Re: low voltage & bulb species

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Fri Jul 06 2001 - 07:49:31 MDT

"Amara D. Angelica" wrote:
> According to GE, a 15-watt compact fluorescent bulb can replace a 60-watt
> incandescent bulb. That's because more of the energy is converted into light
> instead of heat.

Yes, compact fluorescent is the way to go today, and for the last 8
years. The only time you should be playing with standard fluorescent is
when you are dealing with large amounts of pre-existing large diameter
lamps with magnetic ballasts, or when you need to illuminate large rooms
like conference or classrooms. These 3, 4, 8, and 12 foot fixtures can
be refurbished from the T-12 lamps to smaller diameter T-8 lamps and new
electronic ballasts generally cheaper than replacing the entire fixture
with a new one.

The only real concerns with this process, of course, are with toxic
waste disposal. Some of the oldest magnetic ballasts have PCBs in them,
and the older T-12 lamps have measurable quantities of mercury in them.
These components should be handled with care (rubber gloves) and stored
properly (steel or PVC drum for the ballasts, cardboard boxes for the
lamps) until they can be disposed of. There are companies that will pick
up and recycle/dispose of these materials. The ballasts, for example,
are incinerated to burn off the PCBs into its constituent atoms and
recover the metals of the capacitors and inductors.

If your facility has a full time facilities maintenance dept, they
should handle this, and can contact the local utility for information on
disposal of old components.

Compact fluorescent lamps can be purchased at your local hardware stores
to thread into your incandescent light sockets. I do recommend, however,
that you contact your utility's conservation department first to find
out what sort of rebates you can obtain on the purchase of different
fixtures. Since the utility is interested in long term permanent
reductions in demand, it will focus its money on CF devices that cannot
be retrofitted with incandescent lamps at any time in the future. Using
their rebates, you could obtain new fixtures for the cost of the screw
in lamps retail price, depending on how desperate the utility is to
conserve. Some customers may enjoy a 100% rebate level. The utility
generally does not provide more than a 10-25% rebate on screw in CF
lamps because not only can they be replaced in the future with
incandescent, but you could also take the bulbs with you if you moved
out of the service area of that utility.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:42 MDT