Friday 5 October 2007

Peak tungsten?

Here's some good news for the environment. General Electric are shutting down production of traditional light bulbs, in favour of low energy light bulbs.

I hope (but somehow doubt) that they're looking after the employees.

In case your in doubt about low energy bulbs, the technology has come a long way in the last few years, and is improving rapidly. So, you can get bulbs with the same light quality as traditional bulbs, they fit a wide range of lamps (including halogen spots), and they can start instantaeously. So, there's no real reason to not use them.

The savings make it a no brainer - a conventional bulb will work for about 1,000 hours (if you work full time, you might work 2,000 hours per year). In that 1,000 hours, a 100w bulb will use 100 units of electricity. That's about £10 worth. An equivalent low energy bulb will last 5,000 hours, and cost from £2 to £10, while using a quarter of the electricity (about £2.50 per thousand hours). So, it will pay for itself in the first 1,000 hours, and by the time you have to replace it, will have saved you about £37 in electricity - that's probably enough to pay for a new light fitting, if you need one.

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