The Twelve Days of a Green Christmas…Seventh Day…

On the seventh day of Christmas my green friend gave to me…7 CFLs, 6 fair-trade chocolates, 5 solar lights, 4 faucet aerators, 3 large rain-barrels, 2 new thermostats and a live…Christmas tree!

Photo: Lowe’s CFL Bulbs

In case you just started reading my Twelve Days of a Green Christmas and are wondering why, on New Year’s Eve, I am writing about Christmas and the twelve days of it, you should read my First Day of a Green Christmas to understand.

On a grand scale ENERGYSTAR (a program developed by US DOE and US EPA) tells us “if every American home replaced just one light bulb with a light bulb that’s earned the ENERGY STAR, we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars”.  OK, that’s great I will be helping to save the planet, but what are the 7 CFLs that I got today going to do for me and saving me money?

Compact Fluorescent Lights, commonly called CFLs, are a  way to save a lot on your electric bill, especially if there are members of your household who don’t remember to turn off lights when they leave a room.  These bulbs cost around $4 each and for every one CFL lightbulb you can save about $40 or more during the lifetime of the bulb.  So with the 7 CFLs I got today I will save about $280 or more during the life of these bulbs.  If I had to buy them myself instead of receiving them as a gift, I would have invested less than $30, a good return on my investment.

In addition to the lifetime savings using CFLs , these bulbs last about 10 times longer than incandescents and are cool to the touch.  I know many of you are thinking CFLs are passe’ now and LEDs (Light Emitting Diode lights) are the smarter way to save money.  That could be true if the cost of LEDs was lower.  Yes, LEDs are 10 times more energy-efficient than CFLs but when you look at a comparison chart, like the one from, even though you might replace the CFL bulb 5 times during the lifetime of one LED bulb, the total energy cost for 50kw and the cost of the light bulb(s) provides an additional cost savings of about $4.  Choosing the right CFL is also important.  Click here to access the EWG (Environmental Working Group) guide to buying CFLs.

With the rapid advancements of LEDS the initial cost of LEDS is coming down every year and perhaps next year my Green Friend will be giving me LEDs instead of CFLs!

So, as we celebrate the seventh day of Christmas and the end of 2012, I’d like to end my year of posts with with this wish…Happy New Year…may 2013 be filled with good health, happiness and greener choices throughout the year!

4 thoughts on “The Twelve Days of a Green Christmas…Seventh Day…

  1. LED tube , as the third generation scidconmuetor light source , Which has many advantages:(1) High efficiency : Optical spectrum almost focus on visible light frequency . The efficiency is up to 80%-90%. However , the light efficiency of incandescent lamp is just 10%-20%.(2) High quality light source: There are no ultraviolet (UV) rays and infrared rays in optical spectrum . So it is of no heat , no radiaction . It belongs to ideal green lighting source.(3) Low power consumption: The power of Single LED is about 0.05-1W. Electricity consumption of LED tube is 1/10-1/8 of conventional incandescent lamp.(4) Long life span: Standard life span is 100,000 hours on condition that light flux attenuation to 70%.(5) High quality and durable : There are no easily broken parts , such as tungsten filaments and glass shell and so on . It is not easily broken in normal condition.(6) Applied flexible: the volume is small . It is easily developed to light and small products. It can be made to all kinds of dot , line , application products.(7) Safe: Working voltage for single LED is between 1.5v and 5v . Working current for single LED is between 20-85 mA.(8) Green and environmental protection : The junk can be recycled . There is no pollution and no Mercury content , not like fluorescent tube.(9) Instant on/off : It is applied in places where LED tube is on and off or operated frequently


  2. Jeannette- I like that blog and I do agree it’s a step in the right direction, but I want to challenge you with the following. What the comparison charts are not considering is the sensible heat that is generated by light bulbs. While CFL’s only emit 1/3 of the heat of incandescent bulbs, LED’s emit only 1/10 of the heat of CFL’s or only 1/3 of 1% of incandescent bulbs. Sensible heat may be your friend in the winter but in the summer it increases your HVAC cooling load and hence the energy cost to cool your home in the summer. Also, you are probably right about the initial cost of LED bulbs coming down every year; the calculations get even better, so next year as your “Green Friend” I’m going to give you seven LED bulbs; as a result you’ll avoid the initial investment cost and start saving energy right away on your cooling bills as well as your light bill. Finally, you most likely will not have to buy a replacement bulb for these LED’s the rest of your life! (Ok, guess that’s my smart ass practical Virgo side; huh?) Happy New Year my friend !


    1. You are absolutely right Gary, sensible heat is definitely a consideration when choosing the bulbs for your house. CFL’s are more of a temporary “fix” until LEDs become more affordable for the majority of people. The initial “investment” for numerous energy-efficient devices is what keeps many people from making the switch as well as the “disposable” mentality that we were all bombarded with for years and years…disposable napkins, plates, batteries, etc.

      Thanks for your comments! LEDs are very much in my plans for this year and a new verse for the 7 CFLs for the Twelve Days of a Green Christmas next year!


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