HomeFluorescent Bulb EducationNew Tech in Fluorescent LightingT-2 Technology Page Fluorescent Lighting Explained

Fluorescent Lighting Explained

Background, History and Value Of Fluorescent Lighting

The Value of Fluorescent Lighting to YOU

Why use CFLs - Energy Savings

CFL's provide 70-80% energy savings. An incandescent lamp wastes 90% of its energy generating heat. In comparison to using 100-watt incandescents, one 27-watt* CFL can save 730,000 watts over its lifetime! This is enough electricity to power an average home for a month!

The average life of a Fluorescent Bulb is 10,000 Hours.
The average life of a Incandescent Bulb is 1,000 Hours.
This means that you would need to purchase 10 incandescent bulbs to match the life of one Fluorescent Bulb!

Use the Spreadsheet below to calculate your potential savings by switching from Incandscent to Fluorescent bulbs with Wholesalebulbs.com!


The Value of Fluorescent Lighting to the Environment

Why use CFLs - Environment

Over its lifetime, one single CFL bulb prevents 2,000 pounds (1 ton) of carbon dioxide from heating the atmosphere. It will also prevent the emission of 8-16 pounds of sulfur dioxide. CFLs also reduce nitrogen oxide emissions which can contribute to atmospheric ozone and can cause severe health hazards. All fluorescent bulbs contain trace amounts of mercury. The latest T-2 Technology bulbs offered by WholesaleBulbs have less then 3 mg of mercury per bulb! Because Fluorescent bulbs are 8X more efficient then Incandescent bulbs, they require 8X LESS energy to run them. While you must use care when handling and disposing of Fluorescent bulbs, using these bulbs helps prevent mercury from being released into the air from coal-powered power plants because of the far reduced power requirements for Fluorescent bulbs. One could argue there is more mercury being released into the environment through the use of incandescent bulbs then there is with Fluorescent bulbs!

Why Fluorescent Bulbs have Become So Popular:

As the issue of global warming begins to resonate throughout mainstream America, compact fluorescent lamps have emerged as a simple and effective way for consumers to reduce their carbon footprint thanks to the lamps' modest energy use and long lifetime.  CFLs are a type of fluorescent lighting geared toward residential use. These lamps are often recognizable by their distinctive corkscrew shape, although in recent years many on the market are designed to look more like traditional incandescent bulbs.  CFLs give off high-quality light using a fraction of the electricity used by incandescent bulbs. They are up to eight times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.  The use of CFL's will help to avoid the annual release of nitrogen oxides, pounds of sulfur dioxide, and tons of carbon dioxide. Others suggest that the use of CFLs could result in a net reduction in mercury emissions-that the reduction of mercury emissions from electricity generation more than offsets the amount of mercury used in the manufacture of CFLs

History of Fluorescent Lighting

Compact fluorescent bulbs are not new. It has been available commercially since the 1940s when a patent for an improved and practical version of the technology was issued to George Inman, a scientist working for General Electric. Fluorescent lamps work on a very different principle than the incandescent light bulb invented by Thomas Edison in 1879. In the incandescent bulb, electricity heats a filament typically made of tungsten, an element that is resistant to the passage of electricity.  The resistance results in high temperature, causing the filament to glow and emit light.  In fluorescent lamps, light is not created by heat. It results from the electrical stimulation of mercury and phosphor atoms in a sealed glass tube. The tube contains a small amount of mercury and an inert gas, typically argon. The tube also is coated on the inside with phosphor powder. As electricity flows through the tube, some of the mercury is changed from a liquid to a gas, releasing ultraviolet light in the process. The phosphor coating serves to convert the ultraviolet light, which our eyes don't register to visible light.  Incandescent bulbs also emit ultraviolet light, but do not convert any of it to visible light.  Incandescent lamps also lose more energy through heat emission than do fluorescent lamps.  Consequently, a lot of the energy used to power an incandescent lamp is wasted. Overall, a typical CFL is up to 6 times more energy efficient lighting than an incandescent bulb casting similar levels of light. Today, fluorescent lamps are universal. They come in many shapes and sizes and are used for both general illumination as well as specialty applications ranging from photocopying to bug zappers.  Perhaps most familiar are the 4-foot linear tubes that have long been used for illumination in schools, office buildings, warehouses and stores. Fluorescent lighting also has long been used to illuminate some residential spaces such as home workshops, kitchens and basements, but widespread use in the living area of homes has been constrained until recently by two factors. First, people generally prefer the "warmer" light of incandescent bulbs, which produce a light with more red and less blue than that given off by the phosphor in fluorescent lamps. Second, fluorescent lamps have not been available in sizes that fit in traditional home lighting fixtures. These limitations largely have been overcome in the last decade by rapid advances in CFL technology. Screw-based CFLs that can be used in any fixture that accepts an incandescent bulb are now available in many sizes and wattages. The light quality of compact fluorescent bulbs also has been improved by varying the mix of phosphors.

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