gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


frogLight: a bright idea

September 06, 2008 @ 11:17 By: gordon Category: Environment

frogware_lightbulb_cs_2 A lot of people like compact fluorescent lightbulbs, but I’m not one of them.  While it’s true that a CFL will consume less energy than a conventional incandescent during the same amount of time — which is a Good Thing — they are problematic to dispose of when they do eventually die.  Because they contain mercury, phosphorous and other nasty things they are hazardous waste and shouldn’t be thrown in the garbage.  Though it’s true that they contain less mercury than your typical fluorescent tube, they nonetheless contain mercury, which will eventually leach into the environment if put in a conventional landfill, which is a Bad Thing.

While surfing the ‘net recently, I came across frog design’s website.  The clever people at frog design have come up with an LED light bulb concept that claims to offer “better energy efficiency than CFLs without the toxic mercury, provides a desirable light quality and dimming capability, and fits into the socket connection of the incandescent—all in a package that will last 30 years”.

Now that truly is a bright idea!

2 Responses to “frogLight: a bright idea”

  1. Michelle says:

    As in many choices, there are trade offs with CFLs. Yes they contain mercury but about one fifth of the amount that is in a watch battery. When was the last time you heard anyone concerned about how watch batteries were disposed of?
    Also, much of our electricity to power those incandescent bulbs comes from burning coal which produces a lot of …. you guessed it … mercury… except that this mercury ends up in our air and we all breathe it whether we want to or not! And yes, LEDS are a much more efficient lightbulb but unfortunately at this point in time their price would deter many people from buying them. So…. right now, CFLs are the best choice!

  2. gordon says:

    Actually, I am concerned about the disposal of batteries and so I use rechargeable batteries where possible and when I can’t use rechargeables I use a battery disposal program available at work to get rid of them.

    One of the big problems with CFLs is their disposal because they have to be treated as hazardous waste. Some cities, like the one I live in, promotes their use heavily and even gives them away. But there is no city-operated take back program, so I suspect many of them are ending up in the landfills.

    Another is that CFLs are manufactured in China where a lot of energy is generated using coal. And because they’re manufactured there, they have a large carbon footprint from the transportation that I suspect is rarely considered when their being promoted.

    Socket compatible LED lights are available now, but it’s true they are more expensive right now. Just because CFLs cost less doesn’t make them the “best choice”.

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