FREE fluorescent lightbulbs - a very bright idea

By Paul Michael on 19 April 2007 (Updated 18 August 2011) 7 comments

light

It's great to see a big retailer giving back to the environment and the public. And now it's Home Depot's turn to be heroes.

In honor of Earth Day (which is April 22nd if you didn't already know) Home Depot plans to give away over ONE MILLION compact fluorescent lightbulbs to anyone who visits a U.S. store.

This generous gift will not only make the store look very good, but it will do all sorts of good for the environment. Here are a few of the facts I garnered from the Home Depot website:

The 1,000,000 fluorescent lightbulbs being given away will result in...

  • $12 million savings in annual energy costs
  • Reduce Carbon Dioxide emmissions by over 196 million lbs - equal to 70,000 cars being removed from the highway

But that's not all. I did some more digging, and found that the average compact fluorescent has some other great benefits...

  • They use 2/3 less energy than a regular bulb, so they last roughly ten times longer
  • They emmit 70% less heat than ordinary bulbs - so, they're safer
  • They'll save you roughly $30 or more over the life of the bulb, vs a conventional bulb

This certainly seems to be a win-win situation from Home Depot. So run along to your local store on April 22nd and do yourself and the environment some good.

Enlightening photo courtesy of RubberPaw

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Guest's picture
Randell

I spent about $300 replacing every light bulb in my house with CF bulbs. Though they are supposed to last for 5-7 years, depending on the maker, I have had two go out on me in the last year. That's not a bad average, but as each one goes out, my disappointment grows because I am losing money on my investment. Hope the rest hold out!

Guest's picture
arasaig

I bought mine at the local grocery store (Albertson's for those in California) for a dollar each. Friends of mine have even found them at dollar stores. If you are low income there are programs through Edison that will give you free bulbs for your house. Just changing the bulbs in my house brought my electric bill from $38 to $16 dollars. It's been three months so far, so they've already paid for themselves and then some.

Andrea Karim's picture

arasaig, that is a really great point, and I hope our readers will look around at dollar stores (or look into low income programs if they qualify).

Randell, I'm not sure about this, but did you check with the store to see if there was a guarantee for the bulbs? Sometimes if you raise enough of a fuss, you can get replacement items if the original items crap out sooner than expected.

Paul Michael's picture

die on me after 6 months. I wrote to the company, they shipped me a new one. No problem, no fuss. They all come with a guarantee and as far as I know they are happy to honor it.

Guest's picture
relix42

What about the Mercury in these bulbs? When people dispose of them as they will (in the garbage) the environmental benefits go out the window completely! Mercury in the ground water is an enormous concern, I would think.

Guest's picture
Emily

BUT these light bulbs also have mercury in them. If one of these light bulbs break, it could be disastrous! Remember how when a thermometer in the past used to have mercury in it and it would break, and someone would have to be hired to safely remove all the mercury from the house, well, it will be the same for one of these. Not to mention, that most people won't think to dispose of these properly, and just throw them in the trashcan. From there, the mercury will be emitted into the land, then our streams, and then to endanger our environment. Way to go Senators!