Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Saving up for a light bulb

Eco bulbs are 7 times the price of budget-brand existing bulbs. For people on very tight budgets, this will be a burden. If eco bulbs become the only option, I predict we will see more people using candles, as is already the case when poor people can't pay the power bill. It's no good preaching long-term savings when people live from hand-to-mouth, benefit day to benefit day.

(The Lower Hutt fire station has just moved its base north to Avalon. This to be nearer to the poorest suburbs where most of the fires occur. I was told that by a fire officer.)


Anonymous said...

I tried the bulbs and they are crap. It says 100w but doesn't burn nearly as bright. I was having to run more bulbs just to get the same brightness and I found the light they emit annoying to my eyes. Even though I have some unused I bougth regular bulbs and use them instead.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

That is exactly what I have heard from two other people.

Sb said...

Works fine for me (and I know of several other households who done similar exercises with out problems) - the entire house is CFL except for 1 bulb. There is a very noticible power saving, I think I got my money back after approx 18 months. Almost three years and none have blown yet.

You do need to go up one rating on the CFL though, i.e. if you are replacing a 80W normal replace it with a 100W equivalent CFL not a 80W equiv.

Some bulbs also have different colours so if you are sensitive to the colour then you should try a couple before making a bulk purchase.

The technology and performance of CFL have changed considerably over the last couple of years. I think many of the complaners are thinking of the performance of the earlier bulbs which did leave a lot to be desired.

Brian Smaller said...

I just find them annoying in that you have to wait until they warm up before you get decent illumination. Particularly annoying when you want to pop into a room to find something and then leave again.

Cost - Mitre 10 and Bunnings refularly have them on sale for $10 for 5.

However, we would have to replace out light fittings in dining and lounge rooms because the CFL bulbs won't fit. This could be expensive for some people - us included.

Anonymous said...

I've been using various CFL bulbs (as well as some incandescents still) for a number of years.

Some good, some bad. Some haven't lasted well (died), or just slowly get duller and duller.

But I have worked out the economics, based on both types lasting for 2,000 hours of service. They claim CFLs last longer, but I'd say it's debatable.

A 100W incandescent will use 200kWh in its lifetime. At about 20c/kWh, that's about $40 worth of power. Plus about $1 original cost.

A CFL, if it uses 1/5th the power, will use $8 in power, plus say $5 original cost.

$41 - $13 = $28

Looks like a $28 saving over the life of the bulb. Not bad.

As for the original outlay - if a person bought one bulb (cost of 3 to 5 bottles of beer) every month, they'd fit out their house in a year.

It's just that poorer people don't think like that, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I all for the savings but they were so annoying and dim. And as stated they took a long time to warm up and get bright. And I've had some that have blown out quickly. And it really did hurt my eyes to read with that light.

James said...

I read that the new LED lights will make the eco bulbs redundant soon anyway.They are fitting them in traffic lights now and they are way brighter than the old ones.You can see them from a long way off even in bright sunlight...

Oswald Bastable said...

I brought a bunch of them- $10 for 5 at the Red Shed.

I have only had two blow in as many years, so they have proved cost effective.

What I don't need is some contol freak telling me I MUST change...

Rick said...

I agree with James. Not quite sure what the hold up is for LEDz because they should be big.
(that's light emitting diode, fyi)

The thing that worries me is that it's a bit of a watershed for environmentalism that John Howard has a 3 year plan for this. Might be time to bone up on Sceptical Environmentalism, Rick.