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How to Save 5000% When Buying CFL Light Bulbs

So you’ve heard the benefits of CFLs.  When it comes to energy savings, CFLs or Compact Fluorescent Lamps simply blow the regular incandescent light bulbs out of the water.  According to the Energy Savers Website, CFLs last 10 times longer and can save up to $105 over the life of lamp use.  Now that alone should launch every eco and budget conscious home dweller to the store to stack up on these and start saving.

CFL Savings

Unfortunately though, too many still get stuck on that initial price tag.  A single CFL can cost up to 6 times more than a regular light bulb.  Ouch, a hefty price tag indeed.  Much too often we’ll shut down our common sense down in order to avoid that initial price pain.  The photo below was taken at a local Rite Aid Store.  Five buks for a light bulb!  Hang on though, I am about to tell you how to buy these for pennies on the dollar.

wallgreens

Now here’s a small secret with big savings.  If you go to any of the Asian stores, you may find a pleasant suprise.  Some stores sell the CFLs for 25 cents a piece and some – for whopping 10 cents a piece!  Check out this photo that I took at the Marukai market on Cupertino/San Jose border.   My energy saving goodness!  10 cents per light bulb that normally costs about 5 buks. You can get 50 CFLs for the price you pay for ONE at Ride Aid.  I haven’t seen anything as exciting since we landed on the moon…

japan market

The reason these CFLs are so much cheaper is because the price is being subsidized by PG&E.  You can thank your state of California for it’s decoupling laws.  To be fair, I must say that some drug stores are also starting to carry cheaper CFLs but the trick is to look for them near the check out counter and not in the appliances isle.

One word of caution about CFLs.  They do contain small amounts of mercury and must not be disposed of in the garbage bin.  Mercury will leak out into the landfill and pollute the soil.  Simply take it to the closest hardware store or lighting supply shop and hand them to the customer service clerk; they’ll take care of tit for you.  You can find the closest location near you by visiting http://www.lamprecycle.org/.

So there you have it friends.  Run and stack up!  There are virtually no more excuses not to start saving on your energy bills and reducing your impact on the environment.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Lance McAndrew November 21, 2009, 9:57 pm

    Anyone have any experience with new dimmable CFL bulbs? I have a couple of lighting fixtures on dimmer switches that are using regular bulbs right now and I’d like to switch them out.

    • Tadas November 30, 2009, 9:30 pm

      Hi Lance,

      Personally I have not experimented with dimmable CFLs. I do have good experience though with burning through my regular CFLs really fast if I use the dimming feature on my kitchen light fixture. 🙂 One must have the “dimmable” kind because these will last considerably longer. Next step is to get an LED type, these are even more efficient and have warmer light. Cheers, T.

  • Griffin Boyce December 10, 2009, 1:08 pm

    I use primarily CFLs in my home, with some “standard” and some LED bulbs. Depending on the brightness, some LEDs can cost about $100 — talk about ouch! But you can find some very inexpensively online. I’ve got a couple and they are good for areas that don’t need a lot of light and/or where the light fixture is waaay out of reach.

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