Tuesday, August 5, 2008

CFLs continued

I'm sure we've all heard the stats on how much replacing our bulbs with CFLs will save us cash wise. See the image above if you haven't. (Though the price of the CFLs has dropped since this comparison was made.)

In yesterday's post I admitted that we had changed all our bulbs but 2. A strange thing happened after the change though. From some where in my childhood or reading came the 'knowledge' that fluorescent bulbs waste energy when you flick them on and off, it's better to leave them on. And CFLs = fluorescents, yes? Can you imagine the results of this knowledge coupled with practically every bulb in the house being a CFL? Now add in 6 homeschooled kids who are home all day ...

I'll let you think on it for a second .... picture it .... picture it ...

You got it.

From sunrise to long past sunset our house glowed from one end to the other like a Micheal Jackson stage show. Aliens could have used our house for a beacon from space.

But we were saving energy and thus money right???

I got to thinking about savings in other areas. 'The most expensive food you buy is the food you throw out.' Bikes take 0L/100KM. In other words if it isn't needed don't use it. No usage is even cheaper than light usage. I had a eureka moment!!!

Yes the electricity pull of a CFL is less than that of a 'regular' bulb but it is still a pull. Like the ghost load being drawn by appliances left plugged in those lights being left on were using electricity for no good purpose. Did we truly need to have the basement stairs light on 22 hours of every day? Do we need to have the bathroom light on nearly all day and night too?

At first not having the lights on was hard, we had become accustomed to the bright illumination from artificial lighting. This was too reminiscent of my grandmother's house, we'd go to visit and end up chiding her for living in the dark, turn on some lights that's what they are there for!

After a couple weeks I noticed that the house felt calmer. Less stressful, more relaxed. I began to like it.

Now I realize come winter I'm going to have the lights on more, but it sure will be less than it was last year! There are also a couple lights that do remain on once the natural illumination fades. It would be crazy for us to be flicking them off and on every couple seconds as the various members of our home wander in and out of the room, their usage won't change. There has been a fundamental change of standard operating procedures that is effecting unnecessary usage.

One huge difficulty is convincing the children that they could leave the lights off a lot of the time. Not to mention the foreign notion of turning them off as they are finished in a room. This is going to be the real challenge.

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