MLA Citation: Bloomfield, Louis A. "Question 1424"
How Everything Works 23 Oct 2017. 23 Oct 2017 <http://howeverythingworks.org/print1.php?QNum=1424>.
1424. Is the total energy savings still significant for long tube fluorescent lights, as compared to incandescent lights, when you consider the energy involved in manufacturing all the components of the lights? — AB, San Antonio, TX
Yes, fluorescents are more energy efficient overall. To begin with, fluorescent lights have a much longer life than incandescent lights—the fluorescent tube lasts many thousands of hours and its fixture lasts tens of thousands of hours. So the small amount of energy spent building an incandescent bulb is deceptive—you have to build a lot of those bulbs to equal the value of one fluorescent system.

Second, although there is considerable energy consumed in manufacturing the complicated components of a fluorescent lamp, it's unlikely to more than a few kilowatt-hours—the equivalent of the extra energy a 100 watt incandescent light uses up in a week or so of typical operation. So it may take a week or two to recover the energy cost of building the fluorescent light, but after that the energy savings continue to accrue for years and years.


Return to HowEverythingWork.org
Generated for printing on Monday, October 23, 2017 at 16:28:51 EDT
Copyright 1997-2017 © Louis A. Bloomfield, All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy