A Confession

Yes, I have a confession. I leave lights on in the daytime.

The back of our house is on a beautiful, heavily treed ravine and our kids’ bedrooms are situated at the back of the house, so they tend to be a bit dark regardless of the time of day. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always left a small lamp on each of their dressers lit all day long, otherwise the rooms seem dark and gloomy. I know it’s selfish, but dark, gloomy children’s bedrooms feel sad to me.

I have tried to be at least a bit more conscious of this habit by gradually replacing all of our home’s light bulbs with CFLs (compact fluorescent lights). Honestly, these bulbs are great. They take some getting used to because when you first switch them on, there is a second delay before they actually illuminate and the color of the light they emit is different that what I’m used to. And I occasionally swear at that tilted lampshade because they aren’t so friendly to shades with wire holders that attach directly to the bulb(!), but I’m willing to deal.

While they are more expensive, they last eight or nine times as long as incandescent bulbs and only need to be replaced every five to six years! Plus, they are recommended for places where lights are on for long periods of time (e.g. my kids’ bedrooms!) since frequent switching on and off can shorten their life.

But my favorite fact is this: If every household in the U.S. replaced one light bulb with a CFL, it would prevent enough pollution to equal removing one million cars from the road…now that’s powerful!