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Green Corner




An A-Z of the environment & issues

by Peter Hatswell



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L is for Low Energy Lighting

Not a controversial subject you would think with claimed power reductions of 80% and at least a six fold increase in service life. Savings on your electricity bill will more than pay the extra cost of the initial purchase but there are some who say that this energy reduction is insignificant when compared to the major energy uses in heating and transport.


Replacing all the incandescent bulbs in your house with Compact Fluorescent Lamps will save about 2% of your total household CO2 emissions which is a daily equivalent of driving a car 1 or 2 miles, making 2 aluminium drink cans or leaving the TV on standby.


There are other concerns about hazardous materials used in the construction of CFL lamps and the quality of the light is different to traditional bulbs. The effect is known as ‘greying’ and to some people can make colours look dusty and food look unappetising.


However, the changeover is relatively simple and every little helps especially if every household, factory and office makes the effort. There are even national plans to outlaw the traditional bulb which, with the recent developments in light emitting diode (LED) lamp technology, could become a reality fairly soon.


Fluorescent tubes and bulbs currently contain mercury so they cannot be disposed of with normal household waste. It is important not to smash the tube, particularly in a confined space, and the best solution is to take them to the tidy tip for expert recycling. New developments may see mercury and other elements replaced with less poisonous materials.



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