Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL), also known as a compact fluorescent light bulb or energy saving light bulb, is a type of fluorescent lamp. They are basically fluorescent tube lights wound or bent to look like a filament bulb, as they were planned so as to replace the bulb. Hence they can fit in the existing light fixtures formerly used for incandescents.
Because of all these advantages, CFLs are presently the favourite of environmentalists and governments. Fidel Castro, in 2005 was the first to ban the use of incandescent bulbs in favour of CFLs to reduce Cuba’s enormous fuel import bill. Britain and Australia already have legislation aimed at phasing out incandescents in favour of CFLs. The US and EU are likely to follow soon. In India, CFLs are being encouraged but the significantly higher cost means that the incandescent bulbs cannot be banned yet.
Considering these disadvantages, and the complexity in construction of a CFL there has been some debate about how correct the decision of some governments has been to ban incandescents and replace them with CFLs.
Since we are talking about Green Buildings, let us compare the CFL and the Incandescent bulb, in energy terms- the amount of energy consumed by them. Researchers at the Technical University in Denmark calculated that:
1.7kWh is needed to produce a 13W CFL and !.7kWh to dispose one. The 13 W CFL will consume 85.8kWh over its rated lifetime of 6000 hours. Hence the total lifetime energy input of the CFL is 1.7+1.7+85.8= 89.2kWh
By contrast, it takes only 0.29kWh to manufacture a 60W Incandescent bulb , and the cost of disposal is nil since it contains no hazardous material. The equivalent lifetime and equivalent light output would require 36 Incandescent bulbs, each burning its full lifetime of 1000 hours. This works out to a total consumption of 36lampsx60Wx1000hrs = 2160kWh! Hence the total lifetime energy input of the incandescent bulb is 36×0.29+2160= 2170.44kWh
I hope there is no more doubt in your mind about the amount of energy that can be saved by using CFLs. It is the future for a greener world.
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