4 Light Bulbs: One BIG Bulb

I’ve written a lot about canceling an EV’s electric usage, via (surprisingly few) “nega-watts”: electricity saved elsewhere.  I’ve mentioned lighting so far.  LED lamps use under a quarter of incandescents’ power- more like a fifth or sixth, meaning they even save over fluorescents.  I also mentioned these nega-watts then cut air conditioning too, since wasted bulb energy turns into heat.

Well, let’s go ahead and stake that vampire good, shall we?  One cannot discuss power savings, and the grid in general, without tackling the A/C question.  What shall we do with the one biggest load in the house, and most businesses too?  Grid load is driven by the hottest days’ A/C load, by definition.  Utilities plan on the max expected A/C usage, then upgrade their network to match.  Anyone with the grid in mind must plan on hot summer afternoons, too.

702fI know what I’ll do about A/C: the rest of my plan.  The last time I needed roof work, I got the lightest shade the company had.  I’ve bought new windows and more insulation, to put in my attic and walls; I’m about to buy even more.  My utility has their own initiatives: subsidies for efficiency, and for A/C budgeting.  In the future, I may nail that coffin once and for all.  I’m looking into a ground heat pump, drastically more efficient than plain ol’ air conditioners. Continue reading


I’ll Give Them Credit

Out with the old...

Out with the old…

...in with the new!

…in with the new!

Again, almost 2015.  My bank tossed their old bulbs and installed LEDs because… they’re a bank, and it’s almost 2015.  Obsolete lighting technology wastes energy, and thus money.  LEDs make money, as banks are supposed to do- certainly any bank of mine. Continue reading

4 Light Bulbs… Philips Followup

When Cree dropped a bombshell in March (a sub-$10 LED lamp), Philips had to respond.  They promised it by the end of the year.  It didn’t quite break the $10 barrier, sure.  An instant rebate now got me an 8 Watt LED (40W in incandescents) for 37djust under that mental barrier.  $10 now got me 32 more negawatts.

Who doesn’t like the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007?  People who can’t do math.  Idiots who don’t get TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).  The LED’s about $9 more than an incandescent, sure.  But it’s built for a 20,000+ hour life, versus ~1000 hr incandescents.  You’d buy ~$19 in new bulbs versus one LED.  Meanwhile, at 8W you save $4.20 a year vs. 40W incandescents (assuming 3 hrs a day, at the US average 12¢ a kW-hour).  Thus, power-bill savings alone will pay off sometime in year 3.  Will pay off- the warranty is 6 years.

It’s a no-brainer, folks.  Now combine its power savings with no replacements, and in its 6 years, it saves over 30 bucks- $6.50 in replacements, $25.20 in juice. Continue reading