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View Diary: Turn OFF Your Stupid Lights! (308 comments)

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  •  One problem (5+ / 0-)

    for those of us taught this discipline, is that it undercuts the celebrated efficiency of CFLs.  Most of the energy used by a florescent goes to the ballast, the mechanism that gets it started.  Once it's going, it's very efficient.  But if you turn it on and off several times an hour, chance are that you aren't going to save much energy at all.

    •  Which is why I use LED's in the Bathrooms (1+ / 0-)
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      We really need an education about which kind of bulb is suitable for which application. When you go to the hardware store and see that a bulb is maybe 10 times the price yopu paid a couple of years ago, you ask yourself where is the benefit.

      Also, has anyone else noticed that compact florescent prices have increased since incandescents were banned. Certainly happened in Europe

    •  This isn't the case with CFLs (2+ / 0-)
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      BYw, JayDean
      Turns out, however, that power surge is so brief that its energy draw doesn't amount to much: the equivalent of a few seconds or so of normal operation, according to U.S. Department of Energy estimates. In other words, from a strict energy-conservation standpoint, it's almost always beneficial to shut off fluorescents when leaving the room—the start-up energy is offset by the power saved in even the briefest outages.

      A simple rule of thumb that balances both concerns is to shut off fluorescents if you’re planning to leave a room for more than five minutes, according to Francis Rubinstein, a staff scientist in the Building Technologies Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Mary Beth Gotti, manager of the GE Lighting & Electrical Institute in Cleveland, agrees. For all practical purposes, "it almost always makes sense to turn the lights off," Gotti says. "From an environmental standpoint, the best way to save energy is to turn off the things that you're not using."

      Rubinstein notes that, even for fluorescents, the cost of electricity over a bulb's lifetime far outpaces the cost of the bulb itself. "Even if you switch on and off a fluorescent light frequently," he says, "the slight reduction in lamp life is a small effect relative to the energy savings you accomplish by being a good citizen." Gotti adds that the reduction in lamp life from frequent on-and-off switching can often be counterbalanced by the extension of "calendar life"—the actual passage of time between lightbulb replacements—that results from using the bulb for fewer hours.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 05:02:40 PM PST

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