MFG 2.0

Full-Size Controversy Over Compact Fluorescents

Philips Lighting exec Brian Dundon recently explained his company's take on the CFL controversy, telling lighting industry news service EdisonReport that a typical Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) has less mercury in it than the mercury used to generate the energy for an equivalent incandescent bulb.

Dundon stated, "One can replace a 100-watt incandescent with a 26-watt CFL. The energy avoided by not having to burn coal to produce those 74 watts saves more mercury than what is in one CFL lamp."

Dundon continued, saying also that the "mercury emitted in coal-fired plants is not recycled (so) there is less total mercury emissions into the environment with CFL."

"But that is only part of the story," he notes. "Carbon dioxide emissions are the other part. Replacing one incndescent with one CFL typically saves 60 to 100 pounds of carbon dioxide over the life of the CFL lamp."

He didn't touch on the disposal of the bulbs (which is yet another part of the story), but did note that incandescent bulbs use 90% of their energy to make heat and only 10% to produce light, rendering it a very inefficient technology.

But hey, just because a technology is inefficient and outdated doesn't mean we won't keep using it -- just look at the internal combustion engine...

Read the entire interview at

For more news like this, visit the IW Making Green section.

TAGS: Innovation
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