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How long to save investment

Wayco Wayne_2
Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,472
seems to always have the light left on. As elec rates rise in out area I have become the lights off curmugeon of the family. I recently replaced the light switch with a motion detector that turns the lights on as you enter the room and turn them off after 45 seconds. Enough time to load the washer and turn it on, or take your clothes out of the dryer and leave the room. The light fixture has 2- 70 watt bulbs. Our current rates are a 10 cents a Kilowatt. How long before I save the 50 dollar cost of of the motion switch?

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  • zeke
    zeke Member Posts: 223

    Let'see 140W for say 5 hours a day of wasted on time.
    In 1 year the additional cost would be


    2 year payback ?

    Why don't you get CFL lights @ 15 watts with equivalent lighting and better payback?
  • CFLs and Timers

    CFLs take about 15 minutes at room temperature to achieve the efficiency and light quality that they are rated for. Incandescents give light almost immediately upon the application of voltage. CFLs take a moment to brighten up, and can take much longer in very cold temperatures. Coupling this with the shorter life of CFLs when turned on and off for short amounts of time may make incandescent bulbs more attractive for things like outdoor and/or motion-activated lighting.

    (partly quoted from Wikipedia)

  • Plus...

    THe economics suck because the energy consumed is significantly less.

    One thing that concerns me with the use of CFL's is the environmental concerns with the MURCURY that each one contains.

    When I approached our fair city with the question of what to do with spent CFL's, they said they could not tell me what to do with it, but did recommend against just tossing it in the trash.

    Can you say environmental consequence?

    I did finally find a resource for recycling, but they only do it on certain days, and you must call in advance to make reservations to deposit said flourescent products...

    Are we designing our own train wrecks for the future? Does anyone remember the fact that you could not eat fish out of the Great Lakes due to mercury poisoning? I caught a nice yellow pike near Buffalo New York, only to have to release it because of mercury poisoning....

    So, are CFL's really THAT environmentally sound?

    Makes one wonder. Maybe instead you should go to one of the newer LED's.

  • Doug_7
    Doug_7 Member Posts: 210
    CFL's and Mercury Myth

    If your electricity is made from coal, you will find that CFL's release far less mercury to the environment than the equivalent number of incandescent bulbs - even though CFL's contain mercury and incandescent bulbs do not.

    Incandescent bulbs use far more electricity than CFL's - four or 5 times more electricity for the same light output - and that power plant producing electricity releases mercury to the environment.

    Also, you need 5 power plants to light incandescent bulbs when one power plant will provide the same light output with CFL's. That is where the environmentla consequences lie.

    The mercury myth is just another excuse to avoid doing the right thing for the environment. Use CFL's - they save money and the environmnet.
  • Saggs
    Saggs Member Posts: 174

    At work, they are having us put motion detectrs in office areas and hallways etc. They initial expenditure is fairly pricey when dealing with many T8 ceiling fixtures. They lights do get turned off automatically but after a few years now we are having to replace bulbs and ballasts like never before. I think in our application they're not saving much b/c the breakdown of the lighting componenets is now much higher, and then the disposal of the "lethal" T8 bulb.
  • Leo G_101
    Leo G_101 Member Posts: 87
    Hey Prof

    Most if not all Home Depots have CFL return boxes. One of the good things about very large chains, they have to be GREEn nowadays and can usually afford to be.

    Leo G
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Technology and laziness

    Its funny how they can go together. Laziness spawns the technology, so we don't have to remember to turn off the lights. Or if we do leave the lights on they won't use as much juice. What is society turning into?

    I'm all for tecnology, but it seems there are alot of things on the market that keep the consumer from having to remember to do simple tasks.

  • Thanks Leo...

    Unfortunately, the last time I attempted to recycle batteries at the Deopt, I was rejected because their material handlers had dropped the ball. I'll try again.

  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,545

    ... ask around at non-big-box hardware stores too (if you have any left). I've been checking in my area (central CA) and most of the little guys are willing to accept batteries and CFLs. It's illegal here to do anything else, but it does take some hunting to get down to facts. Web sites that claim to have the scoop so far have been completely useless. I've also found that asking in person gets better results than by phone.

    I'm not going to attempt to justify fuel spent to learn this, but it would be more environmentally pleasing on a motorcycle late springtime ;~)

    Yours, Larry
  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    I have

    A grinder for F/T-8 bulbs, recycle my CFL's thru our corporate recycling program, as well as ballasts. Bi-axial based CFL's have been in use in the commercial field for a long time, do not hold up for long when cycled on/off. LED lighting is the REAL future.
  • Wayco Wayne_2
    Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,472
    There have been

    several mentions in this thread of LED lights. I've not noticed any, short of the LED flashlights that are around now. How available are they for in home use? Are they any good? Do they give off a nice light? Inquiring minds want to know. WW

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  • CC.Rob_4
    CC.Rob_4 Member Posts: 37

    LEDs are definitely getting there. For certain applications, they are pretty much the ideal, and the added up front cost is worth it.

    For others, the limiting factor appears to be luminosity. Example: there is not yet a useful LED that replaces the ominpresent 65W R30 incandescent can light. The lumens of a comparable LED are about a third to half. White LEDs currently produce about 30-60 lumens/watt. CFLs are more like 80. Incandescents 100+.

    Some sites:


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