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Zoinks! New Light Bulbs are “Can Do?”?? This guy from USA Today Thinks So! February 4, 2011

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, compact fluorescent.
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Gadzooks! It seems everyone has an opinion about Light Bulbs these days! Nothing stirs up more conversation than saying “spiral bulb” in mixed company..Anyways this guy from USA Today thinks the “new light bulbs” are “can do”..Me to! As long as they don’t suck..

ZOinmks! Did I say that?

When it comes to energy, the United States is too often the nation of “can’t.” Can’t drill for oil in new areas offshore. Can’t build a new generation of nuclear power plants. Can’t raise gasoline taxes to discourage the use of imported oil. Can’t move quickly to site new offshore wind plants. By PR Newswire More efficient choices: Halogen, compact fluorescent and light-emitting diode bulbs. EnlargeCloseBy PR Newswire More efficient choices: Halogen, compact fluorescent and light-emitting diode bulbs. OPPOSING VIEW: Turn on the BULB Act What the nation can do is limp along with a status quo energy policy that takes many energy decisions out of Americans’ hands and weakens national security and the environment. More than half the oil Americans use is imported — a vulnerability underscored by the ongoing tumult in Egypt. Electricity production relies heavily on coal, which exacts a heavy toll on the global climate. Congress and the president spend far more time talking about these problems than solving them, but occasionally they get it right. One of those times was in 2007, when then- President Bush signed an energy bill that, among other things, raised car mileage standards and took aim at an extravangantly inefficient household item: the light bulb. The best way for government to boost energy efficiency isn’t to micromanage by picking winners and losers, a job better suited to free-market innovation. It is to set a reasonable standard — miles per gallon or light per watt, for example — and let the market sort it out. That’s what Congress did in 2007. Americans are already reaping the benefits of higher-mileage vehicles, but a rebellion is brewing against the new standard for more efficient light bulbs, which takes effect next New Year’s Day. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., complained in a response to President Obama’s State of the Union address that the government “now tells us which light bulbs to buy.” A group of House Republicans has introduced a bill to repeal the standard..  That would be a mistake. The familiar incandescent bulb is a 125-year-old design that’s handy and cheap but a huge waster of electricity. Roughly 90% of the juice that goes to a typical bulb generates heat, not light. The new rules require bulbs to be at least 25% more efficient, starting with 100-watt bulbs. Incandescents can’t do that, so they’ll begin to disappear. There’s a huge payoff for this. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that fully implementing the new lighting standards would make it possible to avoid building 30 new power plants and cut CO2 emissions by 100 million tons a year. But what will Americans switch to? The most common alternative now is the compact fluorescent light (CFL), the spiral bulb that uses far less electricity than incandescents. It costs two to four times as much as an old-fashioned bulb but lasts five to 10 times as long —a big saving for consumers and country. CFLs aren’t perfect. Some people don’t like the light they give off, the delay before they reach full brightness or the extra care required because CFLs contain tiny amounts of mercury. Even so, millions of early adopters are perfectly happy with them because they reduce electricity bills. But light bulb makers know that some people hate CFLs, so manufacturers have produced an alternative: a halogen bulb that looks just like an incandescent and produces similar light but meets the new standard. You can buy them today. The evolution won’t stop there, which is the virtue of unleashing market forces. Manufacturers are working on next-generation LED bulbs that last roughly four times as long as long-lived CFLs. They’re wildly expensive now — as much as $30 to $40 or more for a single bulb — but the price inevitably will drop. Some of this innovation would have happened without the new law, but not as much, or as quickly. Faced with deadlines and a market for their new products, manufacturers intensified efforts to develop better bulbs. It would be a shame to undo that progress — and produce yet another energy “can’t.”

Are CFL Light Bulbs Safe? The real story from ABC. May 21, 2010

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in compact fluorescent.
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Zoinks Here is a great article on the CFL’s and how to responsible use one of these little buggers! This article is taken from ABC byJohn Matarese.

https://www.zbulbs.com/

CFL Light Bulb Risks Last Update: 5/20 7:03 pm If you’re like most people, you now have at least one or two of those squiggly Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs in your home. And you may be buying more soon. Like it or not, the government is pushing us to purchase more and more CFL’s –compact fluorescent lights — because they save energy. But do they come with extra risks the stores and government don’t want us to know about? Some homeowners are wondering: Could be also be inviting a risk of explosions, fire, and even mercury poisoning? Bulb explodes without warning Tom and Nancy Heim were watching TV recently, when Tom decided to turn on the floor lamp next to his recliner chair. “I heard this loud pop…I saw what I thought was smoke, coming out o the top of the floor lamp,” says Tom. Nancy suddenly found glass in her lap. She says, “I did not see it. I just heard it, and I noticed i had glass on me.” Their concern. The bulb could have started a fire or exposed them to dangerous mercury vapor. Risk of explosion or fire So we checked with the U.S. EPA, and found found some reassuring news. The EPA says its records show the risk of a bulb exploding is extremely rare. And in most cases it has investigated, the bulb had been damaged at some point, such as having been dropped on the floor. According to the EPA, it’s almost impossible for a CFL bulb to start a fire, as all UL approved bulbs have a safety shutoff fuse in the base. If the glass breaks, the fuse cuts out, and there no more current goes into the bulb.

Is there a  risk of mercury poisoning?

But what about the mercury vapor they may have breathed?

Last year, we asked Dr. Kim Dietrich, an Environmental Engineering Professor, to break and test a CFL bulb for mercury. Research Assistant Professor Joo-Youp Lee shattered a bulb inside a sealed bag…then put the bag on a mercury vapor analyzer.

No question, he says, the bulb contained a measurable amount of mercury.

However, Dr. Dietrich says the amount found is minuscule compared to thermometers we used to put in our mouths.

According to Dr. Dietrich, “It would take 100 shattered CFL bulbs to equal the amount of mercury in an older thermometer.”

What if a bulb breaks?

Despite that reassuring news, the U.S. EPA has a list of steps you should take if you break a bulb.

  • The EPA says open a window and ventilate the room for 15 minutes.
  • Then use cardboard to sweep up the remains of the bulb
  • Wearing rubber gloves, use a wet paper towel to wipe the area.
  • Finally, seal it all in a plastic bag, and dispose.
  • The EPA says do not vacuum the room, or you could spread mercury dust around.

The EPA says the amount in one bulb is not enough to create a health hazard.

To prevent problems

To prevent problems, and extend bulb life, the EPA suggests you:

  • Do not use CFL bulbs in bathrooms, or anywhere they will be turned on and off all day.  Frequent powering up and down reduces their life.
  • Do not use standard CFL’s in dimmer switches. Low voltage reduces their life
  • Three-way lamps are fine, however, as the contacts on the base of CFL bulbs are different from three-way bulbs, and they will not turn on with the low voltage setting.

So while a bulb explosion may scare you, it’s unlikely it will cause a fire or any real damage.

And despite Internet rumors, a broken bulb will not turn your home into a Hazmat zone.

The government says it is safe to continue using them.  As always, don’t waste your money. Is there a  risk of mercury poisoning?

But what about the mercury vapor they may have breathed?

Last year, we asked Dr. Kim Dietrich, an Environmental Engineering Professor, to break and test a CFL bulb for mercury. Research Assistant Professor Joo-Youp Lee shattered a bulb inside a sealed bag…then put the bag on a mercury vapor analyzer.

No question, he says, the bulb contained a measurable amount of mercury.

However, Dr. Dietrich says the amount found is minuscule compared to thermometers we used to put in our mouths.

According to Dr. Dietrich, “It would take 100 shattered CFL bulbs to equal the amount of mercury in an older thermometer.”

What if a bulb breaks?

Despite that reassuring news, the U.S. EPA has a list of steps you should take if you break a bulb.

  • The EPA says open a window and ventilate the room for 15 minutes.
  • Then use cardboard to sweep up the remains of the bulb
  • Wearing rubber gloves, use a wet paper towel to wipe the area.
  • Finally, seal it all in a plastic bag, and dispose.
  • The EPA says do not vacuum the room, or you could spread mercury dust around.

The EPA says the amount in one bulb is not enough to create a health hazard.

To prevent problems

To prevent problems, and extend bulb life, the EPA suggests you:

  • Do not use CFL bulbs in bathrooms, or anywhere they will be turned on and off all day.  Frequent powering up and down reduces their life.
  • Do not use standard CFL’s in dimmer switches. Low voltage reduces their life
  • Three-way lamps are fine, however, as the contacts on the base of CFL bulbs are different from three-way bulbs, and they will not turn on with the low voltage setting.

So while a bulb explosion may scare you, it’s unlikely it will cause a fire or any real damage.

And despite Internet rumors, a broken bulb will not turn your home into a Hazmat zone.

The government says it is safe to continue using them.  As always, don’t waste your money.

Shedding a New, Electricity-Saving Light on Retail Outlets -New York Times Article July 30, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in LED Lights, Light bulbs in pop culture.
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Zoinks! It looks like LEDs are starting to really come on strong! Retail Stores like Wal-Mart seem to be buying in.

Dr. Z

www.zbulbs.com

led-diagram

Wal-Mart parking lot in Leavenworth, Kan., is for all intents and purposes a giant laboratory.

 
 
 

 

The company is testing out new light-emitting diode (LED) lights to illuminate the area as part of an energy efficiency project involving a score of other retailers and the U.S. Energy Department. The goal is to see whether it can successfully implement a new form of lighting that could give the shopping malls of America a stark new look.

It may also bring a new look to corporate balance sheets because it promises more than 50 percent energy savings and an 80 percent reduction in maintenance costs, while reducing light “drift,” or what some people call light pollution, from disturbing nearby neighborhoods.

In a collaboration that began in April last year, Wal-Mart, DOE and 11 other major retailers launched a working group to figure out what characteristics would be necessary to successfully use LED lighting in a retail parking lot setting.

The project came out of the Retailer Energy Alliance, a coalition of about 40 retailers working with the Energy Department to find ways to reduce energy use through innovative new technologies. The idea behind the alliance is that it can be costly to install some of the new technologies. To combat that, DOE works with the retailers to come up with specifications for common energy applications.

The alliance is currently working on several projects, but the LED project is the “most ripe,” said Dru Crawley, DOE’s commercial building team leader, because the efficiencies for solid-state lighting are already there.

Will shoppers buy it?

So Wal-Mart decided to use its new Kansas store, which opened this month, as a guinea pig. “We wanted to test the technology parameters of the recommendations … to find out how it actually performs in the environment and with our shoppers,” said Don Moseley, Wal-Mart’s director of sustainable facilities.

Some of the features include a projected 10-year maintenance requirement, compared with a current two-year relamping time frame, and controlled optics that focus the light on the parking lot, eliminating much of the light “drift” that occurs now.

The parking lot is now filled with 33 poles supporting 92 fixtures. The energy savings and performance will be monitored on an annual basis, and after the first year, the company will start evaluating the project’s success, Moseley said.

He declined to discuss the up-front costs beyond estimating that there is currently an estimated three- to six-year payback period, saying that because it is a new technology that is being tested, the costs do not reflect the true market value. “While that cost is an important decision, if all the other parameters prove true and the other savings are there, and we have a safe and secure shopping environment, at that point, then, we try to negotiate for volume purchase.”

One area the company will be monitoring closely is customer acceptance, said Ralph Williams, an electrical engineer with the company. It will also be watching energy use, performance and light depreciation from an outage perspective and from an overall maintenance perspective.

The goal is that as these factors are watched, the Kansas store will be used in DOE’s Gateway Demonstration project, making it a showcase for various LED products. According to the department’s Web site, it could help spur the use of the new technology.

Other energy efficiency partnerships in the works

There are two other alliances currently working with the Energy Department: the Commercial Real Estate Energy Alliance and the Hospital Energy Alliance, both of which launched in April. The Retailer Alliance was the first to start, beginning in February last year.

For example, commercial real estate owners and large retailers have agreed to work with the department to try to reach 50 percent energy savings throughout an entire new building, and 30 percent in one existing building.

“The idea is not just one each, but it’s to take what is learned and move on toward changing prototypes so you’re getting significant energy savings from technologies that work in existing buildings that can move through entire portfolio,” Crawley said.

This project has 23 industry partners and began in November, Crawley said. DOE is getting ready to review initial plans for each for achieving efficiency plans, and the next step for new buildings is construction. For existing buildings, the next step is retrofitting.

These kinds of alliances are demonstrating how the department can use its position to help various industry sectors achieve real energy efficiency, Crawley said.

“This is an example of what can be done,” he said. “The department can be the broker to make sure that the energy efficiency claims are met and that the owners get what they expect.”

The next sector DOE is eyeing for an energy efficiency partnership is higher education, Crawley said, which has already made significant strides on its own. “We’re talking with colleges, universities and community colleges to see what we can do there,” Crawley said. “We want to see how we can support them and help in their efforts to save energy.”

Zoinks! No Entrants Yet in Contest for 60-Watt LED Bulb May 7, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in LED Lights, List Article.
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what is the light bulb of the future

what is the light bulb of the future

Gadzooks! The Government just posted is look for a few good light bulbs.. and the still haven’t found the one with the right stuff. This article from the New York Times details the government’s search for a LED light than can replace your everyday 60 watt incandescent. They have been running this contest for a while but nobody is entering! Are LED manufacturers just too shy?

Dr. Z

www.zbulbs.com

 

No Entrants Yet in Contest for 60-Watt LED Bulb

By Eric A. Taub Last year, the Department of Energy announced the L Prize: a contest to be the first company to create an LED-powered lamp that could replace a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. The winner would receive cash, recognition, and potentially lucrative government contracts. One year later, no one has stepped up to claim the award. It’s not for lack of trying, said James Brodrick, a Department of Energy official overseeing the government’s LED lighting initiative. But creating an LED lamp that can produce the equivalent of 60 watts of light while using a fraction of the power of a standard bulb is no easy task. Speaking at Lightfair, the lighting industry trade show, Mr. Brodrick told me that five companies have been discussing the contest with him, with at least two pulling out all the stops to win. He expects the first entries to come either this summer or fall. The cash prize — several million dollars based on what the government eventually allocates — is the least important part of the competition. The winner could also get large orders from the U.S. General Services Administration and the Defense Logistics Agency, which is looking for advanced lighting that can work under stressful environments, such as ships at sea. Mr. Brodrick estimates that there are 1.9 billion sockets in the U.S. that currently use 60-watt bulbs, so the potential market could be huge. But before any company can claim the prize, their product will have to undergo rigorous testing. That includes testing about 12 samples for light output, another 200 for expected life, and two to three dozen for their ability to operate under stressful conditions. The company also must be able to manufacture a minimum of 250,000 per year. The Department of Energy is trying to head off the debacle the country initially experienced with the introduction of compact fluorescents, when many consumers found that the first CFLs did not last long and gave off unpleasant light. “This is the Kentucky Derby of lighting,” Mr. Brodrick said, who added that he wouldn’t be surprised if a dark-horse winner emerged from the shadows at the last minute.

State proposes CFL disposal legislation April 8, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in cfl, compact fluorescent, Controversial information, light bulb, List Article.
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What should we do with this guy when he burns out?

What should we do with this guy when he burns out?

Gadzooks! Its me Dr. Z! Seems Compact Fluorescent are in the media yet again! Turns out some states are looking to put forth some legislation to make sure these little spiral buggers are disposed of properly.  Check out the article below for the info!

ZOinks!

Dr. Z

www.zbulbs.com

 

Energy-saving lights now poised to pollute Bill would require makers to accept, dispose of dead ones

BY JOHN RICHARDSON
Portland Press Herald

Mainers have installed millions of energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs in recent years, thanks in part to state incentives aimed at saving energy and slowing global warming.

Now the state is trying to make sure all those bulbs don’t get thrown into the trash when they eventually burn out. Each one contains a small amount of mercury which, when added up, can poison waterways, fish and people.

Legislation to be presented at the State House today would require makers of the bulbs to set up and promote a statewide collection and recycling program.

Conservationists say the idea will keep an environmental success story from turning into an environmental problem. A group of manufacturers, however, warns that the proposed solution will make the bulbs so expensive that many Mainers may stop buying and installing them.

The proposal is expected to be the most controversial of several mercury-related bills to be presented at a public hearing before the Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee starting at 9:30 a.m. today.

If it passes, Maine would be among the first states to create such a manufacturer-financed recycling system for the squiggly lamps. Several other state Legislatures are considering similar proposals.

“Compact fluorescent bulbs are great products,” said Matt Prindiville, a lobbyist for the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the bill’s primary supporter. “They save energy, they save money, they reduce pollution, they reduce global warming (emissions). But, unfortunately, they contain small amounts of mercury and they need to be disposed of properly.”

Last year alone, Mainers used state rebates to buy 1.2 million of the bulbs, he said. “In five years, those 1.2 million bulbs are going to be coming out of people’s light sockets, and unless we get a successful program in place most of them are going to go into the trash.”

Maine has banned a long list of products that contain mercury in an effort to keep the toxin out of landfills and incinerators. Mercury pollution is the reason the state says pregnant women and children should not eat too much locally caught fish. Other bills to be presented today would phase out or ban the sale of mercury-containing button cell batteries, automobile wheel weights and rifle recoil suppressors.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs have been promoted by the state despite the mercury content because of their other environmental benefits. By reducing the need to make so much electricity, they can even reduce mercury pollution overall, especially if they are recycled.

Efficiency Maine, a state program that promotes use of the bulbs, has set up free spent-bulb collection bins at about 200 retail stores statewide. The program costs about $40,000 a year and recycled a total of 4,723 bulbs in 2008, according to the Public Utilities Commission, which operates Efficiency Maine. That effort is financed by electricity ratepayers.

Towns and cities in Maine also collect the bulbs for recycling, although some charge a fee or only accept them at special collection days.

Most of the bulbs, as well as fluorescent tubes that contain even more mercury, are still going into the trash, according to John James, an environmental specialist with the state Department of Environmental Protection. “We’re one of the better states in the nation, but we only account for 5 percent of the lamps” being recycled, he said.

The DEP is supporting the recycling bill, which also would set limits on the amount of mercury in bulbs sold in Maine.

A statewide recycling program that’s convenient, aggressively promoted and supported by manufacturers would likely capture more bulbs, and would shift the cost away from taxpayers and ratepayers back to the manufacturers, according to Prindiville. Manufacturers will pass the cost onto consumers, he said, but the added cost won’t be enough to discourage Mainers from buying the bulbs and saving energy and money over the long term.

The cost of recycling the bulbs under Maine’s program is now about 75 cents per bulb, according to Prindiville. But, he said, an analysis done by officials in the state of Washington found that manufacturers could do it by spreading the cost and adding only 15 cents to the cost of bulbs that typically cost $1.60 to $3.

A group representing light bulb manufacturers, however, said the impact on prices is sure to be much larger, as much as $1 or more per bulb.

Representatives of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association could not be reached Thursday, but the group has outlined its opposition to the proposals in Maine and other states in letters and policy papers posted on its Web site.

The association has been supportive of recycling programs. But last month it dropped out of talks to develop a national solution after leaders of the effort supported Maine-style legislative proposals emerging around the country.

The group says the cost of recycling bulbs is high compared to the amount of mercury that is kept out of the environment. A bulb typically contains 3 to 5 milligrams of mercury, at least 100 times less than old-fashioned mercury thermometer.

And, it says, the recycling cost will be even higher if manufacturers are forced to create a whole new collection and recycling system, rather than relying on existing programs.

“Efforts to adjust retail prices of (compact fluorescent bulbs) to incorporate recycling costs could increase the price of CFLs by 50 percent or more,” according to a recent policy statement posted by the association. “Higher prices could depress sales and hinder efforts to meet state and regional energy conservation goals.”

So How Much Mercury is in Those Compact Fluorescents? February 11, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Definitions about product..
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Don't try this at home kids.

Don't try this at home kids.

Zoomz-n-ZOinks! Its me Dr. Z! The loopy lightbringer of the new millenium. One of the most controversial and misinformed subjects about CFL is that the contain life threatening amounts of mercury that could kill you in all sort of bizzarre ways. Nothing could be further from the truth. The amount of mercury CFL’s contain is very small and is sealed within the glass tubing. It contains most often no more than 5 milligrams, which is equivalent to the tip of a balllpoint pen. Mercury is an essential component to all fluorescents and  is essential to making it a energy efficient light source. There is nothing that can replace mercury that will allow fluorescents to work thought many manufacturers have greatly reduced the amount needed.  Zoinks! Its also good to remember that your everyday household thermometers contains up to 500 milligrams of mercury and many manual thermostats contain up to 3000 milligrams. It gonna take  100 and 600 CFLs to equal those amounts! GadzookZ!

Dr Z

www.zbulbs.com

 

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_mercury

So CFLS are certainly safe to use in your home and no mercury is given off if used properly. No juggling, throwing,eating , or licking! CFLs are made of glass tubing and can break if dropped or roughly handled.  Be careful when removing the lamp from its packaging, installing it, or replacing it. Always screw and unscrew the lamp by its base, and never forcefully twist the CFL into a light socket by its tubes.  Just like when handling an Incandescent bulb or any bulb for that matter! As far as disposal you want to make sure an recycle!

See the EPA’s site on recycling

http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/wastetypes/universal/lamps/index.htm

Zoinks!

Dr.Z

Recycle those Compact Fluorescents! January 30, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in How to about lighting, Uncategorized.
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Zoinks! Its Dr Z, the philospher of fluorescent, the grand poobah of bulb, and seeker of the light of truth…Gaspp*Compact Fluorescents! Did you know they contain mercury? You don’t want just throw these guys in the dumpster when their life has ended. Mercury is a hazardous waste so you want to make sure and recycle them! So what do you do to recycle them? Well, thankfully our heroes at the EPA (the Environmetal Protection Agency) have put up a website detailing where and how you can recycle these little guys! You don’t want throw out the environmental benefit of the bulbs out the window! Check out the link below for more info!

http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/wastetypes/universal/lamps/index.htm

 

Zoinks! Mercury is Hazardous waste! Recycle those CFL's gang!

Zoinks! Mercury is Hazardous waste! Recycle those CFL's gang!

Dr. Z

www.zbulbs.com

The story of the EPA and CFL’s- Does the EPA like the CFL? Maybe we should ask the CIA? January 29, 2009

Posted by Dr. Z Bulbs in Definitions about product..
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The Secret is out! The EPA thinks CFL's are ZBEST!

The Secret is out! The EPA thinks CFL's are ZBEST!

NO! You don’t need to talk to the CIA about CFL’s. But the EPA does know a thing or two about CFL’s (in case you don’t know what a CFL is ..it a Compact Fluorescent Light!)

So what does the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) think of CFL’s? Do they support the use of them? Do they believe we should use them to light our houses, homes, and businesses? Do they like their funny little shape?

The answer is :Yes. If you compare a CFL to a standard incandescent bulb, it offers many benefits. First and for mostit helps save energy and money. A CFL will use 75% less energy than a standard incandescent light bulb, and lasts up to 10 times longer if not more. If you replace a 60 watt incandescent with a 13 watt CFL you can see savings of at least $30 over the life of the bulb. These things pay for themselves! I think even the CIA ,FDA, and NBA could support something like that! The second thing about CFL’s is that they produce 70% less heat which means they can cut energy costs associated with home cooling! So EPA has found a find friend in the CFL..

ZOinks!

Dr Z

www.zbulbs.com

 

 

P.S. Energy star has a zany new energy calculator that you can use to calculate the money you are going to save by switching to a CFL. Check out it out at the linke below!

http://www.energystar.gov/ia/business/bulk_purchasing/bpsavings_calc/CalculatorCFLs.xls