Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Brightness

I live in a cave.

Or, at least it seems that way at times. All the bulbs are 60-watt, and it's so dark in my kitchen that I usually have to have the stove light on as well just to see what I'm doing.

Well, I had a few burned out bulbs, and when I went to purchase replacements, I decided to start switching over to CFLs. And since I was switching to CFLs, I also opted to increase from 60-watt to 100-watt (equivalent brightness). So, not-quite-twice the brightness for just over a third the electrical cost.

Oh. My. Science.

It's so much brighter in my apartment, it's hard to describe. I no longer feel like I'm living in a cave. It's like stepping out into sunshine. I should have done this months ago.

An interesting side effect is that it is making me more aware of when I turn on the lights. See, if you turn on a CFL, you should leave it on for at least half an hour (which is why I don't use CFLs in the bathroom), otherwise you drastically shorten its lifespan. So now I am more aware of when I turn on the hallway light, for example. Because if I'm going to leave it on for 30+ minutes, I better be sure I need it. If it's a momentary need, I'll probably just leave it off and do without.


  1. I've heard a lot of conflicting statements about how long you should leave CFLs on, but 30 minutes is a new one for me. Can you cite your source?

  2. I read it on the Internet, so it must be true. ^_^

    Actually, it was on Slashdot, but there have been so many CFL posts that I can't find the exact thread. :-/

    And of course, it may well be wrong. I just believed it because it was +5 and no detractors.

  3. I asked not because I think you're wrong, but because you're often right and I hadn't heard that before.

    Methinks we'll have to look into it some more...

    And having done that, the government's Energy Star program suggest a 15 minute minimum.