May 2012 Website Test-Aankoop, May 24 2012: CFLs (in the lab and in the waste collect centers): not always energy saving or environmentally friendly In the June issue of the periodical “Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats”, 13 double shell compact fluorescent lamps with a brightness between 500 and 700 lumen and with an E-27 fitting were investigated. Some conclusions are:As seen on that news page, it has more information going back in time – as with the EU (Swedish) scandal of unrecycled dumped fluorescent light bulbs end 2011, also covered in a report on the Ceolas.net website. As for LED lighting being so much better, that is not necessarily so: RGB types are effectively combinations of pure red green and blue sources, without the smooth light output spectrum of incandescents. Meanwhile the now popular and generally simpler/cheaper “white LEDs” have additional issues from effectively mimicking the light quality of fluorescents, that is, from bluey (relatively bright) type LED source light hitting phosphorescent wall coating. More on LED issues here. And that is of course without going into the not always warranted “great upfront expense for long term savings”, for many less often used bulbs.• A certain model should, according to the packaging, have a lifetime of 8000 hours (= 8 years). Four of the five test samples were already broken down before they burned 5000 hours. The only still burning lamp reached at that moment only 70% of its brightness. • A sample of another model failed already after burning 1800 hours. ” The samples which reached 5000 hours, had lost at that moment more 35% to even 80% of their brightness. Moreover, this lamp could hardly be switched on and off 5000 times.” This lamp can actually no longer be named a ‘low-energy light bulb’.The Belgian newspaper “De Morgen”, May 25, 2012: “CFLs are not always environmentally friendly” In the June issue of the periodical “Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats”, 13 [double shell] CFLs were investigated. The results are:• No lamp reached half the full intensity of light within 30 seconds. “These teething troubles can no longer be justified “, said spokesman Ivo Mechels. • The lifetime of the lamps does not appear to correspond to the promised lifetime on the packaging. “Six of the thirteen species scored very poorly”, said Mechels. • The collection of broken bulbs is not always as it should. “They usually end up in an ordinary plastic bin. In places lay broken lamps. That mercury is released in this way, is hardly realized.”Another Belgian newspaper “De Standaard”, May 25, 2012, writes: “The CFL is almost dead”” CFLs are less efficient and ecological than their manufacturers try to make you believe. And they seem to have lost faith in them themselves.” Ivo Mechels of Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats: “CFLs are more sparing and last longer than conventional incandescent bulbs. But they still have teething problems that (no longer) should be allowed. This is no new technology anymore, so manufacturers can no longer hide (behind that idea).” According to Stefaan Forment, researcher of the Laboratory of Lighting Technology of Ghent’s Catholic College St Lieven, manufacturers seem to believe much more in LED lamps…
Send Your Light Bulbs To Washington
All light bulbs have usage advantages. People should feel perfectly free to use and enjoy CFLs and LEDs along with incandescents.
But pushing the use of any bulb is wrong: And CFLs are being pushed on consumers, in energy saving campaigns, in CFL replacement programs, and lately also via regulations, as the only practical replacement alternative, which also happens to be more profitable for the light bulb manufacturers.
"Hey, you can still use energy efficient incandescents like Halogens, and LEDs that show such promise!!" Certainly - as said - all light bulbs have their advantages. But that does not make them worthy replacements.
Replacement Halogen and similar incandescents are still different from simple incandescents in light quality and other respects, apart from costing much more for marginal savings, which is why neither consumers or politicians like them much. No "Halogen replacement program" in any American state!
Besides: All known general service incandescents including touted Halogens will progressively be banned on the enacted EISA 45 lumen per W end regulation standard. That's right. The politicians don't tell you that. USA regulations including updates on repeal bills in local states (legislated Texas June 2011)
LEDs meanwhile have still greater differences, cost much more, and have particular development issues around brightness, omnidirectionality, and broad spectrum light quality.
That is why the replacement push is to use CFLs - as also seen in post-ban Europe. Unfortunately, whatever the CFL energy saving advantages, politicians also choose to hide, obfuscate, or ignore the disadvantages relating to this type of lighting.Therefore this blog seeks to highlight some of these issues, with appropriate references. Not least of which is the issue of CFL disposal:
Improper disposal of compact fluorescent light bulbs is dangerous to your family and to the environment. In some states, it is illegal to put these light bulbs in your trash. It's easy to dispose of compact fluorescent light bulbs properly. Just send them to your Senator or Congressman in Washington. Or send them to the EPA.