We finally jumped on the compact fluorescent light bulb bandwagon.
There are 14 shrouded lights on the outside of our house. A couple of them are always on, a couple of them are rarely on, and most of them are on timers and are only on at night. The bulbs are only 25 watts, but with 14 of them, that still adds up. So we decided to try the compact fluorescent bulbs that we keep hearing are more energy efficient.
The only trouble was, the bulbs we'd been using weren't the regular clear kind, they were amber colored. Clear ones would be too harsh. And the compact fluorescent bulbs only come in clear. Ron had the idea of spray painting the bulbs orange. I was skeptical, but it worked! We started with one and after letting the paint dry overnight, plugged in the bulb. It put out a very pretty pinkish orange color. This was one of the bulbs on a timer and we waited a week to see if the paint would melt or flake off, but it remained intact, and we decided we liked the color even better than the amber bulbs.
So this past Saturday we painted all the bulbs we would need plus a few extras. Sunday we installed them all and we're very pleased with the results.
The compact fluorescent bulbs use only 10 watts each instead of the 25 watts we'd been using. They put out the equivalent of 40 watts of light, but the paint probably diminishes that a little. They're supposed to last 8 years if they're turned on an average of 4 hours per day, so if they last 5 years, we'll be happy. That's better than a month or two, which is how long the old ones lasted. Plus our electricity bill will go down; the bulbs will pay for themselves almost immediately.