Sunday, June 03, 2007

a great email letter to

I have a detached 12 by 20 foot garage and it has as its source of lighting five 200-watt incandescent bulbs.

If what the Luddites are telling me is correct and 95 percent of an incandescent bulb's energy is used producing heat, then they are not only producing the light I need but nearly 1,000 watts of heat. That's the equivalent to the 1,000-watt electric space heater that sits in the corner of the garage with its thermostat set to kick in when it's required. It rarely goes on.
I replaced these five incandescent bulbs with six 42W compact fluorescent bulbs at a cost of $85.80! They still don't produce the amount of light I was getting from the five incandescent bulbs, and the 1,000-watt electric space heater is always on. Where's the energy saving? I returned those fluorescent lamps for a refund.

This scenario can be applied to any energy-efficient home. That heat has to come from somewhere, even though small, the removal of the incandescent bulb, which produces heat as well as light, will have an overall impact on the amount of heat that the furnace will be called upon to produce. There's no free lunch!

But I'm glad the warning about the phasing out of the incandescent bulb came at a time that has allowed me to stockpile enough 1,000-hour incandescent bulbs to see this house through the next 50 to 55 years on the basis of about 10 bulbs a year. (By that time it's hoped the world will have come out of its stupor.)

During that time, I or mine will have saved hundreds of dollars over the huge cost of fluorescent bulbs. To say nothing of the amount of heat my furnace will not have to produce or the amount of time my garage heater will not be required to run.

Oh, by the way, after the fluorescent that shattered on the kitchen floor is swept up and the family toddler later picks up the mercury residue by hand and after transferring it to his/her mouth becomes ill, can we sue Al Gore, the government and the "enviro mob" as a group?


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