As covered in an earlier post, one great way to save a little green and live a little greener is to replace standard bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. At today’s electricity rates (which will only go up) you will save about $68 over the lifetime of a single bulb by replacing it with a CFL. So, replace ten bulbs in your house, save $680, and you can afford to fill up your car ten more times!
As some readers have commented, there is concern about CFLs because of their mercury levels, so proper disposal is crucial. But the good news is that there have been all kinds of advancements in CFLs just in the last few months. There are now bulbs with lower levels of mercury, and easier ways o dispose of them. You can also get CFLs for almost any kind of application (dimmables, floods, ornate lighting, etc.).
You will find standard CFLs in most stores now, including Home Depot and Ikea, and for specialty lights and general education on CFLs I like a site called 1000bulbs – www.1000bulbs.com. Picking the right color is important with CFLs, and they have a kelvin rating explanation that will help you get the right bulb for your application. They also carry a good selection of the new LED light bulbs, which will ultimately be the technology of choice for lighting. The super efficient LED bulbs are still too expensive for most consumers, but just as CFLs were super expensive a few years ago, so will the price of LEDs come down, and by buying now you can get an early start on the payback.