After a stop into the home improvement store this year, you'll notice a change that's making this new year a little brighter. However, Valerie Gonzalez-Sanchez explores the bright, and dark side of the new standard light bulb.
It's 2013, and it's lights out for our old friend the incandescent light bulb and in with the new, CFL light bulbs. But, for all their energy-efficient benefits, there are also a few drawbacks.
This year like never before, we will be trading up from the old incandescents to the new CFL light bulbs for it's energy-efficient benefits. Barney Barrientos, Assistant Manager at Home Depot, says “Light bulbs use about 60 watts where the CFL equivalent uses only about 14 watts of energy."
However, there are some concerns with these new bulbs. “The CFLs actually have a trace amount of mercury. It is required that you dispose of it properly." About a 2.3 to 3.5 milligrams of mercury are contained by a giving CFL bulb, that's according to national reports.
However, if an old CFL is disposed of in the trash, its contents could leach into the ground and affect our ground water. But, it's only a problem, if there is a solution, and Home Depot has one. "We have trained associates here at the store that can dispose of any broken bulbs, CFLs, or any fluorescent bulbs that get broken." You can drop off your old bulbs at their recycle center, and save yourself the guilt you'd feel if you just throw it out with the trash.
If you don't like the idea of having to do that every time a CFL expires, there's light at the end of that tunnel. "The regular incandescent bulbs were phased out by CFLs. Now, they're coming out with LEDs,which are phasing the CFLs out."
There's another concern: What if a CFL bulb breaks on you? You can visit the environmental protection agency's web page or follow these simple steps: -First, clear the room of all people and pets, turn off the central air, and air out the room by opening a door or window for 5-10 minutes. -Don't vacuum. Instead, scoop up glass fragments and powder using a stiff paper, or cardboard, and place in a seal-able container. -Then, use sticky tape, or a damp paper towel, to pick up any remaining small glass shards and powder. -Afterwards, place the used tape in the seal-able container. You can then drop it off at Home Depot.
For more information on CFL bulb clean-up, you can visit: http://www.epa.gov/cfl/cflcleanup.html.