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Colored Fluorescent

Hi there, My first time posting here, but have been reading the website for a long time. Recently I have been fascinated with lights and light art. I have been a fan of Dan Flavin for awhile and love the way he uses fluorescent lights.  One question I have is, how do I achieve colored fluorescent lights? I have done a bit of research and a few people have suggested cellophane wrapped tubes, but I'm concerned that this might burn / melt, and may look slightly amateur?  Any help would be much appreciated. I have attached a couple of examples below. L

Topic by litelunch    |  last reply


Fluorescent Lamp

Here is an art project from some designers that I came across and have been trying to reverse engineer. If anyone has any idea's on how to power and connect the fluorescent tube it would be greatly appreciated! Here is a description from the web:  Design duo Mischer’Traxler, Wien | Austria, started their project to focus on light sources and came up with the idea to combine two lamps into one. This way they created a new design that uses a energy-efficient fluorescent tube bulb and gives the lamps a whole new character. The name of this lamp is ‘Relumine‘ and plays on the fact that we all have to switch from old light bulbs to new energy saving light sources. The fun and challenge is to combine different type of lamps, like a hanging pendant with a floor lamp, a floor lamp with a desk lamp or different heights and hardware. Each Relumine uses two, discarded lamps, which are disassembled, sanded, newly lacquered and adapted with newer technology, before they are connected by a glass tube which holds the fluorescent tube. Together these two lamps need less energy than each one in its previous life.

Topic by dan.d    |  last reply


Fluorescent Plants

Recently I presented a science teacher in my school, Mr. Zhang with the idea of growing plants with tonic water which contains quinine to see if they would glow under a black light. Today we saw that these bean sprouts had defused and taken in the tonic water, as a result the bean sprouts were fluorescent under the black light. I first chose the mung bean / bean sprout because I know that bean sprouts are translucent and it would be easier to see the glow, but now I want to find out if the seed will take in the quinine, and if so would the quinine be in the flesh of the plant at all. Another test that Mr. Zhang and I were considering was to use a tonic water in a hydroponic system to see if the plants utilize the quinine. Dr. Paul Williams suggested that I grow fastplants in the dark, because their stem is translucent is grown in the dark. (Mr. Zhang knew him from a workshop he did involving fastplants) I'll be updating this as I continue the study, I'll start growing very soon, as soon as I order the supplies that are necessary. The picture below, is of two mung beans, the one on the left took in the quinine, and the one of the right is normal.

Topic by astrozombies138    |  last reply


submersible fluorescent light

I am wanting to build this without the $189 price tag. i have found a site with the plans and pvc fittings, here , but not saving much money there either. anyone got any ideas?i will be running on a 12v battery

Topic by bigbeardan1983    |  last reply


Fluorescent lighting scultpure?

Does anyone know how to make a sculpture using multiple fluorescent bulbs? I've seen a few and they always have small caps and wiring on the ends, but they look like standard products you could pick up somewhere.http://uploads.notempire.com/images/uploads/1-1073.jpg

Question by anthony_j    |  last reply


Fluorescent bulb questions ? Answered

Hello, Short question but sorry,  I cannot seem to shorten it; the actual question is in the last two lines . My friend's outside light stopped working; Earlier today I was asked to replace the two bulbs; they had stopped working and seemed slightly brown on the ceramic part. They are four pin fluorescents; I have not used these type before. I went to Screwfix and their catalogue showed two bulbs that looked identical to the original but one model said for electronic ballast only and one type said for magnetic ballast only; the shop staff did not know what a ballast was and could not advise me, when looking at the original, which type to buy. I went to Toolstation , no such distinction was made in their catalogue; I asked the guy about the ballast suitability; he did not know what a ballast was; I bought the one that seemed the closest in name. I have never has to think about ballast types before buying a bulb before; but after buying the bulbs I found a sticker on the lamp saying -electronic ballast. I stuck the first bulb in, it did not light. I put the bulb, instead, into the next socket; it lit and stayed lit. I put the remaining bulb in the first socket and both bulbs stopped working; whatever combination that I tried. The original bulb was an Osram Dulux D/E 26w/840 The  new bulb is a  sylvania lynx-de superia 26w 840  G24q-3 Technical Details Brand Sylvania Item Weight 9 g Product Dimensions 16.6 x 3.6 x 3.6 cm Item model number 25927 Part Number 0025927 Colour Cool White Shape Stick Maximum Compatible Wattage 26 watts Voltage 240 volts Specific Uses General purpose Batteries Included? No Type of Bulb Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Cap Type G24q EU Energy Efficiency Label A Luminous Flux 1800 lumen Wattage 26 watts Wattage 26 watts Bulb Features Low energy plug-in compact lamp Colour Temperature 4000 Kelvin Colour Rendering Index (CRI) 85 Average Life 10000 hours Average Life 15000 hours Bulb Length 167 millimetres Warm Up Time 30 seconds Lumen Maintenance Factor at the End of Life 95 I still do not know if it was the correct bulb or not but . . . Here are the questions:   Are some bulbs suitable for both types of ballast ? What happens if you put the wrong type in; does it just not work; or does it blow the bulb; or/and does it damage the lamp? Thank you

Question by FriendOfHumanity    |  last reply


Fluorescent tube starter question

I m really really curious about something you know the starter switch used in fluorescent tubes have a glass "bulb/tube" with a bimetalic strip i know what that is for but i dont understand what the coil beside the "bulb/tube" is for, and it feels like a coil but i think its more of a piece of metal wrapped i n plastic  

Topic by michaelgohjs    |  last reply


Help with T5 Fluorescent Light

I'm adding a 9" T5 UV light to a small project I'm making. I found a cheap G6T5 Bulb and a Ballast but when I went to purchase the Sockets for it, I ran into a problem. The Bi-pin T5 sockets come in Shunted & Non Shunted and I have no idea which one I need. What is the difference and how would I tell which one to buy to finish my light? Once I have all this I'll have to figure out how to wire the thing. But first I need to know which sockets I need to buy. THANKS!!

Topic by mrreno    |  last reply


CFL (compact fluorescent light)?

Hey everyone, Not too sure if this is the ideal place to post, if not please forgive me :) Basically, I want the spiral type CFL safely cleaned and emptied so I can use it. - I couldn't find a place selling 'recycled' ones or similar, I also dislike the idea of doing it myself and getting mercury all over me :(. I am thinking of contacting some manufacturers to see if they would sale me some defective ones that haven't been filled with nasty stuff :). Just wondering if anyone knew of a place where I can get them, hassle free. I'm a UK lad though, to make things harder :) any help much appreciated as always.

Topic by lukus001    |  last reply


Wiring circular fluorescent bulb Answered

Hello,my first time posting here, hope I don't break any rules.I want to wire up a circular fluorescent bulb for a sculpture.I bought a SODIAL(R) 40W Ring Tube Fluorescent Lamp Electronic Ballast AC 220V 0.19A and a 40W T9 Circular Warm White Tube.Could someone advise me on what other bits I need (e.g what starter) and a guide on how to connect everything up to each other and power? I'm based in the UK if this affects potential suppliers. I have done this with a straight fluorescent before but by cannibalising a bought fitting. Pretty clueless when it comes to electronics and would like to avoid killing myself/ others if possible.Many thanks!

Question by lochnessmonstery    |  last reply


Fluorescent-tube digital clock

I'm thinking around building a massive digital clock with fluorescent tubes.Starting with a basic digital clock, the output to LED segments would be put through transistors, to 12v relays, acting upon the mains feed to the tubes.However, some segments will be on more than they are off. I'd rather have the relays using power to switch to the less frequently used position, but I can't find an easy way to figure-out which segments spend more time off than on (and vice versa).any ideas?Did some calculations to produce the graphs. Based upon 4W tubes, surely the smallest available?) and 12V 50mA relays.

Topic by lemonie    |  last reply


Eco-conscious: Compact Fluorescents

My friend Rawhide did a decent bit of research into the best type of compact fluorescent lightbulb, so I'm sharing is findings here. Do you have anything to add?Rawhide on compact fluorescents:In all my web searching I couldn't find a truly exhaustive comparison on lightbulb stats. Even Energyfederation.org, which was the most comprehensive, didn't list the CRI for all of its bulbs. What I did realize was that the "bright white" bulbs I bought from Home Depot were of the wrong color temperature to mix with incandescents and that is why they looked so cold. I also found a couple of people who really liked N:Vision, the Home Depot brand.So I decided to give Home Depot another shot and exchanged the bright whites for soft whites. Curiously, when I went back the CF bulbs had a big display that wasn't there the week before with the bulbs I wanted in $9 4-packs, which was much cheaper than the individual bulbs.I replaced all the bulbs in our living room and dining room and I (and the nameless other) find the light quality to be quite good---it wasn't possible to distinguish the CF from the incandecent bulbs once they warmed up. If you look at the light in the room as a whole, there is the slightest bit of 'vibration', but it's really not noticable unless you're looking for it.Net savings: 600W->140W to light the two rooms. Awesome.Finally, as a coda to my quest for compact flourescents, I learned that Massachusetts is offering a $2 rebate per package for Energy Star lights and that Home Depot also sells 6-packs for $10. So, you can get 60w replacement bulbs for $1.30 rather than $4 or $5 you sometimes see. http://www.myenergystar.com/rebates.aspx Retailers need to supply the coupons, which are instant rebates at the register. There are also bigger rebates, like $75 off a dryer and $20 off a torchiere light fixture.

Topic by canida    |  last reply


Neon / fluorescent / phosphorescent ingredients for ceramics

Hi all, Just wondering if anyone knows of any minerals, or products that will produce a visible fluoro colour in daylight, or phosphorescent in the dark. I want to be able to either use these as glaze or as stain for clay slip.

Topic by jarris    |  last reply


fluorescent emergency lamp convert to LED

I have a fluorescent lamp input220v,6.5w, its battery is 6.9v. i want to convert this to led lamp. so pls provide the proper circuit diagram for this. and how many LEDs can handle this battery for 4hours 

Question by s.sushin    |  last reply


Fluorescent light wiring diagram wanted

Fluorecent light wiring diagram:Could anyone help me with a wiring diagram for a fluorescent light, double tube, tube have 2 ins each side, two starters a capacitor and a ballast with two wires. I have all the parts but don't know how to join them together?

Question by Sa Wolf    |  last reply


Does the length of a fluorescent tube matter? Will a shorter fluorescent tube work in a longer fixture?

Assuming the wattage is the same. I have some 15" fluorescent tubes. Will they work in fixtures made for longer tubes if the wattage is the same?

Question by conrad141    |  last reply


Need an expert in Fluorescent lamps to end an argument Answered

My knowledge on fluorescent bulbs is limited, but still more than the average layperson.  A gentleman at work claims that by touching the contacts of a 9V to the electrode contacts on one end of a fluorescent bulb, one would recieve a shock at the opposite end if a tounge were applied.  I don't believe this is true, but don't have the difinitive knowledge to back it up.  Help Me!!!

Question by kretzlord    |  last reply


how do I build a fluorescent lamp ?

I want to turn a high end glass vase into a fluorescent lamp.

Question by sailormark    |  last reply


I need an invisible fluorescent/luminous paint?

I need paint that phosphoresces under black light, in either a white or red, but is invisible under normal light. Bonus if it washes out after use.

Question by Lord Skudley    |  last reply


EL wire phosphor vs fluorescent bulb phosphors? Answered

What is the difference between the phosphors used in fluoro tubes and the phosphors used in EL wire? Can the 2 types be used interchangeably? i.e can smash open (and should I smash open) a CFL bulb to get the phosphors inside to make EL wire? How well would it work? (If at all)

Question by .Unknown.    |  last reply


CFL torch?

Is the size and operating voltage of a CFL the only resaon that they aren't used in hand held flashlights?

Question by .Unknown.    |  last reply


parallel light bulbs? Answered

Is there any way of connecting multiple fluorescent light bulbs *THIS* to 1 power plug....i'm a newb, so if this is pretty complicated, i'm gonna need some articles :) the reason i ask this is because i'm thinking about constructing a (full room) black light in it's own sweet casing. it would go around my whole room around the perimeter (around the upper edge, touching the ceiling) so ya...i have enough construction knowledge to build the casing and everything else, BUT i do not know hardly anything about electrical stuff...which is why i have you guys :) so ya...any help (or different solutions other than light bulbs) would be greatly appreciated. thanks :)

Question by miqt    |  last reply


Something to block office lighting?

The office building where I work has a conference room that has 4 fluorescent light units, each measuring 28” by 44”.  The problem is, one of the four light units is an emergency unit, and is always turned on.  So when we want to show power point presentations, etc.  the room is never  fully dark.  With the 3 lights being off, it’s just barely dark enough, and it would be so much better not to have the light from the emergency unit.  Due to safety codes, turning off this light is not a realistic option for us.  So I was examining it today and was wondering if someone had an idea to construct some sort of temporary “cover” that we can quickly and securely place over this one light unit while we have our power point presentations?  The cover would have to be lightweight, secure (we would not want it to fall on any clients!), and I think made of some sort of fireproof material, in case someone forgets it’s up there and the heat from the florescent light tubes doesn’t cause any danger of fire.  Each light unit has this metal “grid” that I guess is meant to reflect and disperse the light in an efficient way.  This “grid” is made up of smooth 1/8” metal strips, which create 24 empty space “cells”. The inside of the cells measures 7”X5.5” and is 2.75” deep.  There is a small clearance between this metal grid and the fluorescent tube lights.  And the light unit is 10 feet off the ground. Any suggestions??  Thanks!

Topic by jim5150jvc    |  last reply


Joule thief running a CFL?

I've seen a lot of videos of people making joule thieves to power CFLs, with only one or two cells. (These actually work, right?) However, most of them require large (larger than a soda can) inductors and/or ignition coils and transformers. Is there any joule thief (or circuit) out there capable of running a CFL at full brightness, with around 6V, but at the same time being as small and uncomplicated as possible?

Question by .Unknown.    |  last reply


Is the strength of blacklight Flourescence proportionate to the strength of the source, or is there a threshold?

Say I have a black light hooked up to a dimmer switch and a material that fluoresces under black light. As I gradually increase the 'brightness' of the black light, can I expect the fluorescent material to fluoresce gradually brighter, or is there a definite 'threshold' below which there is no fluorescence? Will the same hold true for IR-fluorescent materials and IR sources? Thanks in advance!

Question by lcllam    |  last reply


New ballast (starter) on overhead fluorescent lights causing static on AM radio reception - how to fix?

Ballast (starter) recently replaced on overhead fluorescent lights. Now getting static on AM radios in my apartment. Is there a way to stop this?

Question by verbatim5613    |  last reply


how to make fluorescent light glow with tesla coil from 3 metre distance?

Hi so i've watched a lot of youtube videos on how to glow fluorescent light using tesla coil but the problem is that i want to increase the distance between the fluorescent light and the tesla coil to 3 metre

Question by OmarB8    |  last reply


Help upgrading CFL circuit? Want to drive cfl's up to 25w.

Hello I have built this circuit, it can drive cfl's up to 15w, how do i modify it so that it can drive cfl's up to 25w?  I am using D313 for his project as the D882 didn't gave me the results i needed. Using 12v battery. Here is the original instructable link https://www.instructables.com/id/A-simple-low-voltage-inverter-for-fluorescent-lam/?ALLSTEPS (This question is optional) Do u think the transformer i made for this circuit can be used for the famous Jeanna's light (Joule's Thief). If yes then how it would connect on the circuit? I will be making two or three more transformers like this. Do u think it needs modifications for its working like number of turns for the primary, secondary and feedback, different wire gauge?

Topic by Clarkdale44    |  last reply


What's the cheapest way to run all these F15T8 fluorescent tubes?

I have a bunch of F15T8 fluorescent tubes, and I want to make my own light fixture with something like 4-8 of them running at the same time. Doing some research has shown me that I need a ballast. Nearly all of the ballasts I found online for f15t8 were only for 1 or 2 lamps, and I don't really want to buy more than one. Is there any way I can use a ballast rated for a higher watt bulb or something? What happens if you put a F15T8 in a F32T8 ballast? 

Question by conrad141  


Can a fluorescent light ballast be used to drive a Tesla Coil?

I'm thinking of the newer 'magnetic' high-frequency ones, or maybe even a CFL (https://www.instructables.com/id/MAKE-A-HIGH-VOLTAGE-SUPPLY-IN-5-MINUTES/). Of course a ~15 Watt CFL isn't going to output very much though.

Question by PhahQ    |  last reply


Way to control two fluorescent bulbs in the same fixture individually?

I would like to set up a few fluorescent light fixtures that each have one blacklight bulb and one white bulb. I would like to be able to control them individually so that I can have either the blacklight bulb or the white bulb on at any given time. It would be preferable to be able to dim the white bulbs, but this isn't necessary. I am okay with running a 14/3 power cable assuming two ballasts would fit in one fixture. I would also like to accomplish this as cheaply as possible.  Thank you.

Question by natedawg1013    |  last reply


Is it possible to build a spark gap using a fluorescent light ballast?

This is for a school project. We need to build a spark plug out of an LRC circuit and a 1.5 V D size battery. I was hoping to do it with a fluorescent light ballast as an inductor. The longer the spark in distance, the better.  Thanks.

Question by paul0    |  last reply


What UK fluorescent light starter should be used to make a incandescent bulb flicker? (Halloween effect)

What UK fluorescent light starter should be used to make a incandescent bulb flicker? (Halloween style effect) Example http://halloweenpropmaster.com/u-build-it3.htm In the above tutorial it lists the following starters work FS-2 and FS-5 but I cant find the UK equivalent. Thanks for your help

Question by danieljcooper    |  last reply


How to make florescent ink?

I have Googled and searched Wiki on how to make fluorescent (ultraviolet) inks. I want to know how to make them. I dont want th lemon juice , corn starch, milk or other types of invisible inks. I want to make the stuff the glows under uv light. I searched using uv, ultraviolet, fluorescent inks but couldnt find anything other than the lemon juice and other types of "invisible" writing. Please help if you know where to find or if you know how to make fluorescent (ultraviolet) inks. You can email me at whitethatchpotentloins@yahoo.com I mean the inks that u can buy for handstampers and that are put in invisible ink markers. I want to make the stuff myself and not have to buy it off the internet.... So while yes there are alot of things that glow under UV, I want it in liquid form.

Topic by WhiteThatch    |  last reply


Tesla Coil Power Supply Question?

Does anyone think I can use a florescent tube ignition/driver circuit to power a tesla coil (small). What I mean is that can I basically take out a fluorescent tube from its socket and plug in my wirings for the primary coil (capacitors and spark gap included). I don't know how high the voltage or the current is coming out of one of those things. Can anyone help? Thanks Please answer quickly, time is of the essence. 

Question by transistorguy    |  last reply


can a fluorescent light be connected in series to another tube on the same ballast?

Im trying to add more bulbs a  fitting thats designed for 1

Question by andybuda    |  last reply


9W Fluorescent U-Tube Bulb w/ 6V 4Ah Battery

Hi Guys! I would like to create a sort of emergency light with the following... 9watt fluorescent u-tube bulb 6volts 4Ah sealed lead-acid battery HP AC Power adapter (input : 100-240v | output : +32volts 625mA I'm not really good with electronics... please be so kind with me :)...  I'm wondering what will be the things needed here to create the following battery charger and to power up the 9watt bulb Thanks a lot in advance

Topic by acl_20032003    |  last reply


Glowy Umbrella

I had an idea today I thought would be interesting after reading about this - http://www.richardbox.com/ - how about integrating a fluorescent tube into the handle of an umbrella. If the tube was supported inside an acrylic clear (or coloured) tube and had some kind of connection to the handle and to the tip of the umbrella, then when walking under pylons, in a storm (eek?!), or in any situation where there would be a big potential difference between something above the user and earth. This could be interesting near tram/train lines.What do people think?

Topic by macmaniac    |  last reply


strobe light solutions...? Answered

Ok. so i have 2 ideas brewing in my head, but of course, i don't have the knowledge to do them :) ....which is why i have instructables. ok, anyways, so i have a very BASIC knowledge about LED's and such, and so my first idea is to make a strobe light with about 10 led's (in a nice reflective casing) and i guess a programmed timer, BUT i have absolutely NO idea how to program micro-controller's or w/e....so idk if that's the best option, SO i then had an idea of just getting some old lamps from goodwill ( the best ) with some new Fluorescent Light Bulbs and somehow putting a timer on it for every like .6 seconds or something......i'm not sure how complicated this is...and that's why i am asking. so which one would give better results, and which one would be easier to do (if even possible). (or any other solution for strobe light) and what exactly do i need and how do i do it...ha. i know...everyone hates these questions from newbs trying to make a huge thing lol. JUST STICK TO THE SIMPLE, NEWB!!! (that was what i would imagine a comment sounding like :)

Question by miqt    |  last reply


SDf Answered

Adfshg

Question by baudeagle    |  last reply


DNA Plasmids for use in transformation of plant cells? Answered

Recently, I found a kit to transform E. coli with GFP (green fluorescent protein) plasmids, causing the bacteria to fluoresce under UV light. I later found a kit for maintaining an African violet tissue culture, sparking the question if it would be possible to use the plasmids intended for use in E. coli in the African violet tissue, causing the violet tissue to fluoresce, which can then be transplanted to grow into a full glowing violet plant. Would the plasmids be usable in transforming the violet tissue, or would they be specialized to just the E. coli?

Question by ALogan97    |  last reply


LED Light Box

Normally, a light box uses fluorescent lamps (e.g. 36 watts Philips Lamp) and electronic ballasts to emit light. However, it consumes too much electricty and the life of lamps is short. Therefore, I would like to replace fluorescent lamps with LEDs.

Question by richardkartono    |  last reply


How do you build a fluorescent light from scratch and have it plug into the classic American outlet?

I am not asking how to build the bulb. Just attach the bulb+ballasts+plug it in. I want to build several letters out of fluorescent light bulbs, for example one letter is O but it will look more like []. I want to use bulbs that are 2-4 feet long or what ever is easiest... from scratch (without buying light fixtures and taking them apart). Each letter will be constructed of 4 lights. I know that I will need to solder parts together, I will need to buy ballasts, and bulbs... But construction wise I am semi lost. Also I would like recommendations as to how many ballasts for the bulbs, I don't mind if some of the bulbs flicker. Lastly I want the bulbs to make that humming noise so if you have any idea how I can induce that other then leaving the ballasts running for a while please tell me. Thanks, -Oliver

Question by Art-ist    |  last reply


Flourscent Light Sickness

Every time I walk into Wal-Mart or Home Depot, I get sick because of the fluorescent light. The problem is, almost every large retailer uses fluorescent lighting. I get migraines, and queasiness. It has a great impact on my life. I was only curious to see if anyone else on instructables had such a sickness. If you do have such a sickness, what Do you do about it? My new school has all fluorescent lighting. -sunglasses? -migraine medication? (although that would not do much for the sick to the stomach feeling) I call it Wal-Mart sickness.

Topic by littlechef37    |  last reply


How to make a led lamp?

Light should be equal to a 40watts fluorescent tube?and whether it would be a vice idea, ?

Question by roshan2    |  last reply


Laptop LCD Cold Cathode re-use

So recently, an old laptop of mine died. It was an old dinosaur of a laptop, slowly running down the remaining years of its life. Then it died. So sad. To honor its death I dismantled it. I got an interesting motherboard, some decent speakers, a 5gb harddrive along with a floppy and disk drive. What really interested me the most though is the LCD screen. At first I hoped that I could re-used the screen as a tertiary screen for my desktop, but later I realized the near-impossibility of this task and gave it up. Instead I chose to take the screen apart for its cold cathode lamp. It's almost 12 inches in length, and very thin. Before the motherboard died, the LCD back light was still working. So I wanted to take it out, along with its inverter, to attempt to re-use it. Soon after doing this I saw a problem in my plans: the input of the inverter is a whopping nine wires. This is a bit more than I'm used to dealing with for power supplies. I was wondering if you guys knew any way that I could go around this? At request I can most more pictures and model number of the inverter in case you can't read it in the photo. tl;dr - Cold cathode inverter in picture. output is two wires, input 9 wires. How do I use this

Topic by Pixel_Master  


dose any body know if there is a way of connecting fluorescent strip light in series i have a few

Transformers about and tomb stone end bits for the lightsand a lot of tubes ... just want to know if any1 has tried this b4?

Question by andybuda    |  last reply


How much Mercury is in Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, watch batteries, and coal-fired power plants?

In Brennn10's Compact Fluorescent Instructable there was a short discussion about the amount of mercury contained in CFL bulbs. The same topic came up in a mailing list I read, and there was some interesting analysis worth sharing.Statement:The Stranger (the Seattle weekly) has a column called "Dear Science" where the typically quite intelligent author argued that CFL bulbs weren't all that "better" for the environment because inevitable improper disposal put more mercury-n-shit into the environment. So unless you got all your power from a mercury spewing coal plant, you shouldn't use CFL's . And Seattle, getting a majority of it's power from hydro, shouldn't use CFL's.This was called into question for being selective analysis that encourages an attitude of "there's not currently a solution, so keep doing what you're doing", and elicited the following response:Just so I can bore everyone with what I think is the current level of knowledge about mercury and CFLs, here's some of the current information.NRCan did a study on how much mercury is actually in CFLs, and compares them to other typical consumer sources (e.g., watch batteries--if you throw one of them out, you've throw out five times as much mercury as in a CFL):http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/energystar/english/consumers/questions-answers.cfm#mercuryAfter reading this, I actually worked out these numbers for myself on how CFL savings compare to mercury releases a few months ago. Of course, this is all more environmental destruction brand X vs. brand Y discussion that was being talking about.I was curious about what the numbers work out to, so I went to dig for some data; this is what I came up with.In 1999, about 1.75 trillion kWh were generated by coalEnergy Information Administration Annual Energy Review 1999, Figure 26In 1999, 47.8 tons/year of mercury emissions came out of coal-fired power plants.Source: U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards.1999 National Emissions Inventory for Hazardous Air Pollutants.http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/net/1999inventory.html#final3haps.This calcs out to a figure of 0.025 mg mercury per kWhAssuming 5 mg mercury per CFL, the equivalence point is about 200 kWh--a CFL would need to save 200 kWh before getting tossed in the trash. A quick calculation shows that this is about how much a CFL saves in half a year, if it were run 24-7: 75 W for an incandescent; 25 W for an equivalent CFL = 657 vs. 219 kWh/year, or 438 kWh/year difference.Of course, this assumes that the coal mercury emission rate is the same as it was in 1999; I'm not sure if measures have been taken since then to reduce mercury emissions. Also, this is assuming that 100% of the power saved by the CFL would be generated by coal-fired power plants. But even with that assumption, coal is such a large fraction of the power generation (typically about half)--it would jump from six months to a year, instead. Of course, this period gets longer assuming a realistic duty cycle, but still, those numbers all seem to pencil in below typical installed lifetimes of CFLs.Finally, there's a article from Home Energy magazine (behind a subscriber link), where somebody did a similar calculation with more current numbers, I think.http://www.homeenergy.org/article_full.php?id=457&article;_title=Understanding_CFLsHome Energy MagazineNovember/December 2007Understanding CFLsby Richard Benware"Although the use of CFLs is steadily spreading, public understanding about how to dispose of them responsibly has not kept pace."Life Cycle BenefitsIn order to disprove the myths about CFLs, let's begin at the beginning. When CFLs are created, manufacturers dose the bulb with a small amount of mercury. This mercury, when electrically stimulated, releases UV light, which subsequently reacts with a phosphor coating to create visible light. Thus mercury is an essential part of every CFL; without it, the bulbs would not produce light. The typical dose of mercury is about the size of a pen tip, and these doses have been getting smaller and smaller. One reason for this is that the laws resulting from the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive have made it illegal for CFLs in Europe to contain more than 5 milligrams (mg) of mercury.In the United States, there are no such laws limiting the amount of mercury in lightbulbs as yet, but members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) have voluntarily agreed to limit the amount of mercury in the CFLs that they produce to 5 mg for bulbs of up to 25 watts and 6 mg for bulbs of 25 to 40 watts. The average CFL on store shelves today contains about 4 mg of mercury, and nearly all the CFLs in production contain less than 5 mg. The mercury used in all the CFLs produced in the United States represents 0.18% of the mercury used in all U.S. products andindustrial processes.CFLs do not release mercury as long as they are intact. In fact, they reduce net mercury emissions in the environment by conserving energy. For every kWh of electricity used by consumers, the average power plant emits over 1.5 lb of pollutants. If a 75W incandescent is replaced by an 18W CFL, the CFL will use 456 kWh less energy than the incandescent over its 8,000 hour lifetime. The Emissions and Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID) contains data on the emissions of the average power plant. Using eGRID's information to calculate the average emissions per kWh, we find that this single CFL has prevented the release of 2.72 lb of sulfur dioxide, 1.05 lb of nitrogen oxide, 5.67 mg of mercury, and over 700 lb of CO2.It is important to note that these are the reductions from the average U.S. power plant. The eGRID data show that, on average, nonbaseload emissions tend to be dirtier. And in addition to reducing emissions, CFLs save money for the consumer. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) gives a 2006 average residential electricity cost of $.1008/kWh. Using the example given above, and basing our calculation on this figure, we find that a consumer would save about $46 on energy over the lifetime of the CFL.When these bulbs finally do reach the end of their useful life, there are several pathways they can take. In the best-case scenario, the bulbs are recycled. Recycling rates are increasing, thanks to state regulations -- California and Minnesota have banned altogether throwing CFLs in the trash -- and improved consumer awareness. In 1999, it was estimated that only 15% of all fluorescent lightbulbs were recycled. Currently, that number has increased to around 25%, with higher levels in commercial applications. Since an average of 98.9% of the mercury is successfully recovered in the recycling process, this pathway generates minimal emissions.Even the CFLs that are discarded in the trash are unlikely to release much of their mercury. Although most of them break under current trash disposal methods, some remain unbroken, and will not release any mercury. But those that do break are not likely to release much mercury. EPA estimates that only 0.2% of the remaining mercury in a spent bulb is elemental vapor. The rest of the mercury is in the glass, the phosphor coating, and the electrodes of the bulb. Mercury absorbed in these areas is not readily released. In fact, an EPA study found that only 6.8% of the total mercury in a broken bulb will be released. Since the average bulb on the market today contains only 4 mg of mercury, it will release only about 0.27 mg, even if it breaks when it is thrown in the trash.The only disposal option that could lead to the release of any significant amount of mercury is incineration. Today, many incinerators have advanced mercury control technologies. CFLs disposed of in such incinerators would release up to 90% of their mercury, but those emissions would then be removed by these technologies. Incinerators without these technologies are not capable of removing the mercury. But even after accounting for all of the emissions that occur via all of the routes listed above, CFLs represent a mere 0.01% of total U.S. mercury emissions annually.It is important to note that even if CFLs released all of their mercury, the environment would still be better off than it would be if nobody used CFLs. This is true because the average power plant releases 5.67 mg of mercury to power each 75W incandescent bulb. In short, replacing incandescents with CFLs is a great way to save energy, reduce mercury emissions, and save money (see "Discounting CFLs").

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply


replacing balast in flouresent light fixture?

Looking for instruction on replacing ballast in fluorescent fixture in my kitchen. Also the drop ceiling panels are going to be replaced. How should I cut to fit?

Question by paulinoB    |  last reply


UV Surface Mount LEDs

I am currently modifying an iBook G3 so that, among other things, it will be fluorescent orange. Currently, when the computer sleeps, a white LED illuminates through the casing. Since the casing will now be fluorescent, I would like to replace the white surface mount LED with an ultraviolet one, so that the case will glow as the computer is sleeping. I was wondering if someone could help me out by telling me where I might be able to purchase an ultraviolet surface mount LED? P.S. The image included will be stenciled and mirrored on each side of the apple on the top of the iBook.

Topic by Ora    |  last reply