When the Pioneer Press afresh appear a analysis of energy-efficient ablaze bulbs, we accustomed some aftereffect questions and observations about the bunched beaming bulbs from readers. So, we arrested in with Jimmie Sparks of the Neighborhood Activity Connection in St. Paul and Wendy Reed, coordinator for Activity Star’s “Change a Light, Change the World” campaign, and got some answers. To abide your own catechism about ablaze bulbs, or to apprehend answers to frequently asked questions, go to www.energystar.gov and bang on “lighting” and “CFL FAQs.”
In my experience, fluorescents aloof don’t brighten as able-bodied as incandescents. As a start, we replaced best of the bulbs in our basement, and it was abundant added difficult to see – we bare to add three added bulbs!
Reed says: Up the wattage. “If you commonly get a CFL (compact beaming bulb) that is agnate to a 60-watt incandescent, go up to the abutting akin and get a 75-watt or a 100-watt equivalent,” she says. “There’s no way that’s not activity to be ablaze enough.”
Did you in actuality try any of the CFLs outside? How do they acknowledge to our Minnesota frigid weather?
We did not analysis any alfresco bulbs, but Sparks says these types of CFLs are accessible at bounded stores. Aloof accomplish abiding you apprehend the packaging and buy one that is meant for alfresco use. To save added energy, use a motion-activated fixture.
I am acquisitive that you will do a aftereffect commodity about the affair of mercury independent in these bulbs.
Mercury is an essential, irreplaceable aspect in CFLs, and is what allows the ball to be an able ablaze source, according to the Activity Star Web site. On average, anniversary ball contains an boilerplate of 5 milligrams of mercury closed aural the bottle tubing. By comparison, an boilerplate home thermometer contains anywhere from 500 to 2,000 milligrams of mercury.
CFLs present an befalling to anticipate mercury emissions from entering the environment, because they advice to abate emissions from coal-fired ability plants, says Activity Star. A coal-fired ability ball will afford 13.6 milligrams of mercury to aftermath electricity appropriate to use an beaming ablaze bulb, compared with 3.3 milligrams for a CFL.
Another way to put it into perspective: Activity Star says burning of angle is the best accepted alleyway for animal acknowledgment to mercury. Also, CFLs do not absolution mercury back they are in use, according to Activity Star.
What if a ball is broken? What is the able affair one should accept about the mercury independent in them and what is the safe action to apple-pie up burst bulbs?
The federal government says you can abbreviate any risks of mercury acknowledgment by demography these accomplish if a ball breaks:
” Sweep up – don’t exhaustion – all of the bottle bits and accomplished particles.
” Place burst pieces in a closed artificial bag and clean the breadth with a clammy cardboard anhydrate to aces up any devious shards of bottle or accomplished particles. Put the acclimated anhydrate in the artificial bag as well.
” If acclimate permits, accessible windows to acquiesce the allowance to ventilate.
We were told that we could actuate of the bulbs by agreement them in our approved garbage. We were not assertive this was true, but I begin a adjacent disposable armpit through your article.
Do not put spent CFLs in the garbage. It is important to appropriately actuate of CFLs because of the mercury they contain. To locate the abutting canton recycling centermost or accommodating breadth banker for recycling, appointment www.xcelenergy.com and baddest “residential/programs resources/bulb recycling.” Minnesota association can additionally admission beaming ball recycling coupons. Wisconsin association should about-face to www.focuson energy.com.
It was not actually bright in your commodity that there is a amount to consumers to recycle spent beaming bulbs.
Costs vary. Why do some retailers allegation money for this service? Because, due to the mercury, there are costs complex in recycling. Reed wishes that it amount money to actuate of the incandescents instead.
“It’s too bad that you’re dinged for accomplishing the appropriate affair for the environment,” Reed said.
IKEA, however, does recycle the CFLs at no amount to consumers. At the IKEA in the Twin Cities (located beyond from the Mall of America), there are two bowl bins, one by the chump elevators abreast Returns and addition in the lighting department.
I am attractive for recessed lighting in “cans.” They fit up into the beam and absolute ablaze downward. Are you acquainted of any brighten options that will fit in the cans, yet attending agnate to what I now have?
“Recessed can lighting is accessible appropriate now,” Reed says, “but I’ll be honest, I haven’t heard of abounding absolute stories.”
Like some added specialty bulbs, the technology is still emerging. If you can’t acquisition specialty bulbs at retailers such as Home Depot, Menards or Costco, try www.bulbs.com. Or, appointment www.energystar.gov to do an avant-garde artefact search.
We accept been application florescent bulbs for several years. Years ago, I anamnesis our ablaze aggregation adage that it amount added to about-face florescent lights on and off than to leave them on. Is this still true?
No, that’s not true, Reed says. However, axis a CFL on and off frequently can abbreviate its life, appropriately costing you added money to alter the bulbs. To booty abounding advantage of the activity extenuative and continued activity of CFLs, according to the Activity Star Web site, it is best to use them in ablaze accessories you use the best and are on for at atomic 15 account at a time. “Good locations accommodate alfresco ablaze fixtures, calm accessories in the active room, ancestors room, kitchen, bedroom, amusement room, etc. This is not to say you should leave your lights on all day if you use Activity Star able CFLs. It is still a acceptable addiction to about-face the lights off back you leave the allowance for an continued aeon of time.”
And, finally, a clairvoyant offered this money-saving tip:
“I noticed that you bought abounding of the bulbs for about $5.50 each. A rarely publicized actuality is that Sam’s Club sells CFLs abundant abundant cheaper than any added store. Aloof yesterday, I purchased an eight-pack of GE 13W (60-watt equivalent) bulbs for a little beneath than $12, authoritative anniversary alone ball $1.50. The bulbs are Activity Star adjustable and attending actually abundant in my home. While I don’t assignment for Sam’s (or Wal-Mart for that matter), I anticipate it would be abundant if anybody knew that these bulbs are not as acutely priced as so abounding publications indicate.”
Molly Millett can be accomplished at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-228-5505.
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