Friday, May 2, 2008

Compact Fluorescent Light Replacements for Public Housing

Approximately 19,000 incandescent light bulbs are being replaced with complex fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs in the 343 public housing complexes in the city. The New York Public Housing Authority currently spends about $7.4 million a year for electricity at Castle Hill Houses and Queensbridge South and North complexes. It is projected that the CFLs will reduce electricity costa by 17%. (Daily News, 4/29/08)


SANKOFA said...

That sounds great!, but what is going to happen when the bulbs burn out, they can not go in the common trash because they contain Mercury which is Toxic, so the must be treated as hazardous waste and must be brought to Hazard Waste Centers for disposal.
They are so bad, that if you break a bulb in your house, you must evacuate the area for at least 20 minutes. So the may be energy savers but they can cause harm.

Johnny 5 said...

As someone who sells light bulbs for a living, I am less enthusiastic than most about compact fluorescent bulbs due to their mercury content.

Another consideration is that as these bulbs burn out, they will most likely be thrown away as though they are normal rubbish (despite the disposal instructions) and landfills will have incredibly high levels of mercury in their soil as a result.

It is my belief that the technology should progress to a point at which the mercury levels are low or nonexistent before people changeover their entire homes.

Krissy said...

Most CFLs today on the market contain less than 5mgs of mercury and there are CFL options out there that contain as little as 1.5mgs of mercury- which can hardly be called a “significant amounts of mercury” considering that many item in your home contain 100s of times more of mercury including your computer. Mercury levels in CFLs can never be “nonexistent” since mercury is a necessary component of a CFL and there is no other known element that is capable of replacing it. But CFLs actually prevent more mercury from entering the environment. According to the Union of Concerned Scientist, “a coal-fired power plant will emit about four times more mercury to keep an incandescent bulb glowing, compared with a CFL of the same light output”.