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AC Compact Fluorescent Fixtures
Take the example of a $0.99 standard 100 Watt light bulb that is operational 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. This fixture will use 870 kW/h over a year, at $0.7 per kW hour, it will cost you a little over $61.00 for the year, with a gross cost including purchase of $62.00

Compare this to a 28 Watt compact fluorescent light bulb, which costs $21.00 to purchase. This fixture replaces the old 100 Watt fixture, and provides the same light intensity. It will consume 244 kW/h per year and cost you $16.50 in electricity costs for the year, with a gross cost of $37.50 for the year

So, which is the most expensive bulb at the end of the year? The compact fluorescent is a clear winner. Factor in that the compact fluorescent fixture will outlast a conventional bulb by upwards of 10x, it continues to pay for itself long after the "cheap" bulb has burned out a few times.

Efficiency Tips
Lights used more often have the opportunity to save the most energy. Put the most efficient lights in main rooms, desk lights, the kitchen and the dining room. Don't forget about the outdoor lights - even better, install motion sensors or timers on outdoor lighting. Task specific lighting is a more efficient way of using lights. By illuminating a specific area rather than the whole room a much smaller light may be used.

Retrofitting existing fixtures:
Most lighting fixtures that utilize standard incandescent fixtures can easily accommodate a compact fluorescent fixture. Installation is generally as simple as unscrewing your old bulb and replacing it with a new compact fluorescent. If your fixture has a shade or diffuser, you can use the less expensive fixtures that do not have a globe. However, if the bulb is visible such as outdoor lighting, recessed ceiling fixtures or track lighting you will see better results with the capsule-style fixture. Applications that require directional lighting can use the optional reflector that fits over top of the globe style fixtures.

Off-Grid Applications
The ability to have bright, reliable light at any time is often the largest benefit of an alternative energy system. There is no longer any reason to have to tolerate candles or smelly, dangerous and expensive kerosene fixtures. Propane lighting may seem like a good option, but after a few days of their loud noises and glaring light, silent battery powered lights seem like a dream come true! In many renewable energy systems lighting is the first or second largest entry in the energy budget. Replacing standard incandescent lights with compact fluorescent fixtures (CFLs) can reduce the energy consumed by as much as 75% with no reduction in light quality.

DC or AC Lighting ?
If your building is already wired for AC electricity, it is often the simplest to install an inverter and use efficient AC lighting. A word of caution, large inverters are not as efficient when running tiny loads, such as a few lights. It may be beneficial to have a small inverter dedicated to your lighting loads. DC lighting is more efficient and does not require the use of an inverter. The fixtures in general are more expensive than the AC ones, because of the economies of scale. Automotive taillight bulbs, commonly used in boats and RV's are incredibly inefficient as are standard 12V incandescent bulbs which are found in marine stores. Be wary of the low initial price tag The additional solar panels required to operate these heaters that are used as a light bulb will make the higher up front costs of the efficient lights seem more reasonable.

Due to the general increase in availability of energy efficient compact fluorescent lights from conventional hardware stores, lighting stores, etc EA has decided to discontinue carrying these products.

We hope you find the information on this page useful in your decision.

If your local hardware store does not carry efficient lighting, ask them to get with the times! The more people demand these products, the better off our planet will be.

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