Change a Lightbulb, Save Electricity and Money!




Introduction: Change a Lightbulb, Save Electricity and Money!

About: In a world where the blind leads the blind, who do you follow?

The hall bulbs in my apartment (which I maintain) are old incandescent, and as they die I replace them with CFL bulbs to save power - a big difference since they're on 24/7.

You'll Need:
Safety Glasses
Something sturdy to stand on
Backup light - to see what you're doing.
Replacement bulb - match the original in 'wattage' to get similar lighting results.

Turn off the power first. I can't access the switch/breaker for this bulb since it's locked in the boiler room.

I had to recalibrate my camera for the new light bulbs so they looked their natural colour - warm white - hence why the light changes colour from start to finish!

It's really that easy! (No, REALLY, it is!)
Please vote! (and don't forget to vote for everybody!)



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    I have just started replacing my CFLs with LEDs. They are much more expensive but use even LESS electricity: a 6-watt LED replaces a 13-watt CFL with the same light output as a 60 watt incandescent (the ideal level for a normal household lamp). Slightly less than 1/2 the power consumption, but they last about 5 times as long as a CFL and about 40 times as long as an incandescent (20,000 hours vs. 4,000 hours vs. 500 hours). They also radiate about 1/10th the heat as incandescent (heat roughly = to power consumption). Cost is about $10-12 a bulb, compared to about $.50/bulb for incandescents, so the life/cost ratio is still 2:1 in favor. GO LEDs!

    1 reply


    Only downside, if you live in a cold climate where you electrically heat, the lost efficiency just adds to the enthalpy of the house anyway ;)

    I loves my led bulbs.

    allso may i add that the quality control for foresents are worse then incandescent (trust me on that one i've seen quight a few) and the are dimmer then incandescent and it takes more time for them to reach the max of ther fule efishensy so if you turned off the light and left the room you would have to come back for in less then a second for it to save electricity while you were gone wial incandescent always save electricity while your gone because the have a very short amount of time to get to max efishensy

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    13 watt compared to 100 watt...Even if it is dimmer (less efficient while it warms up) for the first minute, (they are getting better and better) then they instantly save 87 watts. That's hard to make up for with inefficiency for a short time. Once its warmed up, it stays that way for several minutes -- so if you turn off and back on after a few minutes the warmup period is much shorter (or none).

    Recycled properly, cfl's are way better in almost every way.

    How many people does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one.

    Well, well... It was about time someone posted an instructable about changing a lightbulb. Really. Everyone doing this could make so much difference. These things can give light for so much longer than those old ones with corporation-reduced lifetime.
    In some countries it is these times forbidden to produce any "normal" lightbulbs and recommended not to buy ones either anymore. This is progress, people.

    Without a bit of sarcasm; 4 stars.

    1 reply

    Thanks for the kind words - it's not earth shattering, but it makes a difference.

    Saving energy is where we should be aiming, but don't forget the mercury content in the CFL's. Saving energy versus a poison encased in incredibly sharp glass. I question the merits of the CFL being pushed in the public eye with the LED's being developed for the same purpose and lower energy consumption. Use them if you think the risk is worth it, but keep them away from kids and don't drop them!!

    2 replies

    Of course recycling the old ones is imperative!  Here in Canada at least they are accepted at recycling depots, as well as most hardware stores where they are sold - even wal mart has a bin for them!

    I agree 100% with the LED bulbs.  I <3 anything led.  Problem is that they havent QUITE caught up in lumens/watt and those bulbs that have (in the 90+ lm/w range) caught up are ridiculously expensive.

    I am originally from Alberta as well, so I have a lengthy history with energy production and consumption.
    Unfortunately, I do not believe the majority of people swayed into buying CFL's will treat these properly, especially now that governments are forcing them to. I am a cynic I guess.
    Get the word out about the recycling and I can commend that.

    There is some problem with this. 1 CFL cost more. 2 are almost not recyclable and light bulb are 100 % recycled 3 Watt differences between CFL and Light bulb dosnt worth it (could save more by using thermal energy to control room themp as colling unit reach easy 2000W so as the heating ones)

    2 replies

    CFL cost will go down as more people use them.... I question how many people truly recycle regular lightbulbs; don't get me wrong I understand recycling pop cans, glass bottles, paper. However I doubt lightbulbs are high in the list of things most people think of to recycle....about watt difference, yes its true the watt diff will not make that much a diff if you replace one bulb; however the key is to change all bulbs to cfl as required(not 100watt equivalent lights everywhere:P).... another thing that I dunno if it makes much of a diff, with the cfl's I've toyed with they seem to use one phase out of the 2 provided(internal diode's I guess; yes I think this means they generally run on DC current:P) on regular 115v-120v.....

    While your points have some merit - I must argue:

    1: CFL does cost more, proportionally per bulb, but operating costs DO make up for it if the bulb is used even remotely often. For example: That hallway bulb in my apartment is on 24/7, thus the savings are intrinsic to spending 120-26 = 94 watts * 24 hrs * 365 = 823000 watt hours/year PER FIXTURE. 823 kWh is no small amount of power. Where we are that works out to WAY more than the cost of a bulb, (about 50 CAD$) per year per fixture. Yes. it does add up.

    2: There are facilities that take CFL's and recycle their mercury evilness. No you do not want to throw them away. You're kidding yourself if you think the cfl glass isn't already made of recycled material (much cheaper to the manufacturer, or the bulk producer of glass product before the manufacturer).

    3: answered in 1, but you have a valid point. Some places it is handy to have a hot bulb - in the winter here it gets to -40C and yeah, that would help. Trouble is we live in an area where gas heating is significantly cheaper than electric (per joule) so it is kind-of wasteful. Other thought: Incandescents on the ceiling heat up the air at the ceiling, where it's not really useful. You still need to spend energy to move that heat around the house. Lastly, in the summertime here, it got to almost +40C. I can't begin to think the cooling bill for a building like this if there was an extra several thousand watts of 'heaters' in the hallways.

    "so that when we pull this glass out, we don't dump bugs in our eyes" Hahaha! Or dust, for that matter. I normally just look down as I take the globe off. Glasses are a better idea, though!

    4 replies

    I don't take off my glass cover. I am tall enough to stand on my bed and just reach over it...It is probably full of some gross stuff by now D:

    For having searched an hour to find my safety glasses I wasn't about to suggest people look down :D Great suggestion though! Say, this reminds me of a fun exercise in grade 4 or 5..."describe brushing your teeth, to every conceivable detail" if yo missed anything like instructions of what fingers to use to unscrew the cap and in what direction you were disqualified...

    trivia: NYC subway station lightbulbs have a left hand screw thread to prevent vandalism by people stealing them to use at home

    That is really cool! An ibles user wouldn't be turned off by such a setback, but then an ibles user wouldn't be stealing bulbs. That is really cool. I wish our hotels I worked at did that. Lots of people would steal the cfls just after we installed them (when they were 'new' and expensive, way back when)...

    You shoulda used the Instructables PRO brand of lightbulbs, then you can see all steps.

    1 reply

    Good thing this ible is only one step :D

    cfls are nice, to bad they dont work well in the cold