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E-M:/ MORE: Re: compact flourescent lights



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Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>
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On Thu, 21 Oct 2004, Maggie Fields wrote:

> CFLs = Compact Flourescent lights
> They're great energy and money savers
>
> I changed over my bathroom lights, garage lights (leave one regular
> bulb for cold days), hard to reach areas like ceiling lights, and some
> common areas and found my energy bill go down about $10 per month in the
> winter.

You should get rid of all of your incandescent bulbs! See below
for the reason they are so inefficient when compared to CFLs.

You can also use CFLs outdoors if the ballast (the transformer built into
the CFL) is so rated. The specifications will give a minimum start temperature
and some are rated at -10 F. Call the manufacturers if you need more info
on their start temperatures.

You should also look at the Kelvin rating which is the color of the light.
A Kelvin rating of around 3000 is a warm yellow light like an incandescent
bulb and a Kelvin rating of around 5000 is a very white light, similar to
"daylight" rated flourescents. Again, call the manufacturers if you need
more info.

Also, you should buy quality CFLs from well known manufacturers like GE,
etc. who provide a warranty or otherwise, you may get inferior bulbs and
ballasts which do not last as they should.

> Do use CFLs where lights are on for 30 minutes or more.  Other bulbs
> are recommended for:
>   closets if on and off quickly; in vibrating ceiling fans (smooth
> running ones are ok); in enclosed indoor globes (outdoor is OK); or in
> dimmer lights (unless you bought CFLs designed for dimmers).

Regarding: "use CFLs where lights are on for 30 minutes or more".

I don't think it really matters, as they draw so few watts and if it has
a quality ballast, you won't significantly reduce its life by starting it
often.

In reality, the CF bulb will burn out before the ballast does, as the life
of the bulb is around 10,000 hours and the life of the ballast is much
greater than that.

That's why you should buy CFLs which have a replaceable bulb, rather
than the type where you cannot detach the bulb from the ballast when the
bulb burns out, as you end up also discarding a good ballast.

Last, the reason CFLs save you money:

they only waste 10% of the electricity as heat and the other 90% produces
light. Whereas incandescent bulbs waste 90% of the electricity as heat
and the other 10% produces light.

In short:

if we are really serious about saving energy,
incandescent bulbs should be banned!

Lowell Prag

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