Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 48

Thread: Do CFL bulbs really save money?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    2,758

    Do CFL bulbs really save money?

    Have any of you really saved any money with CFL bulbs?

    They may save money on electricity, but CFLs are eating my pocketbook alive. I have purchased probably 15 100 watt equivalent CFLs from GE. I currently have three of them that are working. The rest have all died prematurely. The local hardware store was replacing them even a year or more after purchase, but I took two in today and they refused to exchange them because it was over 90 days. (Certainly within their right.)

    I'm trying to figure out how this is saving me any money with trips to store to replace bulbs and all the bulbs I have purchased. GE will replace the two deaad bulbs I have under the 5 year warranty, but I have to ship the bulbs to them. The shipping could very well cost more than just spending $3.98 plus tax on two new bulbs. I would like to find an affordable LED light bulb that would last longer, but the ones I have tried all have issues yet.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    3,686
    Frequent on/off cycling, installation bulb-down and enclosed installation will all shorten their lifespan. I've had a few duds over the years, but the current crop seem to be doing fine. I couldn't tell you what brand they are, though.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Monroe, MI
    Posts
    11,221
    Home Depots store brand is warrantied through the store and have a 7 year warranty or something like that. I had to argue with the girl at the desk and ultimately talk to the store manager who straightened her out.

    CFL is a temporary technology anyway. LED is where it's at once the cost comes down.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    12,391
    Mine have saved me money. the ones in the bathroom last less long(since they turn on or off over a dozen times a day), but they are 13 watt CFLs. The last two times I've gotten 13 watt CFLs, they have been for an average of less than 50 cents each. I use those in everything in the house except two fixtures.
    Unleaded tastes a little tangy, supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    1,566
    I have about 15 in my house that have been running for 7.5 years or so. My power bill tells me they save me plenty of money. I am replacing them with LEDs when they die, tho.
    Paul

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    2,758
    These CFL bulbs do not get frequent cycling, but they are mounted downward at about a 35 degree. The bulbs probably average two hours between power cycles. I even bought new light fixtures in hopes the bulbs would last longer. The bulbs last about 2 to 3 months longer than before. I suppose I can try the Home Depot brand, but constant trips to replace bulbs isn't saving me any money.

    I have CFLs mounted upside down in my bathroom and they haven't burned out in more than two years. I also have CFLs at my garage entry door that get turned on and off constantly and they are at least four years old.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    The Hartland of Michigan
    Posts
    5,584
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    Have any of you really saved any money with CFL bulbs?
    NO. And I mean a BIG NO.
    After a while they get dim, and need replacing.
    I'm buying incandescent from now on.
    Never, under any circumstances, combine a sleeping pill, and laxative on the same night.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    The Hartland of Michigan
    Posts
    5,584
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meiser View Post
    CFL is a temporary technology anyway. LED is where it's at once the cost comes down.
    I understand China is tooling up for the rush.
    Never, under any circumstances, combine a sleeping pill, and laxative on the same night.

  9. #9
    I have CFLs throughout my house - a lot in ceiling cans - and they've lasted quite well. Also save a LOT of money in electricity (of course, CA has very expensive electricity).

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    2,758
    Quote Originally Posted by paul cottingham View Post
    I have about 15 in my house that have been running for 7.5 years or so. My power bill tells me they save me plenty of money. I am replacing them with LEDs when they die, tho.
    CFL bulbs will save money because they don't cost all much. Can today's LED bulbs really save money for the average user with the high costs? My brother is finishing his basement with 30 recessed cans. He is considering the $25 each for LED bulbs for the cans. It might work out for him because his wife is doing day care and the lights may be on as long as 10 hours a day during the week.

    LED bulbs by my estimate would save at most 40% over CFL bulbs. I figure my three bulb fixture uses $8 of electricity a year with CFLs. LEDs might cut that to $5 a year, but I have to spend around $60 for the bulbs. The $30 savings in electricity alone over ten years wouldn't pay for the new bulbs, but CFLs would need replacement at least once. You might break even with today's LED bulbs.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    2,758
    Quote Originally Posted by Myk Rian View Post
    NO. And I mean a BIG NO.
    After a while they get dim, and need replacing.
    I'm buying incandescent from now on.
    I haven't noticed any of my CFLs that have a numbers of years on them getting dim. Of course, the ones that are on the most often burn out before they ever have a chance to get old.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Beaverton, OR
    Posts
    397
    I'm not sure they've paid for themselves yet, but they have been reliable and are on track to earn their keep. Most are the 14W kind that are 60W equivalent. We're about $0.12 per kWh here so each CFL saves me about $0.10 in electricity for every 20 hours of use. When the guys that applied finish to our floor left the lights on in every room I was relieved to realize that having to wait 24 hours to get in there and turn them off was only going to cost me about $1. Had all the lights been incandescent it would have been more like $2-3.

    The longest running CFL's were some I got from Home Depot about 8 years ago and they were still going strong two years ago when I moved out of that house. The oldest CFL I have with me is 6 years old now and is in a lamp I use frequently, it is "n:Vision" brand also picked up at Home Depot. Around 2 years ago I replaced as many bulbs in the house as I could with CFL's that I got from Home Depot and they're all going strong too except for one that I put in a lamp that kept burning out incandescent bulbs, we got rid of it after it killed the CFL. Those bulbs I got 2 years ago are "EcoSmart" brand, but the manufacturer's contact information on the package was the same as for my tied and true "n:Vision" CFL. Incidentally, the CFL that the lamp killed was some off brand that my wife got that took forever to get to full brightness.

    In all this time I've never had a CFL fail (other than that one) because I put them in places where they make sense and avoided places that they don't like Jason listed above. The shortest lived CFL's I've seen were some that someone else used in a very busy bathroom that were inverted and covered in a glass globe to make them look like an incandescent, they only lasted a month or two. I'm really glad they didn't phase out incandescent bulbs as they some times are the best bulb for an application, but I'm cheap so if it is a light that my wife tends to leave turned on all day then you can bet it is a CFL.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mandalay Shores, CA
    Posts
    1,711
    Blog Entries
    22
    I haven't have one fail yet. Used in many different situations - switched, on constantly, and everything between. I suspect they have saved money, though I can't prove it.
    Shawn

    "a little mayhem breaks up the ennui of everyday life"
    "be the change you want to see in the world"
    "adventure is hardship seen from a distance"

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Crown Point, Indiana
    Posts
    877
    I use them where I can. However, I can not use them in the garage because the temperatures get too low. In the colder temps they come on very dim and take forever to get somewhat bright. If it is really cold, then you can forget about them.

    I also see that the low end of the operating range for LEDs can be around -10 F. What happens if it is colder than that in the garage. This will happen in a lot of the northern states in dead of winter.

    I love saving on the power bill but also need something that will work when it is cold.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Monroe, MI
    Posts
    11,221
    The only places we had trouble with them failing was floodlights in track lighting in the kitchen (now gone) and in the post lamp out front which was a bad environment anyway so now I've got LEDs there which have been there for about 2 years. The one I took back to HD failed in only 2 weeks and its twin and replacement have been fine.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •