Task 1: Compare compact fluorescent light bulbs to incandescent light bulbs.
In order to begin our research, we first had to prove that our current light bulbs are not the cheapest and not the most efficient choice to light up our buildings. Otherwise, it would have been useless for us to continue. We began our research using government documents, electronic books, and websites that compare incandescent light bulbs to other types of light bulbs.
Ballast describes incandescent lamps as sealed bulbs which contain a filament and Argon gas. When current passes through the light bulb, the tungsten filament heats up and glows. This light bulb type is known to be cheap, small, and easy and fast to light. The major disadvantages of this type of lamps is that they have a short life and high heat output, which releases to the environment. This leads to having the cooling system work harder to cool the building, which also increases the energy bill.
CFLs work in a similar manner, but they contain a small amount of mercury vapor, which produces invisible ultraviolet (UV) light when excited by electricity. When the invisible UV light hits the coating of the bulb, the phosphor coating transforms the invisible light into light you can see. (U.S. EPA and U.S. DOE) There is no heating up of the filament, so the energy is usually not lost due to heat like when you use an incandescent lamp. The advantages and disadvantages of CFL will be researched in more detail in the next two tasks.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy ENERGY STAR® website provides a table, Table 1, which compares the two types of light bulbs.
What’s the Difference?
Type of Bulb Incandescent Fluorescent
Power Used (Watts) 60 13
... middle of paper ...
... Savings 78%
Total additional purchase price $605
Simple payback period for additional initial cost (years) 0.1
Table 2. Savings Estimate for CFL Bulbs
The next advantage we will discuss is that CFLs have long lifespans. We can see from our first task that one of the main advantages that CFL bulbs have over incandescent light bulbs is that they have 8-20 times longer lifespans than incandescent light bulbs. From Table 2, we can see that by switching to CFLs we will save $3,616 in equipment replacement costs. This cost is a sum of the price of the replacement incandescent light bulbs and the cost of labor to replace it.
The last advantage we will discuss is that CFLs have only a small loss of heat to the surroundings. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, CFLs lose 70 percent less heat than incandescent light bulbs, which leads to a reduction in cooling costs.
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