The CNET Lounge

General discussion

CFL use *more* power than incandescentsb/c start-up surge?..

by shawnlin / March 28, 2008 3:19 AM PDT

CFL use *more* power than incandescents b/c start-up surge?..

I just heard of this recently that because of the start-up surge a CFL only use less energy than equivalent lumen incandescent if the CFL left on for a certain period of time.

What's up with that?! Anyone know of specific numbers on this? I've looked around a little, but I haven't seen some graph, etc. that illustrates this issue.

Best,
Shalin

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: CFL use *more* power than incandescentsb/c start-up surge?..
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: CFL use *more* power than incandescentsb/c start-up surge?..
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
So what?

Start up surge doesn't use enough power over the light being on normally for the surge to make any significance difference to efficiency.... Mythbusters did an episode on this.

Collapse -
aahhhh...okay.
by shawnlin / March 28, 2008 4:03 AM PDT
In reply to: So what?

I wasn't sure if it was really significant or not. thx!

Collapse -
regular flouresent but not CFL

I found a summary of the MB segment:

Based on the amount of energy consumed turning on the bulb, they were able calculated how long the bulb would have to be turned off in order to make it worth the energy savings, i.e. "It's best to turn off the bulb if you are leaving the room for":

Incandescent: 0.36 seconds
CFL: 0.015 seconds
Halogen: .51 seconds
LED: 1.28 seconds
Fluorescent: 23.3 seconds

In other words, its almost always best to turn the bulb off. Even the 23 seconds for the fluorescent lights isn't very long, and the rest of the times are pretty much blinks of an eye.

Collapse -
Trust me...
by Slikkster / March 28, 2008 7:19 AM PDT

I'm 99 percent CFL (save for a ceiling fan that's hardly ever turned on for lights or otherwise) and the energy savings here in NY are tremendous. I used to have these small bulbs that burned in my three hallway fixtures (two 40 watt bulbs per fixture), and replacing them with some CFL's has really made a difference. I'd hasten to say that they paid for themselves the first month, or came close.

Collapse -
Only one (small) catch...
by thriftyT / March 28, 2008 11:37 AM PDT

Yeah, CFL's are pretty much a no-brainer... They're one of the only truly easy and inexpensive step step towards environmental responsibility that everyone can execute.

The energy savings are immense compared to incandescent bulbs.

The only (small) catch is that the bulbs contain mercury vapor which is highly toxic. But this is of minimal concern for three reasons:

- CFLs last a very long time (I still have a few in our apt. from 9(!) years ago).

- As long as they're recycled (e.g. free dropoff/recycling at IKEA), the mercury is recovered and does not contaminate the environment.

- Even if one smashes the bulb after use and releases the mercury into the environment, the bulb conserves so much electricity relative to incandescent bulbs that the reduction in Hg emissions from coal-burning power plants over the CFL's lifetime far surpasses the amount of Hg in the bulb.

Collapse -
People dont know CFLs are recyclable Dropoffs barely exist.
by Papa Chango / March 28, 2008 2:26 PM PDT

>As long as they're recycled (e.g. free dropoff/recycling at IKEA), >the mercury is recovered and does not contaminate the environment.

Im not sure if this falls under wishful thinking or whistling by the graveyard but definitely one of the two.

Lots of plans are good 'in theory'.


CFL's are a stop gap measure, let's hope theyre not around too long.
Once ita figured out how to rent LED lightbulbs that last for decades, CFL's will be gone. (Instead of buying LED bulbs that will be passed on from generation to generation maybe it will be monthly. All-the-lightbulbs-you-want-for-24.95$-a-month... electricity not-included)

Collapse -
your right
by mementh / March 28, 2008 2:49 PM PDT

even if we did not recycle ANY of the CFL bulbs the ammount of mercury released is minor in comparison to the benifit the bulbs had.

Collapse -
re:
by zoredache / March 29, 2008 5:49 PM PDT

}}} Even if one smashes the bulb after use and releases the mercury into the environment, the bulb conserves so much electricity relative to incandescent bulbs that the reduction in Hg emissions from coal-burning power plants over the CFL's lifetime far surpasses the amount of Hg in the bulb.

You know what I always wonder? Why do people freak out so much about adding mercury to the environment? Unless someone has found a way to efficiently manufacturer elements I am pretty sure that disposing of a device with Mercury in it doesn't add anything (at least if you define 'environment' as being our planet). It seems to me that all you have done is moved mercury from on location to another. In fact the same is true for all the heavy elements people freak out about.

Collapse -
its not the moving but the concentrations
by mementh / March 30, 2008 7:05 AM PDT
In reply to: re:

its the concentrations.. a body (Human or animal or plant) can tolerate so much minor toxins during its lifetime, small doses generally have few effects.

the problem is when you have alot of the community putting its waste into one area, that area gets saturated to a point that it can seep into water supplies and do other enviromental harm MUCH quicker then the local enviroment can adapt/cope

so just remember that its better to recycle it and re-use it then to let it go to waste as well.

consider the fact that nearly *ALL* lead acid car batteries are recycled, lead is a major poison to the human system (ask the romans) and we have eliminated it mostly from our paints and other commodities.

Collapse -
Research this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 30, 2008 9:03 AM PDT

Lead output from a few candles and compare that to your CCFL.

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Help 47,885 discussions
icon
Computer Newbies 10,322 discussions
icon
iPhones, iPods, & iPads 3,188 discussions
icon
Security 30,333 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 20,177 discussions
icon
HDTV Picture Setting 1,932 discussions
icon
Phones 15,713 discussions
icon
Windows 7 6,210 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 14,510 discussions

Tech for the holiday

Find recipes for July 4 with these foodie apps

The Fourth of July means fireworks, fun and food. If you're planning on a barbecue this weekend, we've got the apps to help you find holiday-inspired recipes.