Linked by weildish on Wed 4th Feb 2009 04:54 UTC
In the News Yes, actually. The old-school, inefficient, heat-generating incandescent bulbs are all but history, CFL (compact florescent) bulbs taking the pedestal what with how relatively inexpensive and efficient they are when it comes to both electricity consumption and overhead cost. However, even these may have a short-lived supremacy as British scientists developed a new way of "growing" the material needed for LEDs on silicon instead of sapphire wafers, which was the original and somewhat expensive way of doing it. Because of this, household-grade lights of LED nature can be produced for under $5.00 and last up to sixty years. LEDs are three times more efficient than CFLs, last substantially longer, and contain no mercury, so they're even more environmentally friendly. These wonder-bulbs are supposed to be available to consumers within two years. It is estimated that if these new bulbs were to be installed in every home and office, it would cut electricity used on lighting by 75%. I'll take twenty of those, please.
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RE: CFL's a crock
by Machster on Wed 4th Feb 2009 18:22 UTC in reply to "CFL's a crock"
Machster
Member since:
2007-05-15

You seem to be misinformed about CFL's, TechGeek.

"There's a lot of misleading information out there," said Joel Hogue, president of Elemental Services and Consulting, an Ohio-based company specializing in the cleanup of sites contaminated with mercury. "But when people learn the facts, the level of hysteria dies down."

Like with many other household products, Hogue said, the use of CFLs requires some commonsense precautions. But if a bulb breaks, his company's clean-up services are not required.

"There's an extremely small amount of mercury in those bulbs," Hogue said. "It's a very minimal risk" and can easily be cleaned up at home.

One CFL contains a hundred times less mercury than is found in a single dental amalgam filling or old-style glass thermometer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A compact fluorescent bulb can produce the same amount of light for less than quarter of the energy and last eight to ten times as long. A switch to CFLs would save an average household about 50 U.S. dollars a year in electricity bills, according to government estimates.
(Source: National Geographic)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: CFL's a crock
by TechGeek on Wed 4th Feb 2009 20:52 in reply to "RE: CFL's a crock"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

The back of the CFL packaging says that the bulb must be recycled through a recycling center that can deal with mercury. IE, a hazardous waste center. It says right on the box you can't just throw it away.

As for the amount of mercury, how much mercury is safe if you have children in the house? Also, your quote says that a clean up crew doesn't have to be called. Great. So what does Jane the housewife do when bulbs break? She wipes it up and probably throws it away. How much mercury is released into the environment? Any is a bad thing.

As for life span, I have no direct knowledge of them. But there are light bulbs which have been running constantly since 1901.

Now lets talk about costs. CFL's cost about 4 times as much as regular bulbs. Assume regular bulbs which are rated 2-3 yrs in life span only last 2. Assume that the CFL lasts 8 yrs. The cost of the actual bulbs equals out in the long run. So it comes down to electricity basically.

The CFLs have to be shipped all the way from China. Factor that into the amount of energy not saved by using them. Plus, what if you live in one of the many areas where hydro electric is used to generate power. With CFLs you are wasting fuel on getting them here to save electricity that was produced cleanly in the first place.

While I won't argue that CFL's don't save electricity, which is a good goal, combined with the environmental concerns, I don't think they are as eco friendly as they are being promoted to be.

Reply Parent Score: 1