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The Positive Impact Of CFL
Wednesday. 5.21.08 1:36 pm

CFL stands for Compact Flouresant Lighting. I simply call then swirly bulbs. Now the ones I use most often consume 13W of power and are around 900 Lumens. Equivilent to a regular 60W bulb. Saves a huge amount of energy.

Ok so how do they work? Like thier larger brothers they are flueresant lights. They are simply glass tubes. Glass tubes filled with a gas simular to neon. This gas when excited by high voltage becomes conductive and a current starts to flow. As the current flows through the gas it emits ultra violet light. Basically light with a very high frequency beyond our vision. The glass tube is coated with phosphor. Phosphor is the same stuff in a tube type television. Phosphor emits nearly pure white light when excited by ultra violet light.

Okay power is consumed when electrial current flows through somthing. The amount of heat created by a current flow is determined by first of all the power. 1 W can produce 3.4 BTUs per hour. Next the mass and thermal qualities of the conductor. Since the conductor is a gas there is very little mass and the gas has a unigue ability to make light. So in a CFL almost all the power consumed turns into light. Amazing.

So how much oil or natural gas are you saving by using these bulbs? Good question, because I can tell you.

First off Oil

If your power is supplied by a oil power plant then figure this.

1 barrel of crude oil can produce 5,800,000 BTU's.

1 Kilowatt Hour makes 3413 BTU's

Let's say a 60W standard bulb is on 8 hours a day for a year.

Let's figure watt the kwh for the day would be.

60/1000 = .06 KWH x 8 = .48KWH per Day

.48KWH x 365 = 175.2KWH for a year

Now how many btu's of heat where made in that year by that bulb?

175.2KWH x 3413 = 597,957.6 Btu

So how much crude oil that consume in perfect approx.

1 gal of crude contains 138,095 BTU's

597,957.6 BTU's / 138,095 BTU's = 4.33 Gals of Crude.

Pretty neat huh?

Now lets compare a CFL to that.

that all was based on 60W so a equal CFL = 26W

so we can use a persentage.

26/60 = 43.33 %

so we can say 4.33 gals x 43.33% = 1.88 gal.

Bellieve me that worked try it.

Now about mercury emissions and CFLs. Yes CFLs contain some mercury. Mercury is poisonous. It will kill you. So will most of the things under your sink. Gasoline is dangerous like mercury. Drinking it will kill you, inhaling it will make you sick, skin contact is always bad. Now about mercury going into a landfill? Mercury came from the earth duh? So I think because of the energy CFL's save they justify the amount of mercury they contain.

Recommended by 1 Member

The image doesn't work for me.
» Chloefoxx on 2008-05-21 02:05:33

yay, it works now!

I had a dream about those last night, which is really weird.
» Chloefoxx on 2008-05-21 02:58:37

Even better than it sounds:
Mercury itself isn't bad. You could ingest some, and it would pass on through, so to speak. It's the compounds that mercury can form that will kill you. So, depending on if the mercury in the bulbs is pure or not, this counter-point could be completely undermined.
» middaymoon on 2008-05-21 04:16:38

Unicornasaurus has a complete definition of glomp on her latest blog post. Go check it out.
» middaymoon on 2008-05-21 04:17:45

I didn't think you were being harsh, just honest.

» Chloefoxx on 2008-05-22 02:30:21

Then again, making CFLs is very expensive in terms of labor so many light bulb makers have outsourced the light bulb making to overseas, where labor is cheaper and the restrictions on handling mercury aren't as strict. So CFLs also steal jobs from Americans and kill poor people overseas.
hahah. I'm just giving you a hard time.
» Zanzibar on 2008-05-22 08:10:44

Thank goodness we've come so far as a society to create CFLs with a light quality similar to their incandescent counterparts. Though I wanted to switch many of our lightbulbs to fluorescent a long time ago, I couldn't bring myself to do so because those things make everything look cold and sterile. But now that there are ones with warmer tones, I can finally make the switch without making the house look like a morgue.
» ranor on 2008-05-22 08:15:32

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