I recently replaced most of the lightbulbs in our home with n:vision energy saving light bulbs. These were at a super price at Home Depot, but the low price was only on the four packs of 60 watt equivalent bulbs. After I had these in our garage and laundry room, it was clear that the 60 watt bulbs were not going to be bright enough. I was going to trek back into Home Depot, which is 25 miles away, and pick up the more expensive n:vision 100 watt energy saving bulbs, but when I saw the GE Energy Smart at my Fred Meyer store, on sale and offering an in-store coupon, it was just as cheap to buy this and save the money on gas.
These GE Energy Smart lightbulbs are a little bigger than the typical lightbulb, and the bulb consists of a thin fluorescent glass tube that winds around in a spiral shape, to make them compact. These came three to a pack. The packaging claims that these bulbs will last for five years, and that they give the light of a 100 watt bulb but only generate 26 watts of energy.
They are supposed to last for 8000 hours, and more importantly, their light output is an impressive 1750 lumens! The packaging says that over the life of the bulb, I will save $59 in energy costs. The electricity cost savings are based on using the bulb for 8000 hours, at 10 cents per kilowatt hours, compared to ten 100 watt Soft White incandescent bulbs, which only have a rated lifespan of 750 hours.
Since these bulbs are a bit longer, we found they didn’t fit everywhere we wanted them to. Our garage door opener has a wired in overhead light, with a plastic casing or globe covering it. These bulbs were too large to fit into this small area, but they worked in all of our other lighting outlets just fine.
You have to be extra careful with the fluorescent bulbs, because they contain a tiny amount of mercury, and mercury is a toxic substance. For this reason, these cannot be disposed of in the same way as a incandescent lightbulb. It is considered toxic waste and should be treated as such.
When the lights are first turned on, these don’t give off their brightest light, it seems like it take a minute for them to warm up and give you their maximum radiance. That’s fine with me, I have gotten used to them and it doesn’t bother me in the least.
A standard 100 watt lightbulb has an output of 1750 lumens, (the efficiency is 17.5 lumens per watt), so these are just as bright as a normal 100 watt lightbulb, but I feel good knowing that they only use 26 watts of energy instead of 100 watts of energy.
The downfall to these types of bulbs is that they cannot be used in a lighting fixture with a dimmer switch, and they don’t have the three way functionality that standard three way bulbs do. An Energy Smart bulb will only work in the middle position, not lighting up on the dimmest and brightest settings.
According to the GE website, their Energy Smart lightbulbs use up to 75% less energy, which means you are helping the earth by generating less pollution. The fact that they have a longer life makes them perfect for using in hard to reach places. We have a ceiling fan that is quite high and we have to get the step ladder out in order to change the bulbs. If I use a GE Energy Saver bulb, I can install it and not have to worry about replacing it again for five years! They actually last 8-10 times longer than those standard bulbs.
This set of three bulbs was on sale for $13.00, and I had a 10% off store coupon, so that cut the cost to $11.70 for all three. Not too bad when you consider the energy savings, which will pay for these bulbs many times over, and the convenience of not having to replace lightbulbs so often. If you haven’t yet converted your house to energy saving lightbulbs, I strongly urge you to consider it! You’ll be saving electricity, money and helping the environment.