About 10 years ago, we changed over much of our lighting needs from the traditional incandescent bulbs to the new energy efficient bulbs. Our biggest concern was our high energy bills. After one month with a majority of our bulbs converted to the swirly energy efficient kind, we noticed a $100 decrease in our monthly electricity consumption. Over 10 years, that’s a saving of $12,000! We regularly spend $250-$300 a year on light bulbs, so we are still saving money, and energy.
Our house is bigger than most and it doubles as a small hotel. We have a total of 9 bedrooms at the Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville and occupy about 6,700 square feet of living space. Much of this space must be illuminated 24 hours a day. These were the first areas that were converted.
Slowly the bulbs have evolved from the ugly swirlys that emitted bright white light to a swirly with a traditional bulb shaped cover that emits a familiar amber colored light. The light now comes in a variety of colors including bright white and soft white. The light output is measured in lumens and is prominently noted on the package. A 540 lumen bulb emits an amber color much like traditional home light bulbs while a 900 lumen bulb emits a color similar to a fluorescent bulb that you see in a grocery store. The key is to find a lumen you like and use the same lumen everywhere to keep your lighting consistent.
We prefer the light bulbs from Ikea. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, bases, and output while being reasonably priced. Most of their lights are in the traditional bulb shape, so that is a bonus.
The traditional light bulbs are being phased out by government order that will become effective in 2012. However, if bulb manufacturers make their traditional bulbs 25% more energy efficient, they will remain on the market in their traditional style and there will be no need for people who prefer these bulbs to stock up.
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
“Life is good in Jonesville”