To replace or not to replace?

Tue, Jun 27, 2017
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs, ENERGY STAR, Eco Bulbs
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There has been some talk about weather or not it really is a good idea to replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) because of the mercury content in CFLs.

First lets talk about the wonders of CFLs.  They give off little heat, unlike incandescent bulbs that give off 90 percent of their energy in heat; they may cost more money upfront, but because of their longevity they should end up saving you $30 or more over it's lifetime; and lastly they contain a very little amount of mercury, and even still they result in less mercury emissions than incandescents.  Reason being is that for the average incandescent light bulb to run there inevitably will be a coal-fired plant that will emit around 13.6 mg of mercury, unlike a CFL which only takes around 3.4 mg to power.  If you add the 3.4 mg's to the 5 mg's of mercury that the average CFL contains, you are still far below the 13.6 mg emitted by the incandescent.  Of course, you do have to dispose of your CFL in a proper place, which might take a little time on your part, but you can call your municipal waste company to find out local options, or if you live near an IKEA you can take it there to dispose.
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Another option to consider is LED lights, or light-emitting diode lights.  These lights are completely mercury free and last up to 50 times longer than your old incandescent bulbs, and  it doesn't get any sweeter then that!  These new lights are becoming more and more popular and you can easily find them at stores like Home Depot and Wal-mart, and you can even find LED Christmas lights (which use about 90 percent less energy than incandescents) and LED reading lamps.  So, to answer the question, YES, replace those bulbs, it is much better for the environment and will save you money in the long run! Check out the Energy Star website page on CFL's at www.energystar.gov/cfls, which gives you all the information you might need on disposal of broken CFL's, as well as statistics, energy savings calculators and the best places to purchase your new bulbs!
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