Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Are CFL's Green?

Since we have so much stuff to cover I wanted to start with the basics for those of you that don't know anything about being green. Later on we will get into the really juicy and more controversial areas of whats green. This past weekend I went to BBQ at friends house and I noticed that my friend had changed out most of his old incandescent lights and put in CFL's (compact florescent lights). So I complemented him on making the switch in front of everyone. After I said that his wife said yes but they were NOT going to buy anymore because there other friend had told that they were bad for the environment because they contained Mercury. The Green Gnomes head almost exploded! Yes CFL's do contain a TRACE amount of Mercury, but when disposed of properly all the Mercury is recycled. And even if all the CFL's made in the world were not disposed properly the benefits of using them far out way the negatives. CFL's are a great start but are not the answer to our lighting needs in the world. LED(Light Emitting Diodes) and natural lighting will be all that we need in our homes in future. Here's the FACTS Standard Incandescents versus CFL's versus LED's:

Standard incandescent bulb turns about 5-10% of its consumed energy into light, the rest goes out as heat. This makes it harder to cool your home in the summer consuming even more energy. A standard bulb last about 1000 to 2500 hours depending on the make.

CFL's are 75% more efficient than standard incandescent bulb's and produce about 70% heat than standard bulbs. This saves you on cooling your home in the summer. Most CFL's will last you about 10,000 hours. And CFL's do contain a trace amount of Mercury so they need to be disposed of properly.
They do cost about 2x as much as standard bulbs. BUT DO THE MATH!

LED's consume 80-90% less energy than standard bulbs and produce even less heat than CFL's. This will save even more money on your cooling cost. LED's can last up to 50,000 hours! LED's have NO Mercury in them! LED's can be expensive about 5-7 times more than standard bulbs. AGAIN DO THE MATH! You might never need to buy a light for your home again! Maybe that's why there is not a big push to sell LED's buy the light manufactures. THINK ABOUT IT!

One last note you should have no need to ever turn on a light during the day! Open the blinds on your dungeon or install solar lighting your house. We will talk about extreme green solutions for the home in later post.


1 comment:

  1. So what CFLs are more expensive. I can't believe people can still tolerate the dull incandescent light.


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