I bought a $12 light bulb! Yes! I am a genius! Yeah me. [leans shoulder over for easier patting]
I think someone needs to invent a software that will let you scan an IR code with your smart-phone and let you see the total cost of ownership for the item. Imagine the smart-purchase power that knowledge would give! Imagine if this existed for food! (I’ll flesh that out in another post)
If such a software existed – you would scan the code on a good-old fashioned incandescent light bulb and see a total 10-year energy cost of $200 pop up! (of course – that doesn’t include all the bulbs you’d have to buy @ $0.50 each – about 1 per year). Compare that to one of these weird LED bulbs – with a 10-year energy cost of $30. One bulb typically lasts longer than 10 years (more like 12-15 years). So – within one year my over-priced LED will already have paid for itself.
If you’re thinking I must be pretty darn nerdy to have just written a couple hundred words on light-bulbs … you DON’T know the half of it!! LED bulbs are almost twice as efficient as CFL bulbs. For 9 years now I have used almost exclusively CFLs in my house (the one exception is that one bulb in the middle of the garage – which I rarely turn on – but which I regularly knock to bits with the ladder. As a result of CFL’s, energy star appliances, energy audits, and a general obsession with energy efficiency my utility bills have gone down over the last 9 years.
So – here’s what I don’t understand … Why doesn’t everyone use these? LED bulbs come in every shape, size and color. They may not all cost $12 – but they are all wicked efficient compared to anything else. I’ve asked around – and most of my friends pay 2-3x my $95 total monthly utility costs. Some of them have bigger houses than me – all of them have much newer houses than me. Even if you only bought one LED bulb for the light you use the most – the savings would be immediate – especially if you were replacing an incandescent bulb.
Did you know that in many parts of the country utility companies will no longer pay individuals for electricity generated by solar panels or wind turbines on homes? Due to the economy and efforts to go green – there’s actually much more electricity available on the grid now than there was just a few years ago. This means – the incredible pressure the country was under just a few years ago to expand energy production via coal-fired plants or nuclear powered plants – has slacked off … we’d be freaking smart if we used this window to make some smart choices regarding energy production for the future. Regardless of what you think about the environment – no body wants to pay more than they have to just to turn the lights on.
I have no idea if LED bulbs will save the world now or ever – they will save me a pile of dough though.