So, what’s your stance on light bulbs? Have you gone green with compact fluorescents and LEDs, or are you hanging on to your precious incandescent bulbs for dear life? Up until a couple of years ago, I was an incandescent hold-out. Sure, I was all for being a friend of the environment by recycling and doing my best to conserve power and water, but when it came to household illumination, I couldn’t quite bear to make the jump to compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs.
Sure, they last several times as long as incandescent bulbs, and put out just as much light with a fraction of the power use, but no way. Something about not being able to shake the mindset that all fluorescent light was flickery and had a cool, vaguely creepy cast to it. After all, when you’re relaxing at home, you want to bask in a soft, warm glow, right? Not feel like you’re in a stark institutional setting.
Then I moved into an apartment where the previous tenants had left behind a box of brand-new CFLs. I let them sit in the back of a cabinet until one fateful day when the light bulb in one of our floor lamps blew out on us, and we had no incandescents on hand to change it with. Not feeling like running to the store but wanting the light back, I dug out the box of CFLs and screwed one in with bated breath. And…
No gross eye-irritating light. No flickering, no cool tones to ruin the cozy vibe. Just nice, bright, warm illumination – the kind I’d thought wasn’t available outside the realm of incandescent bulbs. And that thing lasted forever! I learned my lesson, and have never looked back. As a matter of fact, I’ve since pinch-hit for burnt out CFLs with left-behind incandescent lightbulbs, and now I can’t believe how short their lifespans are. Go figure.
I’ve been enjoying seeing how far CFLs have progressed since the days of strictly spiral-shaped bulbs. Now there are mini-spirals for smaller fixtures, CFLs with more of a classic “bulb” shape, and even little candelabra-style ones for chandeliers and other hanging light fixtures. The variety is incredible, and the quality is better than ever. So if you’re still riding the incandescent train, I highly suggest, from personal experience, that you give compact fluorescent bulbs a chance, even if you start out with just one lamp, like I did. You’ll love the savings.