No Excuse for Gloom

lightbulb 2If you hate CFLs and are too cheap to buy LED bulbs, you can still reduce energy for lights the old-fashioned way–train yourself to turn them off when you leave an unoccupied room. Take advantage of natural daylight by leaving drapes and blinds open. Or just get used to gloom.

But there’s no excuse for gloom these days. Non-electric ways to introduce light into the house include skylights and solar tubes. Properly placed, a solar tube will make you think an electric light is turned on. But it turns off when the sun goes down. There is a special quality to natural light that outshines any electric light.

I used to really dislike the quality of the light of CFLs before they improved. They do contain mercury, of all things, so you must dispose of them properly. A lot of hardware stores will take them. They have other disadvantages as well, which I will list further down. However, they do save considerable energy, and their price has become fairly reasonable.

But if you’re still attached to your incandescent bulbs, compromise. Introduce just a few CFLs into your house or apartment. Use them in peripheral or seldom used areas, or outside. Give yourself the opportunity to get used to them. If you’re in the habit of leaving a couple of lights on when you leave the house, choose the CFLs. You’ll save energy and money.lightbulb 4

Experiment with wattage and be aware of the cool / warm designation on fluorescent lights. I recommend the warm. The Feit Electric Ecobulb Plus 60w costs $2.50 and is recommended the most by Consumer Reports. But remember–CFLs are not dimmable.

lightbulb 1Replace, at the very least, the light you use most frequently with a LED bulb. Yes, they’re expensive but their price has come down 83% in the last four years, and will continue to decline. Just think of how much energy and money you will save in the long run. LEDs last twenty-five times longer than incandescent. Unlike CFLs, LED lights are quite bright enough to be good reading lights.

Feit Electric is a good brand for LEDs also. “Only” $7. But remember–it lasts twenty-five times longer! C’mon. Give your house a little gift.

One reason to go the LED route instead of CFL is that you’re not supposed to turn CFLs on and off too often. They say fifteen minutes is the minimum you should leave a CFL burning before you turn it off. This is hard for someone like to me to remember because I’ve trained myself to turn lights off whenever I leave an unoccupied room. Do I have to think about how long I’ve left it on?

If only she had a book, she could read it by the light of her halo.

I even turn off my LED lights when I leave a room. Using energy only when you need it builds mindfulness.






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