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Old 27 September 2007, 10:50   #11
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Low energy bulbs are pretty cheap now and they do last longer but the light just isn't the same - there is a lot of UV in it which can't do our eyes much good.

Thes best energy saving bulbs I have ever used are the 2d bulbs which look a bit like a kettle element. They last so much longer than the normal energy saving bulbs. Typically about 10 years in normal domestic use!!!

Totally agree about electric cars. Batteries are still crap and the losses of energy during transmission mean that you are much better off with a modern efficient engine. The Toyota Pious for example does the equiv of about 40mpg - my old Rover diesel does 48mpg!!!
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Old 27 September 2007, 14:21   #12
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If you're talking about Compact Flourescent bulbs, there's still the issue of how to dispose of them: They contain small (really small) amounts of mercury, which (here, at least) is banned from being dumped in landfills.

So, all the knowledgable energy consumption folks are pushing to use CF bulbs, with no thought as to where they're going to dispose of them later (they last longer than normal bulbs, but will still eventually die.)

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Old 27 September 2007, 14:32   #13
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Did you know that the UK Gov. provides these CF bulbs to ALL old age pensioners free of charge. No wonder the country is going broke.
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Old 27 September 2007, 14:53   #14
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Yes and then the old dears huddle around their electric fires because the central heating doesn't get hot enough!!!
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Old 27 September 2007, 15:04   #15
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My boiler engineer told me that modern boilers are very efficient in converting gas to heat but they have serious reliability issues that more than outway the cost savings of buying new.
Too right - we put one in 9 years ago when we refurbished the house and it's crap. We haven't trusted it for some time, but terminall failure now (at least £300+ worth), so might as well get a new one. A cast-iron core boiler can last for 25 years plus. Scrap boiler anyone? Nice bit of ali in there somewhere!

Do you know a reliable gas installer locally Nick?

Oh, and we're all doomed anyway. How can they talk about carbon footprints when so much rainforest is being destroyed every day? And is the carbon exchange business the next big thing? Looks like a big scam to me. As Garfie's tagline says, beware of smoke and mirrors!
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Old 27 September 2007, 17:26   #16
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Fluorescent lights save power compared to an old fashioned bulb once they are up and running. But starting them is very power intensive. That bit isn't mentioned on the green sights.
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Are you sure about that?

My meter doesn't spin dramatically around when I switch on a Flu tube.
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Old 27 September 2007, 18:19   #17
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Fluorescent lights save power compared to an old fashioned bulb once they are up and running. But starting them is very power intensive. That bit isn't mentioned on the green sights.
Thatís a bit of a myth. The start up power used is equivalent to running a incandescent bulb for several milliseconds.

Energy use during manufacture is higher, but I would suspect over the lifetime of the bulb, especially in high use scenarios, it becomes fairly significant.

With regards to the mercury - apart from the problems of breaking in the home, relative overall levels of mercury emitted into the environment are lower with energy saving bulbs, assuming a coal power station. Levels will be relatively higher when powered by gas/nuclear/wind power sources. Recycling can reduce levels further, but then your back into using more power. Big circular situation really.

IMHO unless we move away from burning fossil fuels none of these little changes will make much difference. Bring on fusion power stations.
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Old 27 September 2007, 19:09   #18
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it is a bit of a myth about the tubes needing more energy BUT a lot depends on temp. My workshop is freezing - energy saving bulbs take for ever to get up to full brightness and draw a fair old current when doing so - in a nice warm room it's a different story.
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Old 28 September 2007, 02:11   #19
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LED lights are the way to go. Its the future, I know Ive seen em
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