A power saver

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

We have been preparing for Y2k, winter storms and much more for sometime now. About six months ago I discovered a compact fluorescent light bulb with a standard incandescent bulb screw-in-base. A bulb with the equivalent lumens of a 60 watt bulb only uses 15 watts. A bulb with the equivalent light of a 100 watt bulb only uses 23 watts. The bulbs nominally last up to 10,000 hours, about 7 times the life of a standard bulb. The only kicker is that they cost about $10 per bulb. I have picked up a pair of the 60 watt bulbs at Sams for $17.95. We have gradually changed most of the bulbs in our house. This is a real cost savings over the long run. At 10 cents/killowatt hour you can save $45 over the life of the bulb. When you first turn on the bulb there is about a one second delay in the light turning on.

We have a 10 KW propane powered generator and a 1KW inverter powered by six golf cart deep discharge batteries. The flourescent bulbs let us have plenty of light with the inverter without creating a big power draw. We can have the equivalent of 500 watts of light on and only draw 125 watts. Using the regular lights when the power is out is convienent, and safer than flammable light sources.

Keep the cave warm and buy honey ......

-- Bubba the bear (bubba2go@aol.com), October 26, 1999


I bought a pack of two of these about eight years ago. The first bulb lasted over 5 years in a table lamp that is left on all the time. I kept the spare to use when it did burn out. My grandmother told me that long ago a light bulb was supposed to last until it was broken! Something to do with the type of filament used that did not burn out. Well, I guess the bulb companies figured out real quick there was no money in a product that lasted.

-- Carol (glear@usa.net), October 27, 1999.


Good idea. Never thought about how they could help stretch the generator output.

We bought some of these years ago when the local Electric Company was selling them. We put one in a downstairs room that has a light on all the time. The bulb had a rated life of 9000 hours (just over a year). It ran 24 hrs a day for 9 years before it started to go out (started flickering on and off). However, it did gradually lose brightness over the years, something we really didn't notice until we put a new one in. This one was from when the compact fluorescents were first coming out - I should think they are probably even better today. I would say we definitely got our money's worth out of ours.


-- Eyell Makedo (make_do@hotmail.com), October 27, 1999.

That's the reason to get LED lights, too. Make your batteries last 20 to 50 times as long. Sounds trivial now, but wait until you only have three or four batteries left, and you're sure gonna want a way to stretch them!

See how to make them.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 27, 1999.

Good idea, have been using compact fluorescent lights for 15 years. They are available for 12 and 24vdc as well as 117vac from various solar suppliers (links from our website below). The main thing is to avoid the junk from Lights of America, Feit Electric and any off- brands. I buy Phillips, Sylvania-Osram (cleanest RF wise) and the GE electronically ballasted bulbs, and Panasonic. Use LED lighting as well.....DCK


-- Don Kulha (dkulha@vom.com), October 29, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ