Sunday, April 15, 2012

Save Energy use CFL's

For most homes in developed countries, lighting alone accounts for 9% of the total energy requirement. For other parts of the world, it is far more than that. Thus, using cost-efficient lights can be a huge energy-saver.

By using 66% less energy than the conventional light bulbs, compact fluorescent light bulbs are made to be very efficient. Just by changing from incandescent to CFL's could reduce electrical consumption by 7%.

When compared to the regular light bulbs, CFL's give the same amount of luminescence for less power. While it does have a higher purchase price than the incandescent, CFL's have a longer lifespan (approximately 12 times than the incandescent light bulbs, about 11,000 hours), enough to save US$30 in electrical costs during the bulb's lifetime.

A US published article claimed that if a household changes 30 fixtures in their home, investing $90, the money saved in the span of five years could be anywhere from $500 to $1,500 depending on the area's electrical costs.

For commercial buildings and other bigger establishments, the savings are even greater. An average CFL at 75 watts could save $22 dollars in direct energy savings per year. If that is multiplied by the number of light bulbs in a building, and include the cost of labor that could be saved from changing light bulbs, the savings could rise exponentially.

True,there is a capital investment of about $2 - $3 USD per fixture; however, that could be recovered in a month from money saved.

Other manufacturers of CFLs also apply a titanium dioxide coating. This is because titanium dioxide is claimed to neutralize bacteria, odors, and molds. Still many manufacturers of CFLs apply a luminous coating to the bulb for the purpose of luminescence after the CFL is turned off.

The idea behind is that a little light could still remain, even for a short while, in cases of power failure and accidents.

Because Carbon Fluorescent lamps do not emit as much heat as the incandescent light bulbs, there is also less work for air conditioners in cooling up the space.

Surely there must be some downsides...

  • CFLs behave differently from the ordinary incandescent bulbs. For one, they take longer to attain their full brightness depending on the temperature. The colder the climate is, the longer it will take for the bulb to give off full brightness.

    CFLs also give off the brightest light during their first use and begin to dull gradually, giving off less light as they near the end of their life; a CFL is expected to reduce its brightness by 20% from the original brightness after its first installation.

  • The second issue - each CFL light bulb contains about 5 mg of mercury, a toxic heavy metal that can cause serious health problems if inhaled or ingested over a period of time or in large enough doses. As a result, they should be recycled properly to make sure they don't end up in landfills.

    1. Check with your local solid waste disposal program to find out how to recycle compact fluorescent bulbs in your area.

    2. Check or call 1-800-CLEAN-UP for an automated hotline.

    3. If a CFL type light bulb breaks in your home, immediately open the windows to disperse any mercury vapor that may escape, carefully sweep up the glass fragments, and wipe the area with a disposable paper towel to remove any remaining fragments.

    Do not pick up broken glass with your bare hands and do not use a vacuum cleaner. Use a sealed plastic bag and dispose of the glass with your other household trash.