I've turned green

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I've turned green

Postby Larry Greenly » Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:42 pm

My kitchen light fixtures use 6 60-watt bulbs, which burn out periodically. A local sale on Dura-Bright screw-in fluorescents with guaranteed lifespans of 9 years prompted me to try a couple. They came on instantly and the color rendition was just like incandescents, so I bought 12 more of them.

Now my kitchen lights use 84 watts instead of 360. I even replaced the light in my exhaust hood. Now when electricity rates go up this winter in NM, I'll still be paying the same or more. You can't win.
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Re: I've turned green

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:57 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:My kitchen light fixtures use 6 60-watt bulbs, which burn out periodically. A local sale on Dura-Bright screw-in fluorescents with guaranteed lifespans of 9 years prompted me to try a couple. They came on instantly and the color rendition was just like incandescents, so I bought 12 more of them.

Now my kitchen lights use 84 watts instead of 360. I even replaced the light in my exhaust hood. Now when electricity rates go up this winter in NM, I'll still be paying the same or more. You can't win.


Larry, we've gradually been switching over most of our incandescent bulbs to screw-in fluorescents as they burn out. The initial investment is relatively high - the screw-ins usually cost around 6 bucks - but you didn't mention one strong positive, which is extremely long life. We've got several screw-ins that have been burning for three or four years now, and have yet to have a burn-out. This is particularly good for bulbs in hard-to-replace locations, but in addition to the low wattage, it adds further strength to the argument that the fluorescents cost less in the long run.
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Re: I've turned green

Postby Larry Greenly » Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:34 am

The 60-watt ones I bought are only 99 cents after a $2 rebate. The 100-watt ones are $3 after the rebate. I bought mostly 60-watters, so I'll have spent less than $20 for 15 bulbs.
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Re: I've turned green

Postby Paul Winalski » Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:20 am

Robin Garr wrote:[Larry, we've gradually been switching over most of our incandescent bulbs to screw-in fluorescents as they burn out.


I was doing this, too, but I recently bit the bullet and just replaced all the remaining incandescents with the screw-in flourescents. When you factor in the reduced energy cost, they pay for themselves pretty rapidly.

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Re: I've turned green

Postby Bernard Roth » Fri Sep 15, 2006 3:46 am

I'm planning to go solar within the next year or so. I'll pump juice into the grid and earn a credit on what I use during non-daylight hours.

I have used flourescent fixtures where they meld well into the fixture aesthetics. But the Green bulb design does not appeal to my wife, so I can't install them as robustly around the hosue as I'd like. But maybe I'll just do it anyway and see if she notices.
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Re: I've turned green

Postby Howie Hart » Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:34 am

Larry,
I have them in several places in my home, however there are a few places where they don't work too well. They don't work with dimmer switches (they work, but don't dim) or in lamps with 3-way sockets (only 1 light level). Also, in an outdoor fixture (next to the back door) they start slow and develop an annoying flicker when it gets down to 5 degrees.
WRT "turning green" - as a former photographer, I've learned the light emitted from fluorescent bulbs has a noticeable green hue, thus, in an available light photo, people's skin takes on a sickly green cast.
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Re: I've turned green

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:59 am

Howie Hart wrote:They don't work ... in lamps with 3-way sockets (only 1 light level).


Howie, I haven't tried one, but I've seen three-way models for sale.

WRT "turning green" - as a former photographer, I've learned the light emitted from fluorescent bulbs has a noticeable green hue, thus, in an available light photo, people's skin takes on a sickly green cast.


Ahh, but in the digital era, you can always set your camera's white balance for the right color temperature before you shoot, or tweak the colors in PhotoShop after. :)
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Re: I've turned green

Postby Larry Greenly » Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:59 am

Howie Hart wrote:Larry,
I have them in several places in my home, however there are a few places where they don't work too well. They don't work with dimmer switches (they work, but don't dim) or in lamps with 3-way sockets (only 1 light level). Also, in an outdoor fixture (next to the back door) they start slow and develop an annoying flicker when it gets down to 5 degrees.
WRT "turning green" - as a former photographer, I've learned the light emitted from fluorescent bulbs has a noticeable green hue, thus, in an available light photo, people's skin takes on a sickly green cast.


Yeah, I used to teach photography class and without a filter, fluorescents would look greenish. Robin's right about digital cameras nowadays; just adjust the color temperature.

To the eye, though, the brand I bought looks like warm, incandescent light. Other than our dining chandelier, the only bulbs I haven't replaced are our three-ways. I rarely turn on outside fixtures, which probably cost me 10 cents/year in electricity, so I haven't replaced them.

If you have long-tube fluorescent fixtures, I recommend replacing the bulbs with wide spectrum bulbs. The difference is amazing.
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Re: I've turned green

Postby wnissen » Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:01 pm

I have to give Wal-Mart huge credit for moving forward with compact-fluourescents. If you go to the Wal-Mart lightbulb section now, the CF bulbs occupy most of the prime real estate. The price differential, as Larry points out, is pretty small compared to the price of the extra electricity. We went all-fluourescent five years ago when they were more like $6 each, and have not yet had a single bulb burn out, even the one in the living room that is on all the time when we're home.

It's also worth mentioning that each watt saved is a watt not released into your house in the form of heat. The watts Larry saved are equal to about a quarter of space heater no longer installed in the kitchen light fixture...

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Re: I've turned green

Postby Larry Greenly » Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:26 pm

Randy R wrote:
Larry Greenly wrote:Now my kitchen lights use 84 watts instead of 360. ... Now when electricity rates go up this winter in NM, I'll still be paying the same or more. You can't win.


Erm... how does the math work on that? 84/360 = about 1/4

So the rates are to quadruple this winter?



That assumes my only electrical needs are light bulbs--if only that were true... :wink:
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Re: I've turned green

Postby Bob Henrick » Sat Sep 16, 2006 9:15 pm

wnissen wrote:had a single bulb burn out, even the one in the living room that is on all the time when we're home.


Walt, it would seem to me that a bulb that burns continuously would last longer than one that is frequently turned on and off.
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Re: I've turned green

Postby MtBakerDave » Sun Sep 17, 2006 12:07 am

Larry Greenly wrote:
Howie Hart wrote:Larry,
I have them in several places in my home, however there are a few places where they don't work too well. They don't work with dimmer switches (they work, but don't dim) or in lamps with 3-way sockets (only 1 light level). Also, in an outdoor fixture (next to the back door) they start slow and develop an annoying flicker when it gets down to 5 degrees.
WRT "turning green" - as a former photographer, I've learned the light emitted from fluorescent bulbs has a noticeable green hue, thus, in an available light photo, people's skin takes on a sickly green cast.


Yeah, I used to teach photography class and without a filter, fluorescents would look greenish. Robin's right about digital cameras nowadays; just adjust the color temperature.

To the eye, though, the brand I bought looks like warm, incandescent light.


Back in the old days, most flourescents emitted a rather greenish light. You can still get those - look for 'cool white' on the label. Most of the CF lights are warmer colored though, but the exact color varies with manufacturer. It all depends on the phosphor used in the bulb. Some brands have the color temperature printed on the box. Lower temperature = warmer color. Look for a 2700K light for an incandescent-colored light, up to a 6400K for bluish light:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp

I switched to CFs about five years ago, for everywhere they work around the house. I've had a couple quit - one with a bunch of smoke BTW. Here in Seattle, you can sometimes get them for 99 cents on a promotional deal. Hardly works to have incandescents at that price ...

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Re: I've turned green

Postby Larry Greenly » Sun Sep 17, 2006 12:44 am

I usually pick 4000-4200 K fluorescents for the long tubes. They simulate north light at noon with nice color rendition.

Years ago I installed some in my wife's interior office that she shared with another person. At her end were the 4000K lamps, the other end of the office had cool white. I used to demonstrate the color difference by showing how a bright red dictionary would turn maroon as I walked to the other end of her office. Plus she felt better working under lights that had more wavelengths.
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Re: I've turned green

Postby Ed Draves » Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:40 am

I'm in the process of switching my house over. As the old ones burn out the new ones go in.
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Re: I've turned green

Postby TimMc » Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:11 pm

Fluorescent lights here.
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