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Zero Waste Western Isles

Low Energy Bulbs and Fluorescent Lights

Working to Save Energy

Energy saving bulbs – or Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) to give them their proper title – change electrical energy into light in a different way. Instead of passing current through a filament which then heats up and glows, literally white-hot (hence 'incandescent') the CFL works by sending the flow of electricity through a cloud of gas inside the glass. This makes the gas give out ultra-violet light, which is then turned into visible light when it passes through the special coating on the inside of the bulb – which explains the slight time-lag effect when you switch one on.

The bottom line is, without a filament to heat up, a CFL wastes far less energy as heat – providing the same amount of illumination for around 20 per cent of the electricity used by a conventional bulb.

Living Longer

The other major selling point for energy-saving bulbs, of course, is their lifespan – which is very much longer than conventional equivalents. As a general rule, most varieties of CFLs can be expected to last for between 6,000 – 15,000 hours, compared with only around 1,000 hours for their incandescent counterparts, which is obviously a big difference.

Light Output

One of the big criticisms of energy saving bulbs when they were first invented back in the 1980s was that the quality of light they produced was actually quite unpleasant and many people found that they just couldn’t get used to it. A quarter of a century – and a lot of work by the bulb manufacturers – later and today’s bulbs give out a much more 'normal' light, and in a very short time, very few people are aware of much of a difference.

Please take your old low energy bulbs and fluorescent lights along to the Creed Household Waste Recycling Centre, where they will be stored until there is a sufficient amount of them to be sent to the mainland. 

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