts and last up to 10 times longer. When you do the light bulb math each CFL bulb can prevent more than 450 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. And depending on electrical rates you could save about $80 in energy costs over the life of the bulb.
If you’re going to make this worthwhile investment (and it is an investment, considering the cost) you’ll want to ensure each bulb lasts a good long time.
A friend was complaining recently that CFL bulbs in his home weren’t lasting nearly as long as they were supposed to. We were noticing the same thing so I did some research and discovered a few tips to help extend the life of your pricey bulbs:
- In fixtures on a dimmer switch use dimmable CFLs (should be stated on the packaging). Dimmers shorten the life of regular CFLs.
- CFLs are best in areas where they’re likely to be on for 15 minutes at a time or longer. Using them in places where they’ll be turned on and off frequently (like closets and bathrooms) will shorten their life.
- For totally enclosed fixtures buy bulbs that state clearly on that packaging that they’re designed for this use.
- If the bulb has been used according to the manufacturer’s instructions and still burns out early you may be eligible for a refund or a replacement. Energy Star certified bulbs carry at least a two-year warranty (covering manufacturer defects). The catch is that you need to save your receipts and contact the manufacturer directly.