No, this post has nothing to do with Doug Flutie.
After an aborted attempt a few years ago, we’ve recently made the switch to compact fluorescent (CFL) lightbulbs. The switch was made possible by increases in both electronic ballast quality and spousal tolerance. Over the past few years the quality of the light has improved drastically, to the point where my wife relented for many of the bulbs in the house.
We have a total of 68 lightbulbs around the house and so far we’ve replaced 35 of them. Of the remaining incandescents, 12 of them are rarely used, 3 are on a dimmer, 13 are weird sizes, and 5 just didn’t look good. We didn’t switch the candelabra bulbs and the round globes in the bathrooms since they are pretty expensive, but the general purpose 60 watt equivalents are available locally for 6 for $10.
One interesting thing with the CFL bulbs is the warm-up period. Modern fluorescent lights start up quickly (less than 1 second) but aren’t at full power right away. Indoors I can’t notice the difference, but the outdoors light start dimmer as the temperature drops. Last night I fired up the porch light to take the trash to the curb, but at approximately zero degrees Fahrenheit there wasn’t much light to be had for a few minutes.
I’ll report back in a few weeks to see if I notice a difference in the electric bill, but I’m only out $60, so it shouldn’t take too long to recoup my costs.