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Great Article on Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs! February 27, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Uncategorized.
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Zoinks! Dr Z here, Check out this great article below! More positive stuff on CFLS.

Dr. Z

www.zbulbs.com

 

DOWN TO EARTH: Compact fluorescent light bulbs are a smart choice all around




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A compact fluorescent light bulb such as this one helps to decrease greenhouse gases and air pollution while saving you money.

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GHS
Posted Feb 27, 2009 @ 09:42 AM


Using compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) is truly a bright idea. They benefit the environment and can save you money.

You may have been turned off by earlier experiences with CFLs, because of their flickering, awkward shapes and harsh light. However, the new generation of CFLs do not flicker, fit easily into conventional lighting fixtures and can have a pleasing brightness.

The standard lighting in homes is provided by the incandescent light bulb, which is not energy efficient and loses 90 percent of its energy as heat. You may have burned yourself on this heat when changing a bulb.

Technical advances in CFLs currently make them the most widely available energy efficient bulbs for home use. One 13- to 15-watt CFL is needed to create the same light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb. The initial cost of the CFL is more than the incandescent bulb, but over the life of a 14-watt CFL, you save about $40. Widespread use of CFLs in your home could result in significant savings.

CFLs help to decrease greenhouse gases and air pollution, without cramping one’s lifestyle. According to Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute, if CFLs were used worldwide in homes, linear fluorescents in commercial buildings and LED lighting in traffic lights, this could avoid the building of 705 new coal-fired plants (there are currently 2,370 plants worldwide).

My past frustration with CFLs was the glaring, bluish light they shed. Fortunately, finding the right bulb can solve this problem. The color temperature of light is rated in degrees called Kelvin (K). Incandescent lights have a low color temperature, casting the familiar red-yellowish tone. To achieve this “warm” or “soft” light, look for a rating of between 2,700K to 3,000K. You will find this rating in the small print on the CFL packaging. The “cool,” “bright” or “daylight” light, that some would describe as harsh, is rated 4,500k or higher. Some people prefer this light for reading and work areas. You might want to buy one of each kind to test out the different illumination.

One mistake people make is putting CFLs in fixtures that have dimmer switches or electronic timers, or in ceiling fans. These conditions will shorten the life of the CFL and cause them to flicker. There are CFLs made for these specific situations. You might need to search online or visit a lighting store to find these specialty CFL bulbs.

A small amount of mercury (2 to 5mg) is in CFLs (less than 1/100 the amount found in dental amalgams). The mercury in CFLs is sealed and does not escape unless broken. If broken, visit http://www.epa.gov/mercury for proper cleanup.

CFLs should be properly recycled (not in your regular recycling bin where they might break) to reclaim and reuse the mercury. Most towns in Massachusetts will accept CFLs. Call your Town Hall or visit http://www.Earth911.org for recycling information. Since CFLs last 5 to 10 years, the need to recycle them is infrequent. Incandescent bulbs contain no mercury, but consume so much electricity that large amounts of mercury are released into the environment by coal-fired electrical plants. Consequently, using incandescent bulbs results in greater mercury waste in the environment.

Instead of facing the daunting task of replacing all your light bulbs at once, start by replacing one bulb. The best areas to use CFLs are where a light will be left on for more that 15 minutes. A closet where a light is turned on and off quickly would not be a good choice. Turning the CFLs off and on can greatly shorten the life of the bulb.

Read the package to find out if the CFL can be used outside or for a three-way light fixture.

Rebates and discounts for buying CFLs can be found at http://www.myenergystar.com/ProductsAndDiscounts.aspx or by calling 877-378-2748. A sky-blue EnergyStar label on the package insures that the CFL is of high quality.

Let CFLs shine in your home for savings and a clean environment.

Anne Mazar is an environmental advocate and a member of the Mendon Land Use Committee

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/lifestyle/x7529664/DOWN-TO-EARTH-Compact-fluorescent-light-bulbs-are-a-smart-choice-all-around

 

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