Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Use CFLs to Save the Environment and Reduce Your Expense

In general, most homes in developed countries consume 9% of total energy usage for lighting alone. The number is more than this for other parts of the world. Therefore, if you use cost-efficient lights, they can really become an energy saver.

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are made specifically for this purpose. It only consumes around 34% energy of conventional light bulbs. In this case, if you decide to change from incandescent to CFL, you will reduce your electrical consumption by 6%.

CFLs have the same luminescence for less power when compared to conventional light bulbs. It is true that CFLs are more expensive than the incandescent, but they also have longer lifespan. It is estimated that the lifespan is 12 times longer than the incandescent light bulbs. This way, you have saved $30 in electrical costs during the lifespan of the bulbs.

There is an article in the United States stating that if a household changes 30 lighting fixtures and invest $90 in CFLs, they can potentially save $500 to $1500 in five years depending on the areas. This is only a typical house. If we are talking about commercial and office buildings, the savings are much greater. A 75-watt CFL could save $22 every year. If we multiply this number with the number of light bulbs in the building, the saving amount is staggering. You will need to spend an extra $2 for every fixture, but you will recover that amount quickly.

Some manufacturers of CFLs use titanium dioxide coating because it is claimed that titanium dioxide can neutralize bacteria, odors, and molds. Furthermore, some manufacturers also apply a luminous coating to the CFL bulbs to provide extra luminescence after the CFLs are turned off. Therefore, a little light will remain for a short period of time in the case of accidents or power failure. Another good thing about CFLs is that they produce less heat, thus there is less work for air conditioners as well.

Is there any downside to CFLs?

CFLs have different behaviors than the ordinary incandescent bulbs. They take longer to achieve full brightness depending on the temperature. The colder the climate, the longer they need to achieve full brightness. CFLs also give off the brightest light at the beginning of their lifespan. Over time, they begin to dull gradually. A CFL approximately loses 20% of its original brightness at the end of its life.


Saving energy and sustainability are the current trend nowadays. People are buzzing about them. We depend a lot on fossil fuel and it is not renewable. Continuous research is done to come up with new ideas to conserve energy. We can contribute to this effort to save the environment. Changing incandescent light bulbs with CFLs is a simple and good start. It will help the environment and it will reduce our expense as well.

No comments: