Improving efficiency, one lamp at a time

December 15th, 2010 | admin

Incandescent lamps are the poster child of energy waste; their glare disguises the fact that 90% of the energy consumed by an incandescent lamp  is wasted as heat.  With the help of six GEO 300 – Sustainability for the Common Good students, Sustainability Office staff changed over 100 incandescent lamps to energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).  CFLs use 75% less energy than an equivalent light output incandescent and last ten times as long.  The work performed during this three hour event was estimated to save nearly 96,500 kWh (about $5,308 in electricity costs) each year.  Why use staff time to change lightbulbs?  The current custodial contract states that custodians will only replace like-for-like, so when an incandescent lamp burns out, another incandescent goes in its place.  By proactively changing incandescent lamps to CFLs, we’re ensuring that a CFL will stay in the fixture in perpetuity.

Removing functional incandescents does present us with a problem: what to do with the inefficient but still good lamps?  If you have ideas, let us know.

box o' incandescents

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