The Crowne Plaza Times Square hotel has a giant sign measuring 80 feet by 20 feet that until recently had housed 3,300 incandescent light bulbs running at 40 watts each. The sign resulted in significant expenditure every year on electricity, not to mention replacing 3,300 light bulbs every seven months. Three thousand light bulbs
in one sign! Energy efficient light bulbs have come to the rescue, however; Crowne Plaza has fully retrofit the sign with compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
The replacement CFLs run at only eight watts and provide the same amount of light. Instead of being replaced every seven months, however, these energy efficient light bulbs are expected to require replacement only every three years! The size of the disparity between incandescent light bulb efficiency and lifetime and CFL efficiency and lifetime is mind boggling. It's not often that you see improvements of 75% or more when upgrading from one product to another, but then the lighting industry is its own beast.
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Save More than Energy
Financially the retrofit is like a relatively small investment with guaranteed huge returns in the form of savings on energy bills. The cost of the 3,300 compact fluorescent light bulbs
came to about $40,000, but after receiving a $13,200 rebate from the Consolidate Edison Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Program, the hotel ended up paying only $26,800. That number seems large until you consider that the Crowne Plaza expects to save more than $120,000 each year in electricity costs, in addition to saving $20,000 each year on labor costs from no longer having to change the sign's light bulbs every seven months.
So, in the end the Crowne Plaza hotel paid $26,800 to save $120,000 each year for three years. Even if they had paid the full $40,000, after three years they would be up about $320,000 (three years of $120,000 minus the initial $40,000). The hotel is saving over a quarter million dollars over the lifetime of these light bulbs. With examples like this, it should become clear that switching to energy saving light bulbs is not only a sound environmental decision, but a fiscal no-brainer as well.