Friday, November 13, 2009

Dusting Lightbulbs for Fun and Profit

In response to this week's Change the World Wednesday Challenge:
"In most homes there are multiple light bulbs used to light a single area. For example, bathrooms usually have a row of vanity lights ... ceiling fans often have three or more light bulbs ... and kitchens typically have quite a few lights (over the sink, over the table, over the center of the room, etc.). So, this week, twist off all but one bulb in each area and see if it works for you. If one bulb isn't enough light, twist on a second ... or a third. The idea, here, is to experiment a little, use only the amount of light that is truly necessary, and save a lot. So, twist them off!
So I took a look at our bathroom lighting.
Six bulbs, one that burned out a while back; since we never bothered replacing, clearly we didn't need it.

I unscrewed the one of those left (!Basta! that's HOT!) and the result seemed o.k. We'll try it for a week and, if there's a problem, screw it back in again. Experimentation is fun!

I noticed the top of the bulb was dusty. That dust is dysfunctional from a lighting standpoint; it coverts light to heat, not only absorbing maybe 5-10% of the light but also heating up the bulb, shortening its life. So by dusting the tops of the 4 bulbs left on, I increased their output, getting FOR FREE the equivalent of another half-a-lightbulb. It's not massive wealth but hey, let's take what we can get!

If we owned this place, I would install a inexpensive mirror strip behind and above the bulbs, to cut the light wastened in bouncing off the wall and ceiling. For that matter, by the time we can afford a home of our own, lightemitting strips will be cheap enough for home use.

But for now: dust those light bulbs to save money AND our planet!

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