Where to Find the Cheapest Compact Fluorescent Lights

There has been much attention given to new, compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, and for good reason! CFL bulbs are much more energy efficient than regular incandescent light bulbs. While there are many arguments for and against CFLs, this article is going to focus on where to find the cheapest compact fluorescent lights.

One of the main disadvantages of CFL bulbs is the cost. Incandescent lights have been made for over a hundred years, and have gotten to the point where they are very cheap and easy to manufacture. This translates into a very low cost for you! CFLs use relatively new technology, and are much more complicated than normal incandescent lights. I won’t go into all the technical details, but it suffices to say that CFLs require several electronic components which normal light bulbs do not require. This coupled with the fact that there are only so many factories which makes them, translates into a relatively high cost to you. On average, a CFL is three or more times as expensive as a normal light bulb!

Suppose an average 100W light bulb is $1.50 and an average 23W CFL (which is 100W equivalent) is $6.99. If you use the light for 10 hours a day, it will take about 71 days for the CFL to pay itself off in electricity usage. There are many reports of people who buy a CFL and the bulb dies within weeks. If this is the case, it is possible that buying CFL bulbs could actually cost you money!

So where do you go if you want to find cheap CFLs? The answer is your local electric company’s website! That’s right; many electric companies have programs set up so that they pay for the vast majority of the cost for you. In many CFL programs, the electric company chooses certain stores, and agrees to give those stores a certain dollar amount every time a person buys a CFL. You don’t even need to worry about coupons or anything like that, everything is taken care of. These promotions can last anywhere from days to months depending on your specific area.

For example, if you go to Lowes, one of American’s biggest home improvement stores, you may notice many CFLs selling for over seven dollars, and sometimes you may see clearance sales of very specific bulbs. These lights can go for $1.50 or less! That’s right, if you look for rebate programs sponsored by electric companies, you can even buy CFLs which are cheaper than their incandescent equivalents! Of course, these lights sell out very quickly, so it’s important to actively look for CFL sales because they can save you a lot of money. In a more extreme example, some stores are known for selling 4, 23 watt CFLs for a dollar if you buy thirty dollars or more of merchandise. Let this be an example of how aggressive some stores are pushing the CFL rebate program.

It’s important to remember that just because a store participates in a rebate program with an electric company, doesn’t mean the rebate program is always in effect. Read your junk mail, watch for television commercials, and be sure to check which stores in your area are participating in any such rebate program. You will likely be rewarded by your efforts, especially if you are planning on buying more than one light.

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