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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 6 months ago on a prompting from LoModYJ, we started buying CFLs (compact fluorescent lightbulbs) to use after a bathroom makeover. Impressed with the light to watt ratio, we later replaced the incandescents in the basement fixtures that were pushing the wattage ratings. Higher wattage bulbs would cause all kinds of heat related issues... (and you still couldn't see!), so in came the CFLs! 120w equivalents that only draw 20w, well under the fixtures ratings and the light output was hard to miss... We got used to "ramping" (a bit dimmer at first, but get sbrighter within seconds).

Since then, we've steadily been replacing the incandescents with CFLs. Probably 50% of my guesstimated 75 sockets have been converted. To date, I haven't checked the power bill (wife normally pays that) to see if there has been a decline in the overall usage, but am pretty sure it should be noticeable. Granted, we still have several parasitic draws ("always on" cell chargers, VCRs, TVs, & PCs), but a check should show some decline in power usage based solely on the CFL use.

After reading this article yesterday (http://www.fastcompany.com/subscr/108/open_lightbulbs.html), I figured unless your having issues finding a place to spend money each month, you might benefit from beginning your own household conversion to CFL. Also interesting that WallyWorld is making a push by dropping the prices on CFLs... helps not only your monthly bottom lines, but can't hurt decrease hydrocarbon emissions to make up for all we're spewing from our rigs /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif...
 

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not to mention a decline in CO emissions from your house! Saw that on Discovery channel... or was it Science Channel?
 
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Ditto on the CFL's.......

One additional benifit...especially in summer is that because of the reduced heat, your AC (if you have it) has to work less....

Now, if you have a wife like mine who is an interior designer, then using CFL's can be a battle.....something to do with the 'color' of the light.......
 

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????????

"""""not to mention a decline in CO emissions from your house!"""""

How would replacing incandescent light bulbs reduce Carbon Monoxide emissions from your house?
 

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[ QUOTE ]
????????

"""""not to mention a decline in CO emissions from your house!"""""

How would replacing incandescent light bulbs reduce Carbon Monoxide emissions from your house?

[/ QUOTE ]

I found it interestiong to. I believe it was based on Anything that uses Electricty, and maybe Heat also contribute or create it somehow. I'm no Physicist/chemistis, so I don't know exactly. Just saw it on a Discovery/Science Channel.

EDIT: from that Fark link above:
5. The single greatest source of greenhouse gases in the United States is power plants-half our electricity comes from coal plants. One bulb swapped out: enough electricity saved to turn off two entire power plants-or skip building the next two.

So it's not the bulb, but how it gets it's electricity. now I can sleep tonight. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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When you look at reducing emissions for a product, you have to look at emissions produced by a light bulb's life cycle:
  • Energy for the manufacturing cycle,
  • Engineering
  • Manufacture
  • marketing
  • sales
  • Warehousing
  • transporting from factory to end user
  • disposal.
One would be quite surprised at the resources consumed by manufacture, sales, use and disposal of something as simple as a light bulb.

 

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Been on the "change out" for a while now but hate the 'delay'. I have one incandant in fixtures that require more than one bulb.
Some power companies out here in the west have rebates on purchases of CFL's.

Rockin On
 

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Do these bulbs require a special dimmer? I have them in my house except in the living room because of the dimmer. I suppose I could try it, but was a little afraid to "see what happens"!
 

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"""""not to mention a decline in CO emissions from your house!"""""

So it's not really emissions from the house itself, but the emissions from generating the power and even the production of the bulbs themselves.

I wonder about the bulbs themselves - considering production of the gas inside the bulb (how much electricity and energy does it take to make it - including mining the raw materials,) the phosphor coating inside (where does it come from, is supply sufficient?), and the more glass used (that taks lots of energy to make too,) is it really that much more efficient all told?

Kinda like hydrogen for cars - efficient, but not so efficient to make it.


I tried using a dimmer control on regular flourescents - not much happened till it was turned low, then they flickered.
But then again, that was a cheapie dimmer - a good one may work fine.

----- CAUTION with changing overhead bulbs. Sometimes they can shatter, dropping glass in your eyes. USE SAFETY GOGGLES.
I kinda know a guy that was changing a flourescent bulb, it broke, he lost one eye and 50% of his vision in other. Not fun!

Bulb Grease - available at hardware stores - keeps bulbs from sticking - GOOD STUFF!

Bulb Grease - I won a bet she still talks about - she said there was no such thing. Don't ask, just imagine.
 

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I've replaced my garage lights and outside porch lights with CFL's, originally becausse these lights bulbs never seem to lasst. But wow, Menards had several different light "colors" to choose from. I bought natural blue or something like that. The neighbors have commented on the crisp light and what seems to be brighter bulbs with only 23w. Plan on continuing to switch the rest of the home.

Oh yeah, mine said not to use with a dimmer right on the package.
 

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Combustion power plants produce only trace amounts of CO, but large amounts of CO2.

If our government doesn't mess it up, the production energy and raw material cost of flourescents will be accurately reflected in their price.

Unless waste companies set up a separate charge for disposing of them, or the disposal cost is added to the purchase price, it will not be accurately reflected anywhere. Remember, flourescents use mercury, and shouldn't be put in landfills in large quanities.

I foresee greenies getting their knickers in a twist over the conflict - lower energy useage and CO2 emissions versus mercury in landfills. Their solution will be to add a disposal fee to them and set up a refund program for used ones, like pop containers in New England. Or ban electricity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
[ QUOTE ]
Do these bulbs require a special dimmer? I have them in my house except in the living room because of the dimmer. I suppose I could try it, but was a little afraid to "see what happens"!

[/ QUOTE ]

We were discussing this locally... some said they make a special dimmer and others said they bought CFLs specifically made to work with incandescent dimmers...
 

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[ QUOTE ]
About 6 months ago on a prompting from LoModYJ, we started buying CFLs (compact fluorescent lightbulbs)

[/ QUOTE ]

Wow...I made the national hit list...

Thanks for the props...The Lovely Jeep Wife and I have been using CF's for about 10 years...slowly mixing them into the sockets in our house. Over those 10 years we have seen the quality of the bulb, quality of the balast and the quality of the light generated increase dramaticaly. The orginal bulbs were crap. They took forever to ramp up, gave off a yellow light (just like cheap flourcent tubes) and cost about $5. a piece.

We started with the CF's to cut down on our electricity consumption...It wasn't that long ago (may still be) that we are way out in the country (for NC). And we are at the "end of the line" as far as Duke Energy is concerned...We used to "joke" that if a hurricane hit Florida...we would loose power. And, we would be without power for several days...If an ice storm hit, we usually got our power back 2-3 days after most of Chapel Hill. So we invested in a 55kw gas generator to keep us lighted, heated (LPG heated, electric fan), and just enough to run the well and septic pumps a couple of times a day. We just couldn't run the lights that we needed, and the heat if we had all those 'regular' bulbs. (we have since eliminated most of the need for the generator by installing solar panels, a battery bank and inverters).

There are still a couple of lights in the house that we can't swap over to CF's, the crystal chandeliers in the entry and the dinning with their "candelabra" bulbs would never look right...but everything else is CF.

As for the dimming issue. It takes a special bulb and a special dimmer switch to do it right. Both are expensive still, but remember, I said we were paying $5. for regular CF bulbs 10 years ago...it just takes time and consumer use to bring down the prices...
 

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my opinion...not worth it

remember, it only takes a little mercury to really "f" things up, toxic to just about every creature and hard to get out of groundwater

so if everyone in town is thowing away one or two a year, is that too many in your landfill?

and flourescents dont just shatter, they EXPLODE! really, shrapnel(long glass slivers) everywhere

not that i dont use them, but i dont feel the overall benefit is worth the short term effect on my local environment---my water comes from a well, i prefer no heavy metals added/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

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Yeah, the real question is, How much is too much?

We don't MAKE mercury. It's been part of the environment since the crust cooled and the oceans formed. So what do we really do when we extract mercury from the earth, cycle it through a flourescent tube, and put it back in the earth?

Is the mercury from flourescent tubes in a landfill more concentrated and dangerous than in the ore from which it's extracted? If so, why aren't they mining landfills for mercury?

If there's enough mercury in flourescent tubes to be toxic in a landfill, shouldn't it be cheaper to extract it from used tubes than to dig up tons of ore and refine it?

I don't know the answers, but I sure can make up questions! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

My instinctive feeling is that it's not nearly as dangerous as the hystericals claim. Heck, when I was a kid my brother and I had a little bottle of it. We'd dump it out and roll the beads around on the table, and rub it into silver coins to make them shiny. Didn't kill us or make us retarded. No comments needed from the peanut gallery! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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That brings back memories, My bros and I did the same. The automatic pilots on my Dads boats used several mercury switches each and they were always having to be replaced due to broken wires. We collected it and he always brought home the bad switches for us. Little do people know the old homestead which is about to be turned into a city park is actually a toxic waste dump! Good times!

We not sofa king we todd ed. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
 

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I'll take incandescent over fluorescent, because gives off a warmer light. Fluorescent makes me feel like I'm in a work environment.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Combustion power plants produce only trace amounts of CO, but large amounts of CO2.

[/ QUOTE ]

If the fuel/air mixture on the boiler burner is set up correctly. The percentage of CO to CO2 in the flue gases is one way we measure how efficeint the boilers are operating at the hospital where I work. We now have one very high efficency boiler that reduces NOX in the flue as well, kind of like a EGR system in Jeeps.

[ QUOTE ]
Unless waste companies set up a separate charge for disposing of them, or the disposal cost is added to the purchase price, it will not be accurately reflected anywhere. Remember, flourescents use mercury, and shouldn't be put in landfills in large quanities.

[/ QUOTE ]

We (the hospital) have to separate the old mercury flouro tubes (with the silver ends) from the green ended ones and hire a waste contractor to remove and recycle them.

[ QUOTE ]
I foresee greenies getting their knickers in a twist over the conflict - lower energy useage and CO2 emissions versus mercury in landfills. Their solution will be to add a disposal fee to them and set up a refund program for used ones, like pop containers in New England. Or ban electricity.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yup
 

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Getting further off topic, but I have this from when my father used to repair all sorts of electronics years ago. Came across it in one of his old totes in my mom's basement when I was about 12. I've resisted the urge to mess with it other than to try it in a couple of simple low voltage circuits just for fun. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

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