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save-energy-by-larry-shultz  TURN OFF THE LIGHTS AND STOP WASTING MONEY

All my life I’ve been yelled at by my parents, and then, my wife (and even my kids!) to TURN OFF THE LIGHTS and stop wasting money! — when I leave a room.

Everybody is so quick to tell me to save pennies on electricity, when they waste big dollars on all sorts of food, clothing and gasoline purchases for which they are overpaying for convenience sake.  Yet to them, I am the money-waster!

But now, with the advent of new CFL compact fluorescent and LED light-bulb technologies that use just ¼ and even 1/10th of the electricity of a similar output incandescent bulb – all of our hypocritical parents, spouses and children can start cutting us a break about turning off the lights and wasting electricity.

So, to have read this article on Fox News, I was surprised by the desire of some people to buy up and hoard old incandescent bulbs before they disappear from American stores. Why would save the old and obsolete technology of the incandescent light bulb that has served its usefulness?

C’mon people, if you need a Seinfeld metaphor to get the point, then I can only say that the incandescent light bulb is just not “sponge-worthy” for the modern world we live in.

First of all, incandescent light bulbs were invented 130 years ago, in the 19th Century (you want old – that’s old!), and are literally 10X (1,000%) more expensive to operate than new more energy-efficient LED light bulbs that also happen to last 40X (4,000%) longer in lifetime use than incandescent bulbs!

And second of all:  How can any Sports Fan ignore those kind of numbers?!  10X performance and 40X lifetime increases arequantum-leap improvements that should be celebrated for their technical accomplishments and for the very real benefits that LED light bulbs will mean for our increasingly energy-constrained world that cannot afford to waste electricity on inefficient light bulb technologies.

According to the EIA, residential and commercial Lighting in America consumed approximately 460-billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and represented ~17% of the electricity consumed by those sectors. Saving energy on light bulbs turns out to be a big deal.

At an average electricity cost of 10-cents per kWh, Americans are currently spending over $46-billion a year on electricity to power their light bulbs.  If every incandescent light bulb was replaced over time with higher efficiency CFL or LED light bulbs, then America’s home and business owners could save more than $30-billion a year in electricity that could be better used elsewhere to meet population demand growth.

And that’s why Congress and the Bush Administration passed this law in 2007.

Instead of building new Coal-fired or natural-gas power plants that will further pollute the environment, Congress sought to reduce per-capita power consumption by using new, higher-efficiency light bulbs to replace power-guzzling incandescents.

This is why patriotic and thrifty Americans should not mourn the end of the incandescent light bulb, nor decry the tyranny and abuse of government power telling us what type of light bulbs we can or cannot buy! This law and this change to next-generation light bulb technology is good for America (especially now that peak time electricity costs >24-cents per kW these days).

The proof is now inside and outside millions of homes and businesses this year and this Christmas – when for the first time in mass-market history, high quality LED Garden Lighting and LED Christmas lights have been increasingly sold over the last few years at Wal-Marts, Home Depots and seasonal-merchandisers around the country with great success.

I’ve replaced all of our toxic (mercury) CFL bulbs with non-toxic LED bulbs.  And I even replaced the last of our 75-watt incandescent candelabra bulbs with new non-toxic 5-watt LED bulbs (that consume 1/15th of the electricity!) in every one of chandeliers and sconces with two big differences:  we are saving money and there is no longer any noticeable heat being given off by our lighting.

Now let’s see what happens when my wife tells me to “turn off those lights and stop wasting money!”

I can’t wait.

Written by Larry Shultz


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