Spending money to save money, with a bonus

Two months ago I sent my son ten dollars to buy me new light bulbs for my home. This week I was able to pick them up while visiting and wanted to share with you this amazing purchase. I have been wanting to change my bulbs to LEDs for the savings, but at $17 or more a bulb it wasn’t something I could justify doing through the entire apartment. I’m a little closer now.

In my son’s county, the electric company joined with Costco to offer reduced prices on LED and CFL bulbs.  This is a great idea. With my son living in the second largest county in the state the savings to the electric company with large numbers of people making the switch will help to further reduce the dependency on coal,  helping the environment while saving it’s customers plenty of money.

When I sent my son the money the LEDs were selling at 4 for $1.99. I told him to get as many as he could with my $10.  Unfortunately, a little miscommunication between him and his wife, each thought the other had picked them up for me.

So when he realized they hadn’t purchased the bulbs he went to the store and found that special was no longer available.  What he did find were 4 packs of CFLs for .39 and LED 3 packs for $7.99.  Still a fantastic deal.   So I, through him, purchased 1 pack of 3 LED bulbs and two boxes of 4 CFL.

These CFLs are a newer bulb.  They contain less mercury than the original CFLs and the amounts of hazardous materials (while not eliminated) is lower than the European Restriction of Hazardous Substances standards for mercury.

from the back of the box.

These CFLs use 13 watts compared to a 60 watt incandescent bulb saving an estimated $208 dollars per year in use.  I had never changed out the incandescent bulbs in my bathroom, so last night upon arriving home with my bulbs I headed to the vanity area to change the bulbs.  In the time it took to change the first bulb the second was so hot I couldn’t touch it to remove it.

I’m glad in a way because it gave me an opportunity to compare the difference between the two bulbs.  What I noticed amazed me!  The CFL was a brighter and clearer light from the incandescent.

The LEDs I am happy with too.  LEDs have less hazardous waste than CFLs so I will eventually switch the CFLs over in time, but I didn’t want to ask my son to use his own money at the store I decided this was the best way to spend the $10 for now.

The only disappointment I had was with the packaging.  While the only waste on the package of CFLs was a small plastic window over the bulbs, there is more plastic covering the LEDs but that is I suppose minor to the utility savings I will be generating from my home. The light of the 4 watt bulb is slightly dimmer than the 60 watt incandescent when comparing the two so next time I might increase to a 6 watt to get more light, but for now this works fine.

In opening the cardboard this is the amount of plastic that was used to package these bulbs.

The LEDs are 4 watts and will cost me .48 per year to operate based on 3 hours a day of usage.  Now that’s a savings over the incandescent!

from the packaging on the LED bulbs

Sometimes it really does save to spend.  Now to get more utility companies to do the right thing and help people to  make the switch that will not only save them money monthly but will help the planet.

Has anyone else begun to switch over to energy efficient bulbs?  Which have you chosen CFL or LED, why?

Gratitude means to recognize the good in your life, be thankful for whatever you have, some people may not even have one of those things you consider precious to you (love, family friends, etc).  Each day give thanks for the gift of life. You are blessed.  ~~ Pablo




    • LEDs would be wonderful anywhere you rely on solar power. What kind of a difference will it make to the number or size of solar panels by switching? Maybe you could check to see if a utility company is partnering with a store to bring you similar deals to what I was able to find?


  1. Thanks for posting about this. I’ve been looking for the inspiration to just buy an LED bulb to try it out. I’ve been watching their prices fall over the past several years, and maybe now they are affordable enough. I’ll get out to a store this week.
    We are doing all LEDs for our outdoor Christmas lights now. And that has lowered our electricity usage enough to warrant the extra cost of the strings of lights. I’d like to redo the light strings on our artificial tree this year, with all LEDs there, too.


    • I got rid of all my lights for Christmas a few years ago because I didn’t want to waste the electricity, I have been happy with a more natural Christmas until I spotted some amazing LED lights at Ikea this past week. No I didn’t buy them but boy did I want to. When the first LED Christmas lights came out I just didn’t like the look of them, but they are much better today. Glad I could be of some help. I would suggest a wattage higher than a 4 if you are replacing a 60 watt, they just aren’t as bright. For me this isn’t much of a problem. For the bathroom I would be satisfied with the 4 watt bulbs. Hope you can find a good deal on them. Maybe contact the electric company first and see if they are in partnership with anyone to offer you a better deal.


  2. We use CFL’s too. When we moved into our apartment we had no furniture at all, so we could kit it out completely with energy-savers.

    I would prefer to use the LED’s because I think they are even more efficient, the light is a nicer hue and is instant (the CFL’s need a minute or so to take full effect). I have quite a few packs of the CFL bulbs spare. This is because I bought a lot of my lamps second hand and the kind people gave me the bulbs fitted as a gift. These kinds of bulbs apparently last a very long time, so I think I should be good for bulbs for the next few years.

    Where possible, I bought the “yellow-er” light versions of the CFL’s because the regular kind I find too glarey or something. I know I’m a weirdo;) The little time-delay doesn’t bother me like it does some people, but the colour is important to me! Especially in the rooms where I like to relax.


    • I had that problem in the past with the CFLs of them having a delay in turning on. These new ones I bought come on immediately. I too am sensitive to the hue of the light and was so surprised by the whiteness of these bulbs, when comparing the two bulbs in the vanity area you wouldn’t know which was the incandescent or the CFL except one was a brighter, more natural light, amazingly it was the CFL that was the better light. Of course I will eventually switch to all LED when I find another bargain like this one. And I can pass on the CFLs to friends and family who would like to use them.

      The LEDs are more efficient, and they have less hazardous waste in them which is important to me and why I wanted the LEDs in the first place.


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