Everyone knows common 60-watt incandescent bulbs are inefficient. In an
effort to find something better, the Department of Energy is funding the $1
million "L-PRIZE." It is hoped this incentive will spur innovation and
thereby cut our energy demands.
This is not a joke.
If there were only some way of copying the contents of one sheet of paper
onto many, more could learn about this forward-thinking proposal.
The only downsize is that since we heat our home electrically, also
virtually pollution free since most of the electricity used is
produced by hydro power, the 'inefficient' bulbs also help to heat the
Switch off the lights and the electric heaters cut in!
The inefficient bulbs are also cheap; about 25 cents each and require
less pollution to manufacture. They are also unlike CFLs and the
somewhat efficient fluorescent tubes not classified as 'Hazardous
No kidding; our local garbage/trash collector is not supposed to take
CFLs or fluorescent tubes, because they contain minute amounts of
mercury and also electronic components which may contain other
materials! Of course the dud CFLs (and they do fail) are hidden in
peoples garbage! And the collector can't check each bag.
Problem also is that when a CFL does fail no one is going to drive
five to ten miles (using expensive gas) to deposit at a hazardous
waste recycling site, even if one exists or is open at a convenient
One place where CFLs do not make sense is in this part of the world
where every month of the year requires some home heating.
For example: It was not cold last night, about 40+ degrees (End of may
at Latitude roughly 50 degrees North, with little wind) Also home
heating had been off during the day which had been about 55-60 degrees
F. The house was warm enough with two inefficient lamp bulbs, waste
heat from TV set and two computers running The fridge occasionally
cutting in etc. Probably a total of some 800 watts?
Around 2.00 AM it did get a little chillier but being then in bed no
house heat was needed and noticed that this morning did not need to
turn on any heat except bathroom. But that is adequately heated by six
40 watt incandescent bulbs when on.
None of those six have needed replacement since, one, early last year.
They do seem to last a long time even in a humid bathroom.
The one place CFLs do make sense is outside at night when they are on
for long uninterrupted periods and any heat they might make is lost to
outside. Am noticing an increasing use of CFLs in outside lights here.
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