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Hot, Hot, Hot! Cold Cathode CFLs are both dimmable and flashable

by Chris Weber 8 September, 2010 07:28

Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps (CCFLs) have been around for about five years, but don't get the consideration they often deserve. They have more than double the life of standard Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and are better incandescent bulb replacements for dimming and flashing applications.

A quick technical overview

CCFL and CFL technologies are very similar - they both use integrated ballasts to regulate electrical current into a glass tube to excite mercury and phosphors and make UV light. The biggest differences between the two technologies are the type, temp, and resiliency of the cathodes used at the ends of the glass tubes. Standard CFL cathodes incorporate a thin tungsten wire that gets to 900°F while CCFL cathodes are more like solid metal thimbles that peak around 200°F (a "cold" cathode, relatively speaking.) Because the CCFL cathodes are more durable, they can be hit with more voltage (about 5 X) more often than standard CFLs and that opens up opportunities to use CCFL in applications where CFL products consistently fail. More...

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How to Pick a Compact Fluorescent Bulb

by Mike Connors 3 September, 2010 06:37

If you were disappointed by the performance of CFL bulbs in the last few years, it's time to try again.

Though we call them light bulbs, traditional incandescent bulbs are actually small heaters that give off a little bit of light - something you know if you've ever touched a bulb that's been on for a while. These bulbs were technological wonders when they were patented in 1880, but today they are inefficient dinosaurs. They waste energy and money, and they are responsible for millions of tons of pollution that contribute to global warming.

The next generation of CFL light bulbs

The next generation of Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) now give off higher-quality light while still using a fraction of the electricity as their earlier predecessors. Using CFLs puts less strain on the electric grid and saves you money. CFLs also reduce air pollution and the greenhouse gasses that cause global warming buy using less energy: if every household in the country replaced just three 60-watt incandescent light bulbs with CFLs, we would reduce as much pollution as if we took 3.5 million cars off the roads! More...

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Light Bulb Recycling – It’s a bright idea

by Mike Connors 30 August, 2010 11:08

Most business owners are unaware of new laws that not only mandate energy efficiency products (and regulate the use of mercury in these products), but also their disposal. Hefty fines can be levied for those that don’t comply.

In specific:

  • The EPA and many states have enacted new laws that dictate requirements for the disposal of many types of light bulbs and ballasts. In many areas, fluorescent, metal halide, high-pressure sodium and mercury vapor bulbs can no longer be disposed of in the trash.
  • Business owners who replace their own lighting should consult with their local municipality, utility or use resources such as www.lamprecycle.org to determine if they need to recycle and if so, how and where to do it properly. Of course, even where recycling is not mandated business owners should give consideration to proper disposal. Lamprecycle.org has a cool application on the site to identify the nearest recycling provider to your business. Additionally, you can purchase recycling containers online. These prepaid boxes and pails ensure that your light bulbs are recycled properly. A recycling certificate is also available upon request. More...

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