Thursday, March 17, 2011

Light Bulbs and My Carbon Footprint

In the last few weeks, and Especially since the Fukushima disaster, I have thought a little more about how to reduce my energy use.  Light bulbs are one area that I could improve, but it is not simple or easy.  Both of us are getting older, and my wife has very poor low-light vision.   She once brought home a note from her eye doctor saying that I shouldn't make her try to see with CFL bulbs.  In addition, most of our house has enclosed ceiling light fixtures, like these in the kitchen.  I tried using one CFL and one incandescent in each fixture, and didn't get any complaints about the light quality, but the CFL bulbs burned out more quickly than the incandescents, because of the heat buildup.  As it stands, we have four 60 watt bulbs in these fixtures, plus two 25 watt bulbs over the sink for a total of 300 watts to light one 9x12 room.  Eventually, I may want to get rid of these fixtures and put in something with about six LED bulbs, but it will be a hard sell.

I did order four LED bulbs from Earth LED, and got good results in a couple of places.  A 7 watt LED bulb (standard base) works fine in this reading lamp over the computer, and two 6 watt bulbs work fine in the wall sconces over the stairway. 

The 7 watt bulb is acceptable in a hanging lamp in the den, but it is not quite bright enough for me, and I wouldn't think of putting it on my wife's side of the couch.  Here is a comparison.  Just below is the 7 watt LED; below left, a 100 watt incandescent, and below right, a 24 watt CFL globe.  Earth LED makes a dimmable 10 watt bulb which I may try, although one reviewer said it has a cooling fan which makes an audible noise.  It's getting hard to format  the pictures, so I will close this post and continue later. 

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