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7. Products: Switching from incandescents to CFLs
Products: Switching from incandescents to CFLs
Myth: I should wait for all my incandescent bulbs to burn out before replacing them with low-energy fluorescents.

Reality: You'd be wasting a lot of money and energy.

Scientists Jeff Tsao and Mike Coltrin of Sandia National Laboratories calculate that you'd save money by tossing a new 60-watt incandescent and replacing it with a fluorescent.

Why? The money you'd save on your electric bill with the CFL would more than make up for the cost of both bulbs.

Over the CFL's 12,000-hour lifetime, you would save some $51. But what about the energy it took to make that incandescent bulb? It amounts to less than 1% of the total. "It's so small that you don't have to worry about it," says Tsao. -- E.F.

NEXT: Products: O Christmas tree
Last updated March 26 2010: 6:04 PM ET
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