Incandescent vs. Flourescent

Are these new bulbs worth it in terms of saving money?

a compact fluorescent can be a more pleasant task light as well as general illumination. if you air condition they operate a lot cooler. people have have various lifetimes with them, i’ve had a few last under the expected lifetime, most the expected lifetime and some well beyond. so i think it is likely you will save money for a bulb lifetime. these are good for ‘on’ times of 30 minutes or more. incandescent bulbs are still better for closets, stairways and places where you have the bulb on for just a few minutes at a time.

Your “30 minute” comment rings true. I replaced 3 incandescents in a ceiling fixture in a home office. It takes them a couple minutes to get up to full brightness. Matters not in the office, but it would be annoying in some other locations.

We’ve gone to CFL’s almost exclusively, and even if they don’t save any money on the electric bill at all, just the infrequency with which the bulbs need to be changed saves money!

Of course, for this to be true, you have to shop smart for them. I either buy them at Aldi or at Sam’s Club.

An added bonus is that I’m this much too short to change the lights in our ceiling fixtures without a step stool. With the CFL’s, they burn out infrequently enough that I don’t have to change them! :slight_smile:

A 13W 900 Lumens bulb Fluorescent bulb will run you $3.49 it lasts 10,000 hours. They called this a 60W equivalent bulb.

A 60W 820 Lumen bulb Incandescent bulb will run you $0.25 it lasts 1500 hours

The Marginal rate for San Diego power last time I looked at my bill was about $0.24 a KWh.
So 10,000 hours will cost $31.20 for the CF and $144 for the incandescent.

If you are really cheap SDG&E has events where they will trade you your old bulbs for new ones. See if they are doing one at a hardware store near you.

Home Depot has a four-pack of 13W 12,000 hour CFLs for $7.98, bringing your cost per lamp to under $2.00 Their website doesn’t have the ones I usually buy from them, which are sometimes as cheap as 6/$2.99, and are excellent.

Hate, hate, hate the light quality from fluorescents. Yeah, I’ve tried the different spectra and different brands. To my eyes, the light is weak and the colors off. In rooms with a fluorescent, I need a secondary, incandescent or LED reading light trained on the book. This does not represent a cost savings. Also, as soon as they start to flicker, which they do, it kicks up my nausea terribly. For all this pleasure, I get to make special recycling trips?

a CFL can make a good task light for reading in a fixture that has reflectored aimable units like a floor or desk lamp. it can be placed close to yourself for brightness where an incandescent would cook you. it also spreads the light so it does not put a glare on the page.

also for general illumination CFL work well reflected off of ceiling or walls, it gives a nice even illumination to the room. you may need task lights though.

each lighting type incandescent, fluorescent and LED needs the right application and utilization to use it most effectively.

Frequently turning a CFL on for less than 15 minutes will shorten the life of the bulb, to the point where GE warns that you will lose any financial advantage.

Also, CFLs cannot be used with a dimmer switch.

Of course, if the planned phaseout of incandescents from 40-100 watts in the US from 2012-14 takes place, CFLs will be the only option within that wattage range. I have to wonder whether the public will demand that the incandescent ban be lifted, though.

there are some CFL that can be used with a dimmer switch and they are labeled as such. using an ordinary CFL with a dimmer switch will quickly kill it.

Before buying many of the CF bulbs, try this:

Read a few pages with either IC or CF lighting, then replace the bulb with the equivalent lums of the other type of bulb, and read a few more pages, repeat back and forth switching between light bulb types (again with equal light output).

I have personally found that it is much easier and more pleasant to read by IC lighting then CF, even a lower light output IC light was better IMHO then a CF.

Incandescent light is more pleasing (I’m sure 30 years of using prior to CF helps).
Live in CF in real life don’t last, even remotely, as much as advertised. The whole “keep it on for more than X minutes of it go out more quickly” really negates the real life usability.

I have no idea what you are talking about.
I use CFLs in every fixture throughout the house, with no regard to “On” times. They all seem to last forever, and the color rendering of “Warm White” CFLs is clearly superior to incancesdents, which are much too yellow.

It may be my personal experience, but my CFL last at most double what incans do.

i live in a house built in the 50s, but I have noticed that the fluorescents (you mean the modern energy-saving bulbs, I assume) in older houses need longer to reach the full brightness than mine do. So I think it might be a combination of what brand (quality) of CFL you buys, and how good the wiring in your house, and how steady the power supply by your company is. Power spikes might also shorten the lifetime.
Cheaper CFLs have shorter lifetimes than promised, and when tested, were noticeably below the promised lumen and whiteness. This might be the reason why reading with a CFL doesn’t work, so get a good quality one (more expensive, though), and with a higher lumen. Also try for different colours, if the blue-white bothers you.

The bedroom should not have blue-white CFLs because blue tinted light disturbs the production of melantonin, which regulates sleep, so you can need up to 1 1/2 hours longer to get sleeping. Better for the bedroom is red-white light, which expensive CFLs have.

Depending on your power provider’s rate (and possibly cheaper rates for heavy users), the less consumption of power won’t be noticeable, but you will save enery, which is good for the enviroment.

For those areas like bathrooms and passageways where you want the light to turn on right away but only a short time, a good alternative between CFL and incandescent are Halogen bulbs. Not the usual cone-shaped little things for the high-charge wire lamps, but bulbs using Halogen technology. They use 1/3 less power, so a 60 W lumen bulb uses 40 W, but are as quick as incans. (My IKEA offers them in the lamps section.)

Of course, in another 10 years, LED technology will have moved forward, because it’s already picking up great strides.

They make lousy outdoor lighting in winter, because they take forever to warm up and reach adequate brightness. If you leave an outdoor light on 24/7, CFL would be good, but if you only use it a couple of minutes at a time, they won’t work well at all.

Wouldn’t an even better option be to just turn off the light while you’re sleeping? That way, you don’t get any blue at all, and you’re using zero watts.

Anyone used LED house lighting? What was it like?

The only (affordable) LED bulbs I’ve seen around have been “party” bulbs that are very dim, but are colourful.

I replaced all my inside lights with CLFs shortly after I moved in 3 years ago, and I’ve only ever replaced one or two since then. I have whiter ones in the bathroom (I think it gives it a cleaner look) and standard ones elsewhere.

All my bulbs are instant-on except for the enclosed bulb style (I have big spotlights in my kitchen and small ones in my living-room fan). Those can take up to a minute to reach full brightness if they’ve been off all night. I don’t usually find it too annoying, as I wouldn’t use the old ones in summer due to the extra heat they generated, and I’m saving 75% in electricity costs compared to incandescents.