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A Switch To Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Saves You Money
In case you hadn’t noticed, the “Green Movement” is taking hold. Increasingly more persons are realizing that we, as individuals, have to do something about pollution, and we’d like to start now.
The problem is that with all the media hype, most individuals think it is too hard a job to go green. In fact, there are literally thousands of easy ways to go green. One of the cost efficient and easiest ways to go green is to modify from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s).
History of Early Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
Not many individuals realize that fluorescent light bulbs have been around because the 1800’s. Within the 1970’s, General Electric improved the design, coloured light switches but found it was too expensive to build factories to mass produce the bulbs. The use of these bulbs was generally limited to office buildings, garages and under the kitchen cabinets.
In addition, the sunshine they gave off was not of the standard we expected from an incandescent light bulb. The shape also restricted their use to a fixture that would allow the usage of a protracted tubular bulb. They could not be easily utilized in table lamps, desk lamps or floor lamps.
Another factor that limited their use was that they often flickered and made an annoying humming noise.
In recent times, all that has changed. Improvements within the bulbs, especially with the development of the electronic ballast, have eliminated most of the negative features that made them less popular prior to now.
The pros of Compact Fluorescent Lamp, (CFL’S)
Listed listed here are some of the positive reasons to modify to CFL’s:
1. CFL’s now are shaped to suit nearly all our light fixtures.
2. The light they offer off is comparable to traditional light bulbs.
3. They use 75-80% less electricity then traditional light bulbs.
4. A 60w standard bulb may be replaced with a 13-15w CFL Bulb to offer the same amount of light.
5. The CFL bulbs last ten times longer. The average life of a CFL is 10,000 hours in comparison with less than 1,000 hours for a standard bulb.
6. It is estimated that using one CFL bulb will keep one half a ton of carbon dioxide from being dumped into the atmosphere over the life of that bulb.
7. The CFL bulb is less hot to touch, so is easier to alter if it had been lit.
8. There might be eight less incandescent light bulbs that find their way into landfills if CFL’s are used.
9. CFL’s now come in lots of designs and can be used for many different applications.
10. The installation of CFL’s can earn a discount with some utility companies.
The Cons of Modern Compact Fluorescent Bulbs, (CFL’S)
As with anything, there are some negative features to those bulbs that must be taken into consideration once you decide to make the switch.
1. CFL’s have a better initial cost.
2. CFL’s do not work well in places where the light is switched on and off frequently. This will reduce the life span of the bulb.
3. Not all CFL’ can be used with dimmer switches. Special bulbs are required for this application. Again the life of the bulb might be shortened.
4. Some timer mechanisms are incompatible with CFL’s.
5. Not all bulbs are suitable for outdoor use. Low temperatures may reduce light levels.
6. CFL’s contain a small amount of mercury which is toxic. Mercury vapor might be released if the bulb is broken.
7. Bulbs of inferior quality are showing up on the store shelves and will not be of high quality and is not going to last as long.
Despite the negatives, CFL’s have become extremely popular within the last several years.
Benefits of CFL’s
Replacing one 60 watt standard bulb with a 15-w CFL will prevent more than $40 in electricity costs over the life of the bulb if you utilize it 6 hours a day. Add to that less trips to the store, and fewer money spent on replacement bulbs, the savings are significant.
Multiply that times the variety of light bulbs you may have in your home and you might realize a big savings in both money and energy consumption.
Some states require that burned out CFL’s be disposed of at a hazardous waste facility (the preferred method of disposal) while most municipalities allow them to be disposed of in regular trash. CFL’s can easily be recycled at stores such as Home Depot and Ikea.
CFL’s do contain a small amount of mercury and opponents to these bulb cite that as a serious drawback. One should just remember to never incinerate these type bulbs. This may disperse the mercury into the atmosphere.
The advantages of CFL’s have become evident when it comes to the amount of energy saved and the quantity of green house gasses that aren’t being pumped into the atmosphere. If everyone within the US used CFL’s we could retire 90 average size power plants.
In an effort to scale back greenhouse gasses, Australia and Canada have already banned using incandescent bulbs and the United States has passed legislation that’s phasing out the manufacture of incandescent light bulbs and can ban them entirely by the year 2012.
Replacing energy-hogging incandescent bulbs with energy-saving fluorescents (CFLs) is an easy, effective way to slow the speed of global climate change while saving money. It is good for the environment, it’s economical, it is efficient, and it is simple.
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