Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Light Bulbs: Compact Fluorescent vs. Incandescent

I just bought some incandescent light bulbs at Wal-Mart this weekend. Four bulbs (40, 60 and 100 watt) cost $1.09. They are made in the USA. The CF bulbs for sale next to them cost $4.69 each and they are made in China. Did I mention that each CF bulb contains 4-5 milligrams of mercury?

My electric bill averages only $15 per month, of which 2/3 powers the fridge and the water pump that keeps my basement dry. So our monthly bill for lighting is only around $5 per month. Based on these figures, it makes little sense for me to buy these newfangled light bulbs that cost nearly 20 times what they are replacing.

On the other hand, if you are an energy hog, and like to keep the lights burning in many rooms throughout your home, then these light bulbs might be right for you. You'll feel better about yourself as you waste energy, and drive up the nation's trade deficit in the process.

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