As most know, I’m not a member of the “Church of Global Warming”. I am however a fan of things that help our environment and ourselves. As long as it makes sense.

Forcing people to get away from those horribly cheap and useful incandescent lights and make them use those expensive, mercury laden CFL’s CFD‘s. Oh ya, that makes sense, Not! But gee you “save so much in energy” which Has to be good for the environment, I mean Global Warming. Oh wait, please ignore the whole Mercury issue, you know. how according to the EPA if you drop one of those CFL’s CFD‘s you have to clear out the house and it’s now legally a hazardous waste area? Minor details, it’ll just be our dirty little secret? Okay? He’s a few bucks for your next campaign.

So, why am I ranting on this. Well, one of the blogs I like to read has a big deal on replacing 5 light bulbs with these new wonderful LED lights that just Must be better for the environment.  Each light is 12 watts and is replacing 75 watt lights (why they aren’t already 60 watt bulbs is a good question).

Anyhow if you figure 5 75 watt bulbs (which is what he’s replacing) running 8 hours a day 7 days a week 30 days a month with a cost of $.11 a kilowatt hour (that’s the hosed up price I pay to Enron, I mean PG&E). So, doing the math it turns out that it costs $9.90 a month for those 5 lights. Doing the same math with 60 watt bulbs turns out to be  $7.92 a month. For the new nifty LED’s it would cost $1.58 a month. Better right?

So, we have $9.90 a month vs $1.58 a month at the two extremes.  Now the cost of the LED’s. $98 a pop, for a total of  $490 plush shipping and tax. We’ll just call it $100 a light for ease. So, to make up the cost of the LED’s at the extremes would take a total of  (Incandecent cost per month – LED cost per month) * X months >= $500. X months turns out to be 60 plus change. So, to get break even on buying these would be 5 years. Taking into account the savings in electricity.

Now for maintenance costs over those 5 years.

A regular incandescent bulbs lasts about 7500 hours or roughly 2.5 years per bulb at 8 hours per day.  But to buy a pack of 4 is a $1 or so. In 5 years you’d need to replace on average 10 bulbs total.  So, total maintenance cost for bulbs, less than $10.

LED bulbs. $100 a pop. Life span 50000 hours, or just over 17 years. So they would need to be replaced an average of one every 3 years and change. So, over 5 years you’d average replacing 1.5 bulbs, or $150.

So, if you buy these nifty LED’s and replace your existing 75 watt bulbs you would save about over the course of 5 years (break even time for initial cost). $10 in incandescent replacements – $150 in LED replacements, or -$140 total.

Your total savings over 5 years is -$140. Yes, replacing your existing horribly wasteful incandescent bulbs with those wonderful “Green” bulbs will Cost you an average of $30 a year.

If you replace the 75 watt bulbs with 60 watt bulbs the total savings over 5 years would be roughly $118.80 in energy savings. Yes, you SAVE $24 a year by using 60 watt bulbs rather than 75 watt bulbs.

Using 60 watt bulbs instead of LED’s would save you an average of $54 a year.

So why switch to CFL’s CFD‘s and LEDs? Besides to make all those lobbyists happy? Well to “SAVE THE WORLD FROM GLOBAL WARMING! Oh wait, it doesn’t? It makes it worse? Um, my bad, never mind. 🙂

Don’t read the fine details. Just shut up and go with the crowd. You need to save the world right? Sheeple. Nothing but a bunch of sheeple.

Just my 2 cents on the subject. Sometimes using old technology makes more sense than trying to use nifty new tech. Incandescent bulbs are made of a bit of glass, a tungsten filament , metal base, a bit of glue, and some vacuum. Done. CFL’s CFD‘s? All the same except replace tungsten with Mercury vapor and add all the crud that goes into the ballast. LED’s? Who knows what chemicals are used to make all the parts for those lights. I guess I could do the research, but I’m figuring it’s not going to be good for the environment. Not from what I know of chip making.

Update: CFL is Compact Flourescent Lights. CFD is Computational Fluid Dynamics. You can see my confusion. 🙂