Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why Should You Switch to Fluorescent Lamps?

Incandescent light bulbs emit light by using electricity to heat up a filament that is encased in a protective glass globe to a very high temperature, causing the filament to glow and produce light. The energy required to produce this light is four times the amount of energy required to produce equivalent light in fluorescent lamps. When the fixtures in an average household are counted and multiplied by the number of households in the country, a true sense of the energy needed to produce the light—that many people take for granted—can be realized.

Fluorescent lamps are made up of a sealed glass tube with a phosphor powder coating along the inside of the glass. Inside the tube is a small amount of mercury as well as an inert gas—such as argon—that is maintained under low pressure. Two electrodes on opposite sides of the tube energize the mercury to produce ultraviolet energy. The phosphor coating on the glass tube then absorbs this energy and releases a photon of visible light.

Like incandescent bulbs, fluorescent lamps don't convert 100 percent of the energy they consume into visible light. However, they are four to six times more efficient than incandescent lamps, which in turn reduces the power demand from local utilities. Since most power stations use coal as a source for electrical generation, they are large emitters of both greenhouse gas and mercury, which is naturally occurring in most coal that is used today. The reduced demand for electricity in turn reduces both greenhouse gas and mercury emissions.

Brad Buscher
Chairman and CEO
VaporLok Products LLC

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