Energy-Efficient Lighting Benefits

There are a lot of environmental issues faced by our world today like global warming and the diminishing availability of fossil fuels and other renewable energy resources. These problems can simply be resolved by using energy-efficient light bulbs, such as the CFL (compact fluorescent lights) and LED (light emitting diode) lights, sold in the markets today.

LED is usually much more expensive compared to CFL since it is a product of a more advanced technology and LED bulbs could last for as long as ten to fifteen years. They are brighter than CFLs and don’t heat up, which is a good indication of minimal energy consumption. Likewise, when you use LED bulbs the amount of savings you get from electricity bills doubles than that of the CFL.

The CFL, on the other hand, is the compact version of the standard fluorescent lights. CFLs are cheaper, have soft and warm light that’s perfect for rooms at home, and they fit standard lamp sockets. They are also more energy-efficient and environment-friendly compared to incandescent bulbs.  That is why most people prefer to use them over LED light bulbs. Implementing a wide-scale use of CFL in a country can greatly and effectively reduce chemical wastes and CO2 emissions. Find out what bulb would suit you and your home at 'Shrink that foot print'.
It is going to be a win-win situation if consumers or homeowners will use LED and CFL since they will definitely lower their electricity consumption. These bulbs, at the same time, require less energy so fewer natural resources are spent for energy production and they are more environment-friendly. However, nothing is too
good to be true. Consumers are widely aware of the fact that these energy-efficient lamps can be hazardous. Two of the negative feedbacks about CFLs are the following:

1) They have a great risk of exploding and causing fires.

Experts tell us that any bulb is at risk of exploding because of overheating, faulty wiring, or an existing damage before actual usage. However, a light bulb that is damaged prior to its installation has a greater chance of exploding.

2) They contain considerable amounts of mercury, which is harmful to our health.

CFL bulbs contain an average of 5mg of mercury but this amount is actually smaller than the ones contained in dental fillings, batteries, or a thermometer. It would actually take a hundred shattered CFLs to reach the same amount of mercury level in a thermometer.

With the experts’ explanation on the validity of these arguments against CFLs, it only shows that these claims are exaggerated. We only need to take these precautionary measures in order to enjoy the benefits of using CFLs:  

- Do not install CFLs in bathrooms, bedrooms and other rooms where lights are frequently turned on and off as this will only reduce their life. You can use LED lights for these rooms and use CFLs in the kitchen and living rooms where you usually switch them on and off once in a day.

- CFL bulbs should not be used near ceiling fans as the vibrations could damage them.

- In case a CFL bulb breaks, you should open your windows to allow the air to circulate in and out of your house for around fifteen minutes in order to make sure that harmful vapors will dissipate fast.

- Avoid direct skin contact with the broken pieces of a CFL bulb.

- Bring over broken CFL and LED bulbs to recycling centers near you.

Published on  August 17th, 2013

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