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Earthmate Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Updated on November 22, 2010

Click here to Browse The Earthmate Range of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs on Amazon

The fluorescent light was invented by Peter Cooper Hewitt in the late 1890s and was used in photographic studios but the technology was never really developed until 1976 when Edward E Hammer invented a spiral tube compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) for General Electric as a response to the 1973 oil crisis. General Electric, however, were shortsighted at the time and decided that the cost of converting their industrial processes to make CFLs was prohibitively high. Hammer’s design was leaked and over the 1980s and 1990s his CFL was improved upon. Key developments such as the electronic ballast that stopped the light flickering were quickly added to commercially available CFLs.

Demand for compact fluorescent light bulbs has lead to vast improvements in the design of CFLs and currently the best CFLs are made by Earthmate.

Earthmate compact fluorescent light bulbs last 13 times longer than an equivalent incandescent light bulb. Not only this, but Earthmate CFLs use 75% less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs.

The US Government sponsored Energy Star Program has done tests regarding the energy saving potential of CFLs. It has found that just changing 5 incandescent light bulbs to CFLs in an average house in the USA will save $100 a year. Wikipedia writes that lighting accounted for 9% of the total energy bill of an average US household in 2001 and that widespread use of CFLs can save as much as 7% of the total annual electricity bill for a US home.

There is the added benefit that CFLs give off less heat than standard incandescent light bulbs. Thus, in the summer CFLs reduce cooling bills because they don’t heat up a room as much as incandescent light.

These two savings more than make up for the extra cost of buying CFLs.

Environmental Issues Concerning CFLs

The only problem with CFLs is environmental. Compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury vapor. Mercury is a dangerous poison and the big environmental concern is that many CFLs around the world are disposed of in landfill sites and waste incinerators. Either of these methods of disposal releases mercury into the environment and will end up causing air and water pollution. Mercury is a heavy metal and builds up in the food chain until it is present in high enough doses as to be lethal. This process was frighteningly exemplified in Minamata in Japan. Methyl mercury was dumped with industrial waste water into the nearby bay. The mercury got in the food chain and passed from small marine creatures to fish and then to people, cats and dogs. The result was a number of people suffered from ataxia, numbness, reduced vision and in the worst cases insanity, paralysis, coma and death.

The Governments of both the UK and the US are well aware of this problem. It is now illegal in California, Minnesota, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin to put CFLs in with the regular garbage. In the UK CFL disposal is subjected to WEEE recycling rules. Indeed it is now the case that part of the retail price of a CFL constitutes the cost of safely recycling used CFLs. And now Home Depot in the US is the first major retailer to offer CFL recycling.

The situation of mercury and CFLs is further complicated by the fact that burning coal releases mercury into the air. In states in America where coal is used to power electricity generators the environmental concern relating to mercury is much more focused on coal burning than inappropriate disposal of CFLs. Indeed if you take into account that the reduced electricity demand that results in using CFLs as opposed to incandescent light bulbs more than makes up for the small amounts of mercury found in CFLs. Less coal generated electricity means less mercury.

This is why Earthmate should be the CFL of choice for any consumer because it contains 75% less mercury than any other CFL on the market. Not only that but Earthmate uses only recycled paper for its packaging and soy based inks for its labeling.

Another advantage of Earthmate CFLs is that they make an extensive range of compact fluorescent light bulbs in a variety of watts and sizes. And also their CFLs fit standard light fittings so it is an easy matter to change over to CFLs.

To sum up, it is undeniable that compact fluorescent light bulbs use less electricity and last much longer than standard incandescent light bulbs. It is also undeniable that the mercury content in CFLs is a major concern for the environment. A concern that is being addressed in the developed world but one that is a potential threat to human and animal life in the developing world where nearly all waste ends up in a landfill.


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