Swapping incandescent light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Lights

Home Electrical Engineering Forum General Discussion Swapping incandescent light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Lights

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    [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="177" caption="fluorescent bulbs"]cfl[/caption]

    In the USA, if each house swapped three 60W bulbs for (CFL) also called Compact Fluorescent Lamps  or fluorescent bulbs using one quarter the energy (15W), and they were used six hours per day, the saving of CO2 emission would be equivalent to putting 3,500,000 cars off the road!

    Great !

    But are these energy savings so outstanding ?

    In fact, each household could make exactly the same energy savings by driving their cars 1.2 miles less per day.
    Big deal?

    I planto give you next time some facts about how green are these  fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) …

    Jacques Schonek


    thank you for this interesting approach, i wonder what are the regulations on this subject, do the European States will taxe soon strongly the old technology bulbs in favor of the fluorescent bulbs ; do you think that the market will keep the 2 ? -may be it’s already the case –
    any way, I am waiting for your next post about “how green are they” ; in my case i have some douts and would be interested to stock some old ones for my home …


    The post “How green are CFLs?” is now available on this site.

    Probably, the way to eliminate the incandescent lamps will be through regulations. For example changing the rules so that they will not have the CE marking anymore.


    A federal mandate due to take effect starting in 2012 will begin the slow phase-out of incandescent bulbs. The choices that will remain boil down to three options:

    Spiral CFL’s
    Traditional Round (A-Shaped) CFL’s

    It will probably be years before LED’s reach a price that low enough to make them attractive and because they’re still quite new, there are still some bugs to be worked out. Spiral CFL’s are by far the least expensive option but they pose a serious problem when using clip-on shades that were never designed to fit them. Round CFL’s solve that problem but on average they cost about FOUR TIMES MORE than spiral CFL’s of the same wattage.

    But there is a solution. It’s called the Magic Toob Lampshade Leveler and it’s designed to permanently fix the poor fit problem for about $1 per lampshade. It uses high temperature silicone tubing to cover any bulb clip and allow it to grip any shape of bulb. You can see a demonstration and find out more at http://www.magictoob.com



    The Little Extra Efforts That Give You The Edge . Smallest of small saving on our exhaustible energy resources can bear us great fruits in future.


    But, what about the Harmonics they ( the CFLs) generate? In the process of improving upon the quantity of electricity that we cosume, are we not corrupting the “quality” of electricity?


    An unintended consequence for “going green” is the cost of replacement. We are starting to see municipals changing out incandescent traffic lights to LED based traffic signals. Two problems occur:


    1. The LED lights don’t generate enough heat during the winter, and they are easily covered with snow and ice creating hazardous traffic crossings.

    2. The failure rate of LED based lights due to low level surges is dramatic compared when the traffic system was comprised of incandescent bulbs. 

    The surge problem was addressed by installing surge protectors at each traffic cabinet. 


    I'm pleased that we're going eco-friendly… but there are pro's and con's to the new bulbs and I'm not sure they should be phased out entirely. Banning of light bulb is very controversial to the point that they should have to remodel the Easy baked oven. As this, the last non-specialty lights will be sold by 2014. The Easy Bake Oven has been completely re-designed because of these modifications. The iconic toy will not use an incandescent light bulb, but instead a heating element.

    Here’s a link for you to read: Easy-Bake oven redesigned without light bulbs. Check this out!


    Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and pose a danger to the environment.

    Some may be required to pay for disposal of fluorescent bulbs.

    If the bulb breaks, it contaminates it's surroundings including food. Proper clean up can be expensive.

    LED's use less energy than a Compact Fluorescent for the same light output


    I agree with Hubbs. There are pros and cons to this discussion.


    Fluorescent light bulbs (including compact fluorescents) are more energy-efficient than regular bulbs because of the different method they use to produce light. Regular bulbs (also known as incandescent bulbs) create light by heating a filament inside the bulb; the heat makes the filament white-hot, producing the light that you see. A lot of the energy used to create the heat that lights an incandescent bulb is wasted.


    Wow, great blog. Much obliged.


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