- Politics and Social Issues
Save Energy With Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
I have been using compact fluorescent light bulbs for some time now and have seen some positive results with them. If you are looking for a way to help save on your electric bill, these may help. They have been coming more available in the stores now including some dimmable CFL's which you must use for your dimmable light fixtures. If you have not tried them yet buy a couple to see how they work out for you. If you like them you can replace the bulbs inside and outdoors around your house and see the difference in your electric bill
Energy Saving Compact Bulbs
The Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (CFL from here on)is a fluorecent bulb with a built in electronic ballast. They can be used to replace standard incandescent bulbs and fits in lamps designed for incandescent bulbs.
The typical equivalent CFL to an incandescent is shown below:
25-watt incandescent = 7-watt compact fluorescent
40-watt incandescent = 11-watt compact fluorescent
60-watt incandescent = 15-watt compact fluorescent
75 -watt incandescent = 18-watt compact fluorescent
CFL's are more expensive, but you will come out ahead over the life of the bulb. You will save by using less watts and they emit much less heat so there is less heat load on your air conditioning system. CFL's emit the same light as incandescents but use 75% or 80% less electricity. There was a time when the CFL's did not give off much light, hummed or came on slowly. Now those problems have been overcome and they are almost the same as incandescents. (expect the cost to go down as they become more popular).
The CFL's are now made dimmable. Not every type is available this way but you do have a choice now. Make sure your dimmer is rated for CFL use, if it is not you will have to change it out.
Incandescent bulbs waste 90 percent of their energy generating heat. The "fuel" efficiency of a CFL is like replacing a car that gets 20 miles per gallon with one that gets 100 miles per gallon.
Compact Fluorescent Bulb Construction
CFL's are expensive to make with the electronics in the base and the glass tube being made by hand. The hot glass tube is actually wrapped around a form by a worker. If the sales of CFL's goes up, the manufacturing costs can go down as more automation is introduced into the manufacturing process.
There is a debate over the MERCURY in the CFL bulbs. The amount that is used per bulb will fit on the tip of a Ball Point Pin. Yes, that is mercury that must be desposed of correctly but it is still less than what is released into the environment by burning coal and other means. You can recycle them at some of your local stores such as Ikia and Home Depot.
Go to EnergyStar.gov. to read their FAQ on the CFL's.
Recycle your old Compact Fluorescent bulbs
You can now take your old compact fluorescent bulbs to Home Depot for recycling, this includes all makers bulbs. This is taking place at all Home Depot stores. Home Depot wants to give the consumer a place to take the old bulbs, and hope's to increase their usage. It is estimated that only about 2% of bulbs are currently being recycled.
How CFL bulbs are made
This is an older video but it shows how the bulbs are made if you wanted to know. It is an interesting process. The factory is Megaman located in China. Megaman is a leading manufacturer of bulbs for Europe and Asia.
Take a Poll
CFL's help you save on your energy bill, but do you think they will really help save the earth?
Some links on CFL's
Comparison of light bulbs
Here is a comparison of the Incandescent, Fluorescent and LED bulbs.