CFL Lightbulb Challenge

Last modified on February 2nd, 2007

Ok guys. I’m tossing the gauntlet down. If you haven’t been following recent events, a few days ago a major report on global warming came out that had some of the strongest language in it to date.

The group of climate experts released a 21-page report for policy makers worldwide that indicates with more than a 90 percent accuracy that rising atmospheric temperatures and increased greenhouse gases are linked, and the “most likely” cause of global warming, suggesting that humans have caused the problem.


The report found that it was “more likely than not” that manmade greenhouse gases have contributed to hotter days and nights, and more of them. Extreme weather patterns like more severe drought, greater than normal rainfall and more intense heat waves and “increased incidence” of extremely high sea levels are the result of man made greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere.

If you’ve seen “An Inconvenient Truth” or understand at all about global warming, then this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. But what may come as a suprise is the knowedge that even you can make a difference. So, I’m gonna put an option on the table here.

If you don’t know what a CFL light bulb is, then read on. CFL light bulbs are very efficient light sources (at least when compared to the typical incandescent light bulb).

Replacing a single incandescent bulb with a CFL will keep a half-ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere over the life of the bulb. If everyone in the U.S. used energy-efficient lighting, we could retire 90 average size power plants. Saving electricity reduces CO2 emissions, sulfur oxide and high-level nuclear waste.

No only that, but they are far more efficient than incandescent light bulbs, meaning that you’ll save money on your electric bill each month.

So here goes. I’m challenging everyone who reads my blog to go out in the next little while and replace some or all of your incandescent light bulbs in your house. A CFL will cost you a few bucks at most, and if you buy a few, you’ll save money per bulb.

To make this a bit more “fun”, I’ve created a flickr group for photos: check it out here. As you replace your bulbs, take a few photos and post them to that group for inspiration. The more fun the photo, the better — show everyone you replacing a bulb, you buying a bulb, or anything else related to this activity.

I’m gonna reach out to all of you who have blogs as well, or the means to get this message out — send a few links this way so we can see just how much of an impact we can make. Also, if you have a healthy email list with friends that you think would like to be a part of this, then please send them an email with a link to this entry — let’s put that spam to good use!

If you don’t have access to flickr (and don’t want to sign up), just email the photos and I’ll post them for you. I’ll head out soon and do mine, but maybe you can beat me to the punch and put the first photos online in that group.

Once you’ve added some photos (or if you’ve changed a lightbulb or two), drop me an email and let me know what you did and where you’re from — I’ll try to compile a big list. Thanks guys.

— Update: some of you have started to post photos to flickr, so I’ll add a few of them here as you do! Good job guys.

8 responses to “CFL Lightbulb Challenge”

  1. Hesty says:

    Growing up, we only use flourescent bulb, like the one currently in the office with the ballast and everything. Incandescent bulbs were never popular back in Indonesia, not sure why. Probably due to the heat generated and inefficiency. I’ve been using CFL since a few years ago and I’m still on a quest for the “bluish” white cfl bulb since I grew up with it. I’m not used to the “daylight” or warm white coming out of incandescent or most cfl. So if anyone knows where I can find one, let me know.

  2. […] yesterday I posted my CFL challenge update. So far, I only have verbal commitments from people to change a few lightbulbs this weekend and […]

  3. Rhonda says:

    Hi Duane,

    I just changed two light bulbs to CFL’s. We had them in the basement and I will buy more for other lights in our home as well. In addition we use timers a lot to help reduce the use of un-necessary electricity, and we also make a point of turning off the lights when we are not using a room, and we make a point of using only natural light during the day. Many people forget these can be an effective ways to reduce our CO2 output as well.

    You are so right in that, these are small ways we can make a huge impact on our earth, and as a result we teach our children to do the right thing for the future. I am hoping our governments finally take action to correct this devastating process we have started.

    Thanks for the challenge! Good luck.


    PS For anyone who has children/grandchildren they want to teach about conservation I recommend the book “Dear Children of the Earth” by Schim Schimmel. It is wonderful!

  4. […] to deal with reality, and I ask: what are you doing to help?Duane’s got a great suggestion here.? Pair it with this suggestion: Next time you go to visit an elder, bring along a couple […]

  5. Cage says:

    Most of my light bulbs are CFL and all of my replacement bulbs are. Be careful when removing a CFL…I squeezed a little too hard once and had one break in my hand. No glass went into my hand but it surprised me a little.

  6. J.H. says:

    Hi Duane,

    I noticed your Feb 2 post through, (a website which indexes and ranks blogs all over the internet). I totally agree that replacing incandescent bulbs with CFL is one of the easiest, simplest, and no-brainer common sense things that virtually anyone and everyone can do to help fight global warming. Did you know that there’s a really cool website devoted to just that initiative? My uncle started it just over 2 months ago, and they’ve already picked up over 400 members from a dozen countries, who have collectively replaced 11,800 bulbs, and counting. And it’s not some cheesy money-making thing; there aren’t any ads or commercial stuff. It’s called Let me know if you check it out, and pass it on to your bulb-replacing buddies!

    Grand Rapids, MI

  7. Oops…the CFL Challenge-Doing a bit for climate change

    I’m so far behind in blog-o-rama…oh well; the joys of holidays (more on the funny road names outside of chilliwack in a later post…)
    Anyways, a few days ago Duane decided to start up the CFL challenge. As we’ve recently been …

  8. […] most of you remember, last year I threw the environmental gauntlet down and challenged all my readers to replace their old, energy inefficient incandescent light-bulbs with the newer CFL variant. Many […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *