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5826RE: [hreg] CFL lifespan, CFL embodied energy

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  • Robert Johnston
    Mar 12, 2007
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      A couple comments...


      1)       on the “energy embodied” comment, I note that when CFL’s first came out, a lot of them were those quad shaped things that plugged into the ballast, so that you only replaced the bulb part and not the ballast when they burned out.  Those don’t seem to have become very popular with consumers, and I don’t see them in the stores now.  I suspect that is because of varying brands/incompatibilities making it confusing/hassle for consumers, and/or the form factor vs. spiral.  Maybe someone has insight into this.  But I think that if the ballasts were made more robust, and the plug-in design were used, maybe it would address my concerns about premature burnout (if that is the ballast—I don’t even know that, though), and it would also perhaps reduce total “energy embodied”.

      2)       Leaving CFL’s “on” might be a good idea for longevity, but if one needs a bulb in an intermittent use area, then clearly leaving it on 24x7 will negate the energy savings.  If some CFLs are sensitive to on/off switching as you and some others have commented, then we need a way to determine which brands are tolerant of that behavior.




      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of cgalvan21
      Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 3:55 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [hreg] CFL lifespan, CFL embodied energy


      Several of you have stated that power-cycling CFL's shortens their
      life. My experience seems to support a corollary to that theory:
      CFLs that operate 24x7 seem to last a LONG time. Of the two CFL's I
      have operating 24x7, one has logged about 10000 hrs, the other over
      26000! The latter has rarely if ever been power cycled since being

      With regard to taxing incandescents. .. I guess that can be a
      solution, though I think that current marketing efforts are
      succeeding. I see CFLs or other efficient lighting systems installed
      everywhere I look. I would rather see more effort put towards
      recycling the expired lamps.

      On another note, has anyone seen any research done on the energy
      *embodied* in a CFLs vs. incandescent? One always sees quoted the
      fact that these lamps "use 1/4 the energy", "last 10x longer", etc.
      But what about the energy that goes into making the CFL, which is
      much more complex and uses materials that might be more rare than
      those of an incandescent lamp.

      Just my thoughts...


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