It's probably true if you only look at the cost of the electricity consumed.
Incandescent bulbs work by heating the filament to a high temperature, at
which point it glows very brightly and gives out light. Fluorescent bulbs
work by exciting the atoms of either a gas contained within a tube or the
coating inside it by passing a current through the gas in the tube. When the
atoms are excited they give off light. The current required to excite them
is very much less than that required to produce the same light output from
an incandescent bulb.
However, the cost of the electricity takes no account of the price of the
bulb and how long it will last compared to the other type. I believe
fluorescent bulbs last much longer than incandescent, but cost several times
more. Those who promote fluorescent bulbs reckon they are cheaper overall in
the long run. However, I also understand that the cost of production
(particularly in green terms) and the cost of disposal (also in green terms)
can outweigh this. Politicians and the EU say fluorescent bulbs are better
(without necessarily defining 'better'). This leads me to feel that the
reverse is true.
On Wed, 23 Sep 2009 16:34:30 -0700 (PDT), Frank Parry
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I agree, but to attempt to predict cost savings for 12 years when the price
of bulbs and electricity is likely to change considerably seems to be a bit
optimistic! If prices were going to remain stable it would be possible to
calculate the breakeven point followed by the cost savings.
My advice is to change as many bulbs as possible to fluorescents but to keep
the old incandescents because if you have a power cut with reduced voltage
the fluorescents won't work but the incandescent will, albeit with a reduced
I wonder when they are going to get around to looking at the really high
electricity consuming devices such as the motors in washing machines and
tumble driers, and the heating elements in those appliances and others such
as immersion heaters, ovens, grills and dishwashers. And what about air
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