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Re: [APD] Lighting

Your power company is probably comparing compact
flourescents to incandescent bulbs.

Another one of Edison's get rich quick schemes,
incandescent bulbs shed about 95-97% of their input energy
as heat and the balance as light. That's right, almost
every bit of energy they consume is wasted! They always
could be made cheaply and with Edison's support they caught
on quite well. Tesla and others had more efficient
alternatives, but everyone tended to believe Edison.

With fluorescents, about 65% of their input energy as heat
nd about 35% as light. The seems pretty inefficent until
you compare it to incandescents! With a compact
fluporescent that's all coiled up, that percentage of light
output drops a bit because the bulb blocks some of its own
light. So a fluorescent bulb rated at roughly about 1/4 to
1/5 the wattage (actual consumption) of an incandescent
will give off about the same amount of light. If you don't
turn them on and off often, they will tend to burn (to
work) for much longer than incandescent bulbs too. 

Thus, it's hard *not* to save money switching to cf unless
one pays rediculously high prices for cf bulbs. Drawbacks
are 1) they cost more up front than incadescent bulbs and
2) fluorescents don't have the relative excess of red
wavelength light that incandescents have and will probably
have much more green, so things will look somewhat diff
color under one light rather than the other. The diff can
be striking at first but even in striking cases, the human
perception seems to adapt after a short while. In cany
case, the amount of diff varies from one brand of bulb to
another. The really cheap compcat fluorescents can appear
downright ghastly and make your skin appear downright
ghostly. The better bulbs, don't make things look all that
diff. Note that how things look under incandescent is not
more correct; just diff and what most folks are used to.

Some people claim they can't tolerate being under
flourescent lighting because of the blinking. "Old
fashioned" fluorescent cycled on/off at 120 times per
second with some detectable perectual artifacts. (How,
these folks watch movies or television, I'll never
know.)Anyway, compact fluorescents usually cycle at several
thousand to several tens of thousands time per sec, and
human visual perception simply cannot detect that.

Note that most of your electric bill is probably going
towards any heating or airconditioning devices that use
motors. Or other appliances such as steam irons, toaster,
dishwashers, etc. If you use any of those a lot, changing
bulbs won't make a big dent in your electric bill.

Still incadescents are such awfully inefficent devices,
it's a shame to use them if you don't have to. Although,
they are excellent electric heaters if you can accomodate
their fragility ;-)


--- Lief Brittan Youngs <liefy at yahoo_com> wrote:

> My utility company is raving about compact flourescent
> lighting being the way to save huge costs on electricity
> even though the light bulbs are more expensive. Can
> anyone veryify this?
> Also, I have been told for same amount of light you need
> a lower wattage compact flourescent bulb. If there the
> same savings and added light are the same in aquarium
> lighting? Or are the compact light fixtures and bulbs too
> expensive?

* * * * * * * * * * *
Coming Soon in November, the winners and all the other beautiful entries in the 6th Annual International Aquascaping Contest. Every continent is represented -- except Antarctica. Maybe next year Antarctica, too ;-)

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