Essay about compairing bulbs

Submitted By DonaldWalker
Words: 1029
Pages: 5

comparing todays choice of light bulbs by: Donald walker Most people in America has had a light bulb burn out on them. However with the changes in today’s technology there are many types of bulbs to choose from. Most of us would go to the local home supply store and grab a box of cheap bulbs and call it a day. Is that the best choice though? Let’s take a look at the world of incandescent, CFL (compact fluorescent), and LED (light emitting diode) light bulbs, which is the best choice for your wallet and home. We will talk about the energy efficiency, cost, both to manufacture and to purchase, light output, and life expectancy of the bulbs. Incandescent bulbs have been the common bulb for over a 100 years now. They are of simple design, a filament in a vacuum bulb, power flows through and heats the filament and produces light. Incandescent bulbs require no external regulating equipment, have a very low manufacturing cost, and work well on either alternating current or direct current. They are also compatible with control devices such as dimmers, timers, and photo sensors, and can be used both indoors and outdoors. As a result, the incandescent lamp is widely used both in household and commercial lighting, for portable lighting such as table lamps, car headlamps, and flashlights, and for decorative and advertising lighting. They are made in an extremely wide range of sizes, wattages, and voltages. Manufacture of these bulb is relatively cheap; therefore the end cost to the consumer is low cost. With low cost to purchase these bulbs; comes a price reflection on your utility bill. Look at it this way, one sixty watt light bulb draws $300 of electricity per year. The average three bedroom home usually have at least eight light fixtures with one or up to six sockets to screw light bulbs in. so in theory if the minimum light fixture count in the average home were to be used, approximately $2500 annually for just lighting in your home. This shows the inefficiency of these bulbs, as the light they give off is wasted as heat. Incandescent also have a short life span, usually about 1000 hours depending on use. To help combat the costs of utility bills, companies that manufacture bulbs, introduced CFL bulbs to the market. Although compact fluorescent lamps are considered to be a fairly recent technology, this bulb type was actually over 100 years in the making. Circline and U-bent bulbs were both created to reduce the overall length of fluorescent bulbs and were precursors to the CFL as it is known today.

The modern CFL was invented by Edward Hammer, an engineer at General Electric, but was not produced at the time due to high production costs. In 1980, Philips became the first manufacturer to mass-produce a compact fluorescent bulb with a screw-in base. Over the last 30 years, the technology has continued to improve. Today’s CFL is smaller, produces more light per watt, warms up more quickly, has better light quality, and is much cheaper than those in years past. Compact fluorescent lamps are continuously being improved and are ideal replacements in an ever-increasing number of applications, both commercial and residential. In particular, screw-in CFLs are ideal replacements due to the ease of upgrading. One can simply remove the old lamp and screw in the CFL. Plug-in CFLs require both a specific socket and a ballast, and therefore are more difficult to retrofit. The lifespan of a CFL is 8000 hours, far more than the incandescent, and it draws only $75 annually; much cheaper than the incandescent. The downfall to CFL is it contains toxic mercury, and therefore is hard to find a recycling facility that handles this type of waste. In the past few years we have seen more LED bulbs come on the market. LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are solid light bulbs which are extremely energy-efficient. When first developed, LEDs were limited to single-bulb use in applications such as instrument panels, electronics, pen lights and, more