Most people want to make a difference – you can start today by replacing the five lights you use most with ENERGY STAR-qualified CFLs. You will save money and be doing your part to reduce emissions that contribute to global warming.
Calculate your savings by switching to compact fluorescent lights.
ENERGY STAR qualified Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs):
- Use at least 2/3 less energy than standard bulbs and last at least six times longer
- On average, can save you $25 in energy costs per bulb
- Are convenient for hard-to-reach and high-use areas, as they don’t need to be replaced as often
- Are available in different sizes and shapes, including mini-spiral, spiral and A-line, which fit in almost any fixture – table and floor lamps, ceiling mounted fixtures, sconces, porch lights, etc.
- Generate 70 percent less heat than standard lighting, which can reduce energy costs associated with cooling
- Provide the same amount of light (lumens) as standard incandescent bulbs, but have lower wattage ratings
- Can each prevent more than 500 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions
- Are backed by a minimum two-year warranty
Proper Care & Disposal:
SCI REMC currently recycles CFLs at three participating area libraries: Morgan County Library (Main Branch), Monroe County Public Library (Ellettsville), and the Brown County Public Library, as well as the REMC office at 300 Morton Ave., Martinsville. If your CFL breaks, please be careful: CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury. If broken, carefully sweep up the pieces and wipe the area with a wet rag. Place the pieces and the rag in a plastic bag and seal it. CFLs in sealed bags can be disposed of with regular household trash, but it is better to save the spent CFLs for community household hazardous waste collection and recycling. Contact your waste removal company for more information.
How CFLS work:
CFLs are made of two components: a gas-filled tube—the “swirly” part—and an electronic ballast—the plastic base. Light gets produced when mercury molecules, contained in argon or neon gas in the bulb, are excited by an electric current. These molecules then react with a phosphor coating on the inside of the tube, which creates light. With a white coating, you get white light; with a red coating, red light, etc.
Incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, produce light by running a current through a tightly coiled metal filament, typically tungsten. Atoms in the filament produce light when heated to around 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, about 90 percent of the power consumed by a typical incandescent light bulb is emitted as heat, as anyone who has changed a hot bulb knows well. CFLs, in comparison, produce 75 percent less heat.
Did you know? The watt measurement on a light bulb does not indicate brightness, only how much electricity it will use. Compare “lumens” when deciding which low-watt CFL bulb to use.