Flourecent globes vs incandescent

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Flourecent globes vs incandescent

Postby Johnny » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:54 pm

Hi Guys

I was wondering if flourescent globes are really that much better then incandescent for the environment and for saving electricity. This site says that they "fluorescent globes use about 80% less energy than incandescent globes".

Are they really that good and what about the mercury in them? Can they be dangerous for your health?
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Re: Flourecent globes vs incandescent

Postby Tracker » Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:30 pm

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The only observations that I could make would be as follows...
Firstly - there is no choice as it's LAW, that we do change to energy efficient light sources.
Secondly - Flouro's and Compacts draw dramatically less power than incandescents.
Last - Your environmental concerns are partially valid, but there is a facility that is already re-processing Flouro's in Sydney (I think), so I would think that it would be in a position to also include CF's...

BUT - the first problem is collecting them, so perhaps there needs to be a process whereby CF's etc. can be returned to a collection point just like they are doing with old mobile phones.
I would be fairly confident (read hopeful) that someone will start the process one day.

CF are naturally different to mobile-phones, in that they are very fragile, so their collection does pose a danger for those involved in the process.
Perhaps we will need the equivalent of a "Sharps" bin for CF's.
ie. something that can sit out front of the supermarket and be collected as-is when full and returned for processing.
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Re: Flourecent globes vs incandescent

Postby danielb » Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:46 pm

I was in the US last year and Home Depot (their equivalent of Bunnings) had bins to drop off old compact fluorescent globes so they could be recycled with the mercury 'safely' disposed of.

My local sustainability group also accepts them, and sends them off for recycling, but asks for a $2 donation to cover their costs (not sure if it's just postage, or if they have to pay to have recycled as well).

So there are safe ways to recycle them, it's just a matter of ensuring that is done.
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Re: Flourecent globes vs incandescent

Postby Tracker » Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:28 pm

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danielb wrote:My local sustainability group also accepts them, and sends them off for recycling, but asks for a $2 donation to cover their costs


Admirable intentions, but I don't think that I would like to pay another $2 to do the right thing...

This is where Local Councils and State Governments need to get involved.

It only takes the likes of Bunnings and Mitre 10, Woolies and Coles, Trade-Link, Lawrence and Hansen etc. to provide the drop-off's and then for an instrumentality to do the pickup etc. OR subsidise the pickup and the whole thing would work fine.. OR the full recycle container is returned via the reverse supply line to the Importer..

Why don't we have leadership from our Governments? Perhaps the issue is too complex for them to consider !
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Re: Flourecent globes vs incandescent

Postby munter » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:50 am

There are, as usual, other factors that should be considered before condeming CFLs.

http://www.itwire.com/science-news/ener ... er?start=1

I don't know what the mercury emissions from Australia's coal fired plants are like but they could be similar to the power plants referenced within this study.
http://renovations08.blogspot.com/ - my energy efficiency blog
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Re: Flourecent globes vs incandescent

Postby antoni » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:03 pm

They dont last to long 6 to 12 months , and if in a group and one stops working, remove it, as it still users power. takes too long to come up to full light level.
One day I will do a test on the power (watts ) they use. working and ones that stop.??
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Re: Flourecent globes vs incandescent

Postby danielb » Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:35 pm

So many people seem to have problems with longevity of them, but I have never replaced any in my house. Most were installed 4 years ago when I moved in, with a couple replaced only after the incandescent's blew. I've had them in other houses as well, and never replaced them, but lived there for shorter times.

My parents have 6 in their family room (3 switches), and mum replaces about 2 or 3 a year. They also have a lamp in that room that is left on overnight, and the first compact fluorescent in that (back in the early 90's when they came on sale for $20 each) lasted about 6 years, and the life spans have progressively declined since, although still last 3 years or so.

I'm not sure why the lifespan varies, we both buy avoid the cheapest brands, I probably turn my lights on and off more than my parents, although overall mine are probably on for less time.


So far as the donation for recycling goes, it hasn't proved very popular. You'd think being members of a sustainability group that people would be keen to help but maybe it's the $2 or maybe the lack of awareness that people don't. Considering you can buy a globe for $2, it is a bit steep for recycling.

I'd like to see accessible drop off bins, like at supermarkets so they are correctly recycled. If there is a significant cost, this could be recouped by a levy on the globes in the first place, so recycling at the other end was free.
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Re: Flourecent globes vs incandescent

Postby antoni » Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:40 pm

Hi as for recyeling gos they can not get broken , then you will have the gas and dust to deal with ...
not good....
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Re: Flourecent globes vs incandescent

Postby zzsstt » Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:07 pm

CFL's have a power factor of about 50% (I read this, struggled to believe it so I measured it myself, and YES ITS TRUE), so whilst the domestic user is billed at the watt rating of the CFL, the network has to supply the real VA demand. You may be saving money, but the coal is still being burnt!
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Re: Flourecent globes vs incandescent

Postby Benny » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:10 pm

Yes zzsstt - SOME CFL's do have a low PF and so account should be made of the extra line losses in their power rating, BUT if you read the specs carefully you can buy CFL's with >0.9 PF. The ECObulbs I bought are 0.93 - see here ...http://www.ecobulb.com/nz/Technical.htm (Sorry if this forum doesn't like such links but its useful info' and I'm not connected with them at all).
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