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4 REPLACE INCANDESCENTS WITH CFLs

This action focuses on reducing lighting energy by replacing all light fixtures with compact flourescent light bulbs, reducing lighting energy by at least 75%.

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WHY?

Lighting accounts for 10% of the average U.S. household energy budget. There are a few simple steps to reduce this use dramatically:

1 REPLACE INCANDESCENT BULBS WITH COMPACT FLOURESCENT LIGHTS (CFLs)

Incandescent bulbs are still the least expensive on the market for up front cost, but are ancient technology. While compact fluorescents still have a higher up-front cost, they undoubtably save money over the lifetime of the bulb. According to ENERGY STAR, a 60 watt incandescent has an estimated energy cost of $7.32 per year while an equivalent lumen compact fluorescent light (CFL) of 13 watts costs only $1.57 per year. LED lights are slightly cheaper at this point at $1.50 per year, but still have a large up-front cost. Replacing traditional bulbs that are still operating with qualified CFLs allows you to recover your costs in about 6 months, and these bulbs will last an average of 9 years, saving 75% of the energy along the way.

Another common complaint is that the color rendering of fluorescent bulbs does not cast a desirable color light. It is true that when compact fluorescent lights first came out, they were known for casting a cold, blue color on room. However, technology has improved significantly, and bulbs can be purchased today which match the color of incandescent lights almost perfectly.

Lastly, a source of confusion when looking for equivalent CFL bulbs is that wattage is a measure of electricity and not brightness. Watts are simply a measure of power (the amount of electricity a bulb needs to operate), while the light output or brightness of the bulb is actually measured in 'lumens.' Compact fluorescent bulbs use an average of 1/5th the wattage of incandescents but are equivalent in brightness. Click here to see a table of minimum light output for each type of bulb.

2 TURN OFF ALL LIGHTS IN UNOCCUPIED ROOMS

According to the National Lighting Inventory and Energy Consumption Estimate in 2002, 5.33 kWh of electricity is used for lighting each day in a typical residence in the United States. Energy for lighting in each room is as follows.

Table-Hours on Per Day

how to do this action:

This action calls for participants to replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs, and calculate (both hypothetically and in actual bills) the energy saved.

(1) Take an inventory of all light bulbs in your house. You will need to take note of the following for each fixture:

  • -Wattage of current bulb
  • -Type of bulb (ex: 3-way, dimmable)
  • -Number of bulbs in each fixture
  • -What color rendering is desired

(2) Make a list of all equivalent CFL bulbs to be purchased. Follow the links below to look up equivalent wattage amounts and color rendering terms before heading to the store.

Following is an example of this type of inventory:

Lighting counts inventory

(3) Once you have replaced all fixtures, access a downloadable spreadsheet created by ENERGY STAR to calculate your energy and cost savings doing this action. Follow this link: ENERGY STAR Savings Calculator.

Using this spreadsheet, calculate the percent energy savings.

(4) Input your electric bills to see if you notice a difference.


what will be measured?

KEY QUESTIONS

QUANTITATIVE QUESTION: How much lighting energy can be saved by replacing all incandescent bulbs with compact flourescent bulbs (CFLS)? What difference does this make on total electricity usage each month?

QUALITATIVE QUESTION: How does the experience of replacing all incandescent bulbs with CFLs affect your happiness, convenience, health and costs?

BASELINE WEEK TRACKING

QUANTITATIVE
During the baseline tracking week before the project begins, use the corresponding spreadsheet (E4_BASELINE) to inventory and create a list of all bulbs to be replaced:

  • (1) Begin with listing each light bulb in each room of your house.
  • (2) Designate the characteristics as shown in the example chart below:
  • Bulb Type (incandescent, dimmable incandescent, 3 way CFL, etc...)
  • Fixture location (ceiling, lamp, wall, etc...)
  • Current bulb wattage
  • Current color rendering
  • (3) Determine CFL replacements for all incandescent bulbs, including bulb type, current bulb wattage and desired color.

QUALITATIVE


Qualitative Scale

Using the above scale as a visual, rate each of the following criteria on the spreadsheet (E4_BASELINE) as it relates to your current lighting use habits:

  • 1. SATISFACTION/HAPPINESS
    (Overall, how much enjoyment or dissatisfaction do you get out of doing and completing this behavior?)

  • 2. CONVENIENCE
    (How easy/difficult and accessible/inaccessible is this behavior for you to do and complete?)

  • 3. HEALTH
    (How healthy/unhealthy and safe/unsafe does this behavior make you feel?)

  • 4. COST
    (How much does this behavior cost? Use positive numbers for being above average and negative numbers for being below average and zero for being average.)

IMPLEMENTATION PHASE TRACKING

QUANTITATIVE
PART 1 - Once you have replaced all fixtures, access a downloadable spreadsheet created by ENERGY STAR to calculate your energy and cost savings doing this action. Follow this link: ENERGY STAR Savings Calculator. Add this number to the spreadsheet (E4_QUANTITATIVE).

PART 2 - Use the corresponding spreadsheet (E4_QUANTITATIVE) to enter your most recent electric bill (before project began) as a baseline. Then, simply enter your electric use from each monthly bill you receive throughout the project (in kWh), report the total number of days for each billing cycle as well as how many days of the billing cycle were days during the project. Compare your actual bills to your hypothetical energy savings from the baseline tracking week.

QUALITATIVE
Part 1 - Ranking


Qualitative Scale

Using the above scale as a visual, rate each of the following criteria at the end of the project on the spreadsheet (E4_QUALITATIVE). Your answers should not be rated in comparison to your baseline week, but in general as a reflection of how you are feeling.

  • 1. SATISFACTION/HAPPINESS
    (Overall, how much enjoyment or dissatisfaction do you get out of doing and completing this behavior?)

  • 2. CONVENIENCE
    (How easy/difficult and accessible/inaccessible is this behavior for you to do and complete?)

  • 3. HEALTH
    (How healthy/unhealthy and safe/unsafe does this behavior make you feel?)

  • 4. COST
    (How much does this behavior cost? Use positive numbers for being above average and negative numbers for being below average and zero for being average.)

Part 2 - Blogging
Keep a narrative log of your experiences changing this action in your life. Did you find the process of replacing all incandescent light bulbs to be easy or difficult? Why? Where were you able to find CFL light bulbs? What are the benefits of having all CFLs? What are the sacrifices?


resources

Energy Star (Lighting)
ACTION SPREADSHEETS

The spreadsheets referred to above can be found in the Excel file at the following link:

E4_Replace Incandescents with CFLs Spreadsheet

If you prefer to enter your responses by hand, printable PDFs of each spreadsheet can be found at the following links (at the end of the project, all data will have to be entered into the Excel spreadsheet):

E4_BASELINE
E4_QUANTITATIVE
E4_QUALITATIVE