The Good: Quality light, Bulbs last long, VERY energy efficient, Environmentally responsible
The Bad: Initial cost
The Basics: The EarthTronics EarthBulb 13W Compact Florescent Spiral Light Bulb are a wonderful lighting option for those who want to lower their electrical bills!
When it comes to lowering electric bills, there are few easier ways that I can find than by using energy-efficient light bulbs. After years of trying various energy efficient bulbs, my landlords decided to make our buildings far more efficient. They got us in a whole stash of EarthTronics EarthBulb 13W light bulb and have been using them for the last two years consistently. The nice thing about living in one place so long with no other changes is that I am able to do some pretty solid comparisons between old and new electric bills. As a result, I know that my wife and I have actually saved money using the EarthTronics EarthBulb 13W light bulbs. Switching from actual 60 Watt light bulbs to 13 W light bulbs lowered our electric bill by about one quarter, which makes sense given that my wife and are both night owls and use lights most of our awake time.
For those who don't know what the big deal is, the EarthTronics EarthBulb 13W is a lightbulb that has a spiral core that rises out of a standard lightbulb bottom. The top looks like a twisted up fluorescent lightbulb and when it is turned on, it gives off light that is a quality that is reminiscent of a classic fluorescent light (the long bulbs used in industrial lighting). This bulb starts out giving off a soft, white light that is like a fluorescent light.
The EarthBulb 13W is a lightbulb that uses mercury and a low-watt charge to create light. There is no filament that is visible in the bulb, so they are a bit sturdier than standard lightbulbs. The filament in a regular lightbulb is the thin wire-like thing that is where the light comes from and what breaks when the bulbs burn out. The EarthBulb 13W bulbs are durable; I have dropped a couple onto my foot without them breaking (so long as they do not hit the floor, they seem to remain intact!
The base of the bulb is identical to a standard lightbulb and as a result, it fits in any socket that a standard lightbulb will fit in. While the base above the screw-in portion is a little wider than the standard lightbulb, unless one was using specialty bulbs to begin with, the EarthBulb 13W will fit anywhere that a classic lightbulb will fit.
Standard lightbulbs tend to last approximately two to three years (sometimes dramatically less) with regular use (estimated by the lightbulb industry at four hours a day, seven days a week). The EarthBulb 13W lasts for at least five (I have two that are older than that). Standard lightbulbs that generate 800 to 1000 lumens operate on 60 Watts of electricity. This bulb, which generates 900 lumens runs on 13 Watts!
For those taking their time with the math, that means that one EarthBulb 13W uses 1/4 the energy of a standard lightbulb and averages two and a half times the lifespan of the usual 60 Watt bulb! In other words, with the cost to operate 1 60 Watt lightbulb, four EarthBulb 13W s can be lit and still save the user electricity! This is the socially responsible way to light your house and you can even keep your house brighter for less money!
EarthTronics does not make any guarantee about lowering your electric bill, but with the cost of electricity rising, changing over to the EarthBulb 13W will lower your bill, assuming your usage does not increase dramatically. Because the bulk of our energy usage in our apartment is based on lights and television, our bill did go down noticeably since we switched over entirely to the EarthBulb 13W bulbs.
The EarthBulb 13W will take a few minutes to get up to maximum brightness. When you turn on the light, the bulb will come on at a dimmer than usual setting. Within five minutes, it will reach its maximum brightness and the user will be bathed in a gentle white light of a similar quality to fluorescent lights. This effect is liable to make everything seem more vivid in one's living space at first. Standard lightbulbs cast a dirtier, slightly yellowish light to them. The EarthBulb 13W emits a very pure white light. The only other time after the initial two or three uses of a bulb where this delay is exacerbated is when temperatures are particularly low. My house if often fairly cold and as a result, sometimes the bulbs take six to ten minutes to reach full brightness in the winter.
The EarthTronics EarthBulb 13W Compact Florescent Spiral Light Bulbs glow for three minutes after they are turned off. Unfortunately, the initial outlay for the EarthTronics EarthBulb 13W Compact Florescent Spiral Light Bulbs is a bit more than many people are comfortable with. While the standard lightbulb can be bought for 4/$2.00 on sale, the EarthBulb 13W is liable to run consumers $3.00/bulb. That price goes down when one buys a bulk pack at most places and the cost for bulbs has been dropping over the years since these were originally released. The outlay cost can be inhibiting, but the day to day savings can be worth it! Also, some states have grants for homeowners (especially seniors) to help make home improvements that make their homes more energy efficient. Switching over to lightbulbs like the EarthTronics EarthBulb 13W is usually recommended and may be covered (at least in part) under such a grant!
Regardless of the initial cost, the EarthTronics EarthBulb 13W Compact Florescent Spiral Light Bulb are a pretty wonderful lighting option that can save one money!
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© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.