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Our Finest Gifts We Bring

By       Message Russ Doty     Permalink
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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H4 12/15/14

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emember The Little Drummer Boy? Being moved by its message (that unconventional gifts have merit), I've urged others to give LED light bulbs during the holidays. Here's an update on LEDs, the gift that keeps on giving year after year, this year turning an $8 investment into around $135 in saved energy costs over time.

In 2010 the pricy 60 watt equivalent LED bulb that I stuffed relatives' Christmas stockings with cost $40/bulb. This year CREE has a new 60 watt equivalent bulb out. The soft white variety costs $7.97 at Home Depot--the whiter, daylight style light, a buck more.

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The bulb is built in the USA, pa rum pum pum pum.

It's 11 watts, pa rum pum pum pum.

It saves 71 kilowatt hours a year, pa rum pum pum pum (if lit 4 hours a day).

You'll burn 53 pounds less coal each year, pa rum pum pum pum.

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The candle like tower within the bulb has LED chips around it that distribute its 850 lumens better than former designs. The unobtrusive, shark-gill-like cuts in the case allow air to flow through the bulb keeping its LED chips cooler and extending their life.

The bulb dims without buzzing if you use the dimmers listed on the bulb's web site. They contain no mercury to complicate recycling.

Cree's web site has a calculator for determining cost-efficiency. I ran it, learning that if I burn a bulb for 2 hours a day, it pays for itself in energy saved within two years. If the bulb is lit four hours a day, the reduction in energy use will pay for it within a year (at Colorado rates of $0.1187 cents/kWh). That's well within the 3 year warranty and 25,000-hour rated life.

For 20 more years your savings will swell, pa rum pum pum pum.

Till your bulb fails and goes to hell, pa rum pum pum pum.

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum.

Just change a light for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,

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When you come.

Lately, I've received more requests for donations to help folks caught in weather related disasters. Such events are becoming more common as global warming heats up the atmosphere adding "fuel" to storm intensity. Natural disasters cost the global insurance industry around $45 billion USD in 2013, but the human and uninsured loss toll was higher. According to re-insurer, Swiss Re's, publication Natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2013 , more than 14,000 lives were lost in weather-related catastrophes. Uninsured losses rarely exceeded $50 billion during any year prior to 1987. They've exceeded those losses in every year but one from 1988 to 2013, and more than tripled that benchmark in eight of those years since 1988. Much of those losses came from weather made more intense as greenhouse gases build up.

Perhaps part of our finest gift this season should go into buying LEDs. It'll help reduce greenhouse gases released in electricity production and mitigate the resulting storm intensity. Since the bill to fund government has riders revoking the 2007 lighting efficiency standards and preventing President Obama from making good on his commitment to the UN's Green Climate Fund, our gifts can help avert more severe heat waves, floods, and storms and reduce the relief necessary when they happen. And, such philanthropy will soon leave money left over to contribute more next time you see a holiday plea for disaster relief.

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Great Falls, MT native living in Greeley, CO . Attorney licensed in MT and CO (inactive in MN). Retired CEO/General Counsel for New World WindPower. Now volunteer with, an organization committed to enacting a ballot initiative in (more...)

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Our Finest Gifts We Bring