Saturday, January 06, 2007

10 things I didn't know about Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) until last week

[This special issue of 10 things i didn’t know until last week is a part of a web-wide series of blog posts to encourage everyone in the world to change from the energy-guzzling incandescent bulb to cost and pollution-saving compact fluorescent light-bulbs (CFLs.)]

1. CFLs use only a quarter of power to create light comparable to an equivalent incandescent bulb.
More details

2. CFLs are typically guaranteed to work for 8,000 hours as against the typical incandescent bulb which lasts between 500 and 2000 hours depending on electric voltage and mechanical shock.
More details

3. Early CFLs used magnetic ballast, which used to cause flickering and slow starting. Recent advances in technology now replace the magnetic ballast with electronic ballast, eradicating these problems in current CFLs.
More details

4. CFLs usually do not fail suddenly like incandescent light-bulbs do. Symptoms of impending CFL failure may come months ahead of the moment they actually fail.
More details

5. CFL light output is roughly proportional to phosphor surface area, and high output CFL bulbs are often larger than their incandescent equivalents.
More details

6. The retail price of a CFL includes an amount to pay for recycling, and manufacturers and importers have an obligation to collect and recycle CFL lamps.
More details

7. In September 2006, Wal-Mart started a campaign to endorse CFLs. The store aims to sell one CFL to every one of their 100 million customers within the next year and thus change the energy consumption of the United States.
More details

8. A typical incandescent bulb heats up to the filament to about 2,300 degrees Celsius while CFLs operate at 300 degrees. That’s significant because heat represents wasted energy.
More details

9. Early CFLs cost $25 per bulb and still paid for themselves in electricity savings! Now, they typically cost only 1/10th of that price.
More details

10. In terms of oil not burned, or greenhouse gases not exhausted into the atmosphere, every household in America swapping one 60 watt incandescent bulb with a CFL is equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the roads.
More details

/archive/10 things

[UPDATE: Additional reading, this time about the hazards of CFLs: Low-energy bulb disposal warning.
UPDATE  - May 31, 2009: This Scientific American article (access needs subscription) reports on the usage of mercury in CFLs and the disposal problems it gives rise to.]
misentropy


Sign up to receive The Future of Advertising newsletter in your inbox every Thursday, or view The Future of Advertising archive for past editions.