I'm nowhere near as green as I am frugal, and I just won't spend the extra money to save energy if it's going to save me money to spend the extra energy. Make sense?
And these new-fangled flourescent light bulbs have just been too expensive for me to get over the cost barrier of them. Four dollars for one light bulb when I can buy 4 light bulbs for $2? Are they kidding me? Lowe's must have been listening to my thoughts because they put these 60 watt replacement Bright Effects 13 watt Mini Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs on sale last fall for the unheard of price of $1 apiece, limit 4 to a household if you could get there before they all sold out that week. Alright, now that price is a lot more reasonable, and I picked up 4 of those Bright Effects 13 watt Mini Compact Fluorescent light bulbs the same day the sale flyer came out so I could try them out at home.
I like these new light bulbs. The Bright Effects Compact Fluorescent Light bulb (CFL) seems just a little brighter and whiter to read by than my standard 60 watt GE soft white incandescent light bulbs even though the actual lumens output is slightly less, only 800 lumens for the CFL versus 820 lumens for the incandescent. One thing I've noticed is that it takes a second for the Bright Effects Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb to turn "on" when I've flipped the table lamp switch, but there's no strobe light flickering involved like there is with the old overhead flourescent tube lights.
The GE 60 watt soft white incandescent light bulb promises to last for 1, 500 hours, and they usually cost me $0.50 each when I buy them on sale. The 60 watt replacement Bright Effects 13 watt Mini Compact Flourescent Light bulb promises to last for 8, 000 hours, and I was only lucky that I could pick up a $4.48 light bulb for only $1 that day because those sales aren't normal around here. So I would need to buy a little over 5 GE 60 watt soft white light bulbs for the same lasting power of one Bright Effects 13 watt Mini CFL bulb. If I can't find the GE 60 watt soft white light bulbs on sale for less than $3.58 for a package of 4, then the full price of a Bright Effects CFL is a better buy based solely on its lasting power.
What about these claims of huge energy savings? The Bright Effects package claims that you can save $45 per bulb in energy costs, but the savings calculation is based on $0.12 per kilowatt hour, and I'm not paying anywhere near that much for my electricity right now. But it should be easy enough for me to figure out how much I'm actually going to be saving here. A kilowatt hour is 1, 000 watt hours. A 60 watt bulb that burns for 1, 000 hours is using 60 kWh, and if it burns for 8, 000 hours, then it is using 480 kWh. To compare, a 13 watt bulb that burns for 1, 000 hours is using 13 kWh, and if it burns for 8, 000 hours, then it is using 104 kWh. My electric company is currently charging me $0.0768 per kilowatt hour.
Bright Effects 13 watt = 104 kWh * .0768 per kWh = $7.99 in overall electricity cost for 8, 000 hours of use
GE 60 watt = 480 kWh * .0768 per kWh = $36.86 in overall electricity cost for 8, 000 hours of use
Clearly, the 60 watt replacement Bright Effects 13 watt Mini Compact Fluorescent Light bulb is going to result in an energy savings of at least $28.87 per light bulb in my own household, which makes switching to the Bright Effects light bulb into a brilliant idea that is both green and frugal.