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Incandescent bulbs are really just little heaters that happen to give off some light. It seems like a lot of people have gotten that message over the past several years. In fact, according to a recent survey, 29% of American homes have entirely rid themselves of incandescents.

I think that’s great — if it’s true.  I’m skeptical.  I don’t doubt people’s good intentions; I doubt that they really know where all the incandescents are in their homes.  Have they really swapped out their refrigerator and freezer bulbs?  What about the light over their range?  They’re sneaky, these lightbulbs!

But if 29% is the real number — or anything within 6% of it, this small survey’s margin of error — then great, that’s progress.  We at JouleBug think we can do better, and we think our app can help with that.  (But we would think that, wouldn’t we?)

What’s really striking is that a lot fewer people in this survey said they’d even heard of LED bulbs than in last year’s equivalent survey.  I’m not even sure how you get an 11% awareness drop in one year, but again: small survey.

We know JouleBug can help with that.  A lot of what our app does is tell people about sustainable choices they could be making that might have never crossed their minds before.  We recently had a user tell us he’d never thought about opening south-facing curtains during sunny winter days to give his heater a break and let nature do the work.  Likewise, it seems there are a lot of people out there who still haven’t learned about LED bulbs.  Once you start using JouleBug, it’s hard to miss that.

We’d be curious to take a look at any larger surveys of people’s lighting behaviors and choices — and how they might vary from place to place.  If you’ve seen anything like that, share it in the comments.

Meanwhile, if there’s a bulb in your house that’s a good candidate for CFL or LED replacement, jump on it.  Otherwise you’re leaving JouleBug points and badges on the table!