Re: How green are Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs)?

Home Electrical Engineering Forum General Discussion How green are Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs)? Re: How green are Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs)?


Refering to the question of “Cost of CFL and cost of Incandescent”, let us look at the cost of a Tubular Fluorescent Lamp” (TFL) and compare it with the “Compact Fluorescent Lamp” (CFL). The CFL has about 1/6 of the glass, about 1/12 of the coating material and mercury, (on a broad average across different wattages mix), but still cost about 3 times of the TFL, as the manufacturer is pricing it not on production cost but on opportunity & salability. Even now as the volumes have grown and there should be the pricing based on production cost. Should such a change take place, then the CFL would be only about 35% to 50% more than the cost of the incandescent lamp.

Another issue is about the power factor of CFL. The PCB has components to increase their PF from about 0.45 to about 0.8. If these components are dropped the cost can come down by about 20%. The PF of a set of lamps can be improved by addition of just one large capacity capacitor common for all the lights in a house or office installation at a cost of about 4% of the amount saved in the individual CFl.

Refering to the other comment that some components in CFL’s have caused fire – it is generally noticed that the capacitor in the CFL PCB has blown off mostly. If we go to low PF CFL these capacitors and the attendent problem of blowing will also be avoided.

Larger common capacitors compensating the PF for a set of CFLs not only costs less but they also do not have any problems of bursting or causing fire.