Last month I set out to save money and energy by replacing my incandescent light bulbs with new energy efficient ones from GE.Â I ended up with a shopping cart full of energy efficient lighting, mostly compact fluorescent bulbs.
I was pleased to find out that compact fluorescents now come in many different styles, and can now be used with dimmer switches and outdoor lights.
One of my favorite of the lights that I changed out was this compact fluorescent bug light outside our back door. My oldest daughter has a phobia of moths, and this is the door we let the dog in and out of.Â So she loves the fact that we are getting less bugs in the house, and I like the more energy efficient bulb.Â It is also the light most likely to be left on, because the kids forget to turn it off when they bring the dog in!Â I am going to get another one of these for the front porch.
When we moved into this house four years ago we changed to compact fluorescent bulbs in our main living areas, so this time around we were replacing things like this laundry room fixture, which is half way changed out in this picture.
We had no trouble with the CFL bulbs not fitting into the fixtures, and found the transition went smoothly.Â But did we save any money?
When I checked my projected energy savings on the GELighting.com website, it estimated I would save $223.23 per year, which comes out to $18.60 per month.Â So I checked my bill from last May â€“ early June against this yearâ€™s bill, and I found out that I paid $17.46 less.Â I was pleased, but then I looked at the numbers a little more closely, and realized that we saved money because our electricity rate is lower than it was last year, not because we used less electricity.Â Last year we averaged 41.1 kW hrs/day in May, and 44.5 kW hrs/day in June.Â This year we averaged 43.8 kW hrs/day in May and 47.15 kW hrs/day for June so far.Â So we are actually using more energy this year than last.Â This doesnâ€™t really surprise me, since this spring has been the hottest on record here, and we have been using our air conditioning much more frequently.
The bottom line is I am pleased with the lights, and my main motivation for switching was to save energy and help the environment, and I think that using CFL bulbs is the way to go for this.Â Seeing these numbers has made me realize we need to do more to reduce our energy consumption, because one change by itself is not going to be enough.Â We need to start turning off the air conditioning, hanging our clothes out to dry, and unplugging things like cell phone chargers and computers when they are not in use.
But lighting is a good place to start, and you can learn more about GEâ€™s energy efficient lighting @GELighting or on the GELighting Facebook page.Â You can print a coupon here, to save even more.Â For every coupon redeemed, GE will donate $1.00 to the Foundation Fighting Blindness. You can find out more at Blindness.org.