Congress will likely pass a bill this week that will have a positive effect on global warming. The bill requires requires light bulb manufacturers to create products that consume 25% to 30% less energy than the typical incandescent bulbs on the market today by 2012 to 2014. The goal doesn’t end there; by 2020, light bulbs must be 70% more efficient. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) already meet this objective, but they cost four times comparable incandescent bulbs on average.
The good news is they last much, much longer. The difference in price is easily recovered due to the bulb’s long life. Additionally, replacing one incandescent bulb with a fluorescent will save an average consumer $5 on their electricity bill each year. With bulbs costing $4, there is no argument that a switch to compact fluorescent isn’t worth it.
I have compact fluorescent bulbs in most of the sockets in my apartment. I can’t say that I’m a fan of the color of light they produce. Also, many CFLs cannot be placed on dimmers. With improvements to the technology, I’m positive that better bulbs will continue to be made and prices will decline over time.
As my incandescents continue to die, I replace them with compact fluorescents. The small expense now will go a long way to saving money later. I’m helping the environment as well.
Updated January 16, 2010 and originally published December 17, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.