Mar 192010

When we bought our house in 2006 one of the first things we discovered is that a 2400 sq ft house has a lot of light bulbs especially when all of the main rooms and bedrooms have ceiling fans with two to four bulbs. We easily at one time use 30 light bulbs throughout our home.

We then decided that it was worth the cost of buying flourescent light bulbs which at the time cost us about $2.50 per bulb. Now I am not sure how long they really should last but gradually they have begun to burn out so we recently started replacing them one by one with Compact Fluorescent light bulbs.

One of the major reasons for switching to the compact is the idea that they use even less energy than the slightly larger fluorescents we have been using which of course means saving a few more dollars a year. Another big deciding factor is the size of the newer compact fluorescent light bulbs. For the last three years some of our lights have not had the cover on them because the old bulbs were just too large. Now we can put these light covers back on as they originally were.

When we initially made the change we noticed roughly a $5-$10 a month difference in the electric bill. This doesn’t sound like much but our most recent switch we expect to save a little more. The hardest part is shopping for the best compact fluorescent light bulb for your needs.

If we used regular incandescent light bulbs we would spend on average $8.00 every 6-12 months and figuring if we only had to replace the bulbs once a year that is $24 ($1 generics from Wal-Mart) for three years. When we bought our fluorescent light bulbs we spent about $75($2.50 generics from Wal-Mart).

If we saved even $3 a month over three years that would be $108 so if you take the 108-75 we would have saved a minimum of $33 over the past three years after the cost of purchasing the fluorescent light bulbs.

We have been shopping around and at Wal-Mart we found a 6 pack of GE for 15.16 (2.53 each), 18W MINI TWST CFL BULB REPL75W on amazon was about as low as I could find at $3.25 each for a brand I haven’t used but they claim to last 7 years, and my husband (the true King of online bargain shopping) came across this bulk pack of 25 on eBay25 CFL Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs 20w=75w ($1.28 each).

They all seem to be good bulbs from as far as we can tell. We have decided for now to try out the eBay 25 CFL Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs 20w=75w. After we get them I will comment and let you all know how we like them.

Using the same method and assuming we will be getting at least a 25% increase in savings per month that would be $3.75 per month over the next three years (these bulbs claim to last 6 years so we will assume that is true but we know they last at least three so we will stick with that number) jumping the savings to $135 before the cost of buying new bulbs all throughout the house. The new bulbs will cost us about $40 (We are buying 2 sets and letting friends get some at cost of course for those we don’t need so 1.28*31 is our actual cost after being reimbursed on the others.) so our expected savings now is $135-$40=$95!

Next time we hope to change to an even better energy saving light bulb but until then this is about as low cost of a a CFL we found as of March 19, 2010. Please chime in if you find a better deal!

If anyone knows where to find some really cheap “green” light bulb solutions we would be interested in hearing about that. We thought about going with LED but they are still very expensive and we do have a rather large amount of lights to replace.