Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Last Incandescent Light Bulb in Nederland.

Location: Nederland, CO 80466, USA
Mayor Gierlach in search of the
Last Incandescent Light Bulb in Nederland
As we are recovering from the Boulder Flood, thinking about remodeling and preparing for winter, let's consider improving energy efficiency.

Lighting makes up about 25% to 30% of a typical home's electricity consumption. So, if your electric bill were $100/month, then lighting alone would be about $25-$30/month.

LED lights consume a lot less energy, and prices have come down dramatically. I asked myself, "Why would anybody buy an incandescent light bulb?" So, I checked out our local Indian Peaks Ace Hardware Store to see if they even sell inefficient light bulbs anymore, and I found a few on the bottom shelf.

Then, I came across this interesting article from John Funk of the Cleveland Plain Dealer: Not All Household Incandescent Light Bulbs are Going to Disappear. In it, he talks about odd-ball lights, like the one in your refrigerator, but overall, I'm still wondering why anyone would still have an incandescent light in their kitchen, bathroom, or hallway.

It's pretty obvious from this Comparison Chart of LED vs. Incandescent vs. CFLs. Here is another description of LED light bulbs on the eartheasy.com website – I found their blog to be especially practical.

I began a search for the Last Incandescent Light Bulb in Nederland, and it just might be the ones on the bottom shelf at our local Ace Hardware. I thought maybe we should have a photo contest of Nedheads that remove the last incandescent light bulb in their house.

Kitchen Light Math:

My own kitchen for example, has seven track lights, which I use ten hours a day, each with a 60-watt bulb.

For incandescent lights: 7 x 10 x 60 = 4,200 watts/day x 30 days = 126-kilowatt hours x 10-cents/kilowatt hour = $12.6/month.

For LED Lights, they use 6-watt bulbs for the same lumens of light.

So, for LED lights: 7 x 10 x 6 = 420 watts/day x 30 days = 12.6-kilowatt hours x 10-cents/kilowatt hour = $1.26/month.

For the year, my kitchen lighting would cost $151/yr with incandescent light, compared to $15/yr for LED Light, saving $136 per year! 
When I look at the bathroom, (two hours/day), other rooms in the house, and even the lights in hallways/stairways, I can save $325/year in lighting.

Efficient lights above the Dolphin at the Carousel
I was thinking that maybe the Last Incandescent Light Bulb in Nederland would be in a rental property, but even someone who signs a one-year lease, would still be better off getting LED lights, and still save over $150 that same year in electricity.

The Carousel of Happiness had originally been designed for about 2,400 incandescent light bulbs, and they had a fundraiser where people could buy an LED light bulb and sign it. My name is written above the dolphin.

Thirty-Seven of our local businesses enrolled in free energy audits through Boulder County's EnergySmart program, as explained here: Top 5 Ned Energy Bright Ideas. Most Nederland businesses replaced their light bulbs so they could save energy, so I don't think there are too many incandescent light bulbs in our local businesses anymore.

I did not realize that conservatives have now come out against the "war on incandescent light bulbs" until I read this Tampa Bay Times article: George Will: Incandescent light bulb has 'no effect whatever on the planet'. It has been proven to be false. I just know that when I switched to LED Lights, I saved a lot of money on my electric bill.

Incandescent lighting has served us well over the last 100 years or so, but it's time we give it a proper going away party. As the days are getting shorter, with less hours of sunlight, this might be a good time to check-out the lights in your own home to see if you can find the Last Incandescent Light Bulb in Nederland, take a picture of it, and post the picture in the comment section below.

[Here is a Video Valediction] I came across this fabulous dance interpretation of George Clinton and Parliament's 1978 classic, Flash Light, ... because everybody's got a little light under the sun. [What is a Video Valediction?]
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