Compact fluorescent or incandescence

Comparative between compact fluorescent and incandescent bulb

Several articles are published in the newspapers on compact fluorescent versus incandescent bulbs; I told myself that some numbers could be useful in order to illustrate the polemic of the bulbs…

You will find below a small summary table of the equivalents between incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs

Real things…. real numbers…

Compact fluorescent or incandescence

How long does 10.000 hours last?

With an average of 4 hours of use per day, that gives more than 6 years… Your saving of 39$ per bulb replaced brought back on an annual basis, enables you to save 5.75 $/year. If you have 10 bulbs in the house, and that you replace them all, you will be able to save approximately 60 $ per year. That, it is the salesman side of the concept… In the facts, the energy profits are much less appreciable. See the table that follows.

For 10.000 hours of lighting
source: adaptation of Hydro Quebec
Incandescent bulb
Compact fluorescent bulb
Number of bulbs for one lifetime of:
1 10
Purchase cost for 10.000 hours:
4$ 10$
Energy consumption:
150kWh 600kWh
Cost in electricity (with 7.33 cents/kWh):
11$ 44$
Total costs:
15$ 54$
DIRECT ECONOMIES = 54$ - 15$ = 39 $

First, sometimes compact fluorescent bulbs are defective long before reaching the 10.000 hours promised.

Second, after half of their lifespan, this type of bulb starts to provide a little less light. Then people sometime change them before they have reached 10.000 hours.

Thirdly, the incandescent bulbs provide heat which, in winter, heats the room. This heat is not as negligible as it seems. Indeed, the replacement of the bulbs will require a little more heating. If one compensates by electrical heating, the real economy provided by the replacement of 10 bulbs becomes as little as 2.50 dollars per year! Outch! The initial replacement of 10 bulbs will cost you 40 $ immediately!! That hurts your wallet!

In addition, compact fluorescent bulbs contain a considerable amount of toxic products and dangerous. At such point, which it is recommended to leave the room and to ventilate it before cleaning the mess... It is thus important to educate children to warn us in the event of an accident. And despite everything, I am not ready to put compact fluorescent bulbs in my son's gaming room before having to replace the suspended luminaire that does not protect the bulb.

© 2008