CFLs- for all Ills? (part 2)

We looked at some controversial claims against the CFLs in the first part of this article.
This is part 2 which gives some of which are commonly not known out side geek circles.

1. Another way even modern CFLs can get affected is frequent switching on and off. It takes a while (approximately 15 mts) for a CFL to warm up and come its full potential. Every time you switch on a CFL the mercury inside vaporizes and deposit on the phosphor coating of the glass tube. The more you switch on the process repeats and the tube is blackened in no time shortening the lamp life.

2. Mercury the dreaded heavy metal is a necessary evil in a CFL. The quantity present is quite small but the disposal of the burned out units pose a real problem as it is classified as a hazardous waste. One can bury it in the back yard when it will affect his well being direct. If you get another to dispose it for you it affects your wallet direct. Either way you will be the loser.

3. Here is an issue which more or less does not appear to be your problem. Some of us familiar with the phenomenon called the “power Factor” also know about the real and apparent power. A CFL lamp may appear to consume 14 or 23 watts to produce the luminescence of a comparable 60 and 100watt filament lamp. In reality it so happens that the power consumed is 25 and 35watts respectively. The difference of power is not used up by your lamp but (to put it simply) fed back to the grid as waste energy (meaning you have passed buck back to the system with an “ostrich outlook” on the whole thing. Sure, you have done your part for a greener world!).

Are CFLs bad then?
Certainly not! Don’t get the idea that all these mean CFLs are bad. What it means is that for the lack of a better solution CFLs are the best available. They do save considerable energy no argument about that. A quality lamp will last much longer (approximately 10,000 hours).However the discussed points do have a weight and that is why countries like the USA are offering tens of millions of dollars in awards (eg. L-Prize program of DOE) to come out with cost effective LED based lights and fixtures (which according to some is the future of lighting). Big corporations like Osram, Phillips, Mitsubishi, and several others are in to LEDs in a big way. A life span of over 50,000 hours and up to 90% energy saving cannot be easily ignored.

Beginning of January, then president elect Barack Obama of the USA even before he took office has gone for 4,200 Solid State Lighting (LEDs) Fixtures for a part of the Pentagon as an energy conservation measure.

The righting seems to be on the wall!
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