In a recent trip to Costco, I saw a four-pack of 100-Watt replacement Compact Flourescent bulbs for $9 and an eight-pack of 60-Watt replacement compact flourescent bulbs for something like $12. The 100-Watt replacement bulbs claimed to use a mere 23-Watts, output 1,600 lumens, and have an average life of 10,000 hours. I’m not entirely sure about the 60-Watt replacement compact flourescent bulbs because I didn’t buy them. Assuming you kept one bulb on for 8 hours a day, paid $0.0676215/kWh (what we pay to BG&E for electricity), then you would expect to save $15.21 per bulb per year. When the bulbs themselves cost approximately $2.25 a piece, compact flourescent bulbs seem to be the way to go.
Also, the compact flourescent bulbs allegedly last a total of 10,000 hours compared to a standard 100-watt bulb’s average lifespan of 750 hours. Unless you could find a regular light bulb for 17 cents, based on lifespan alone the compact flourescent bulb is a better buy.
Operational cost of a regular light bulb: (100-Watts x 8 hours x 365 days)/1000 x $0.0676215 = $19.75
Operational cost of a compact flourescent light bulb: (23-Watts x 8 hours x 365 days)/1000 x $0.0676215 = $4.54
The difference in the price per hour is approximately half a cent ($0.0052), so if you estimate how many hours a day you keep your lights on you can figure out a rough estimate as to how much money you’d save switching to compact flourescent light bulbs.
Some complain about the “whiteness” of compact flourescent bulbs but honestly I don’t really care or notice. They do take a few seconds (half a minute perhaps) to “warm up” and get as bright as advertised, which also doesn’t bother me either. $15 a year per bulb doesn’t seem like a lot but why spend it if you don’t need to?
Here’s an example of the types of bulbs I use, Sylvania 29490 23-Watt CFL Mini Twist, Soft White, 6-Pack . Don’t buy it from Amazon though, you can get them much cheaper from Costco or even Home Depot.
[Edit: I messed up, I’ve been using compact flourescent bulbs, not halogen bulbs. I changed all instances of ‘halogen’ with ‘compact flourescent’ in the original article.]