FLUORESCENT LIGHTING'S ROLE IN ECO-FRIENDLY LIGHTING
Fluorescent lighting, as referenced in our introduction, is not a new technology. However, what currently can be found on the shelves of leading lighting stores, such as our Progressive Lighting and Lee Lighting showrooms, is far different than what was available even five years ago. Much of this advancement has come in the area of compact fluorescent light bulbs, more commonly referred to as CFL’s.
Fluorescent lighting is produced when an electric arc excites the gas in a glass tube, which ultimately causes the phosphor coating of the bulb to glow. This process is assisted by a small amount of mercury, which in the case of CFL’s, is typically about 4 milligrams per bulb. CFL’s allow fluorescents to be used in many applications where incandescents are common, often using a standard screw-base.
Their advantages include a longer lifespan, and a higher lumens per wattage output (which can be thought of similarly to miles per gallon), while the downside is a less versatile light source that is typically less desirable on the color spectrum than higher-wattage incandescents. While compact fluorescents can make many standard light fixtures as energy-efficient, if not more so, than their Energy Star-rated counterparts, it’s important to note that in order to qualify for Energy Star status, a fixture can ONLY be used with bulbs that meet energy-efficiency standards. The general rule of thumb is that if a fixture can be operational using an incandescent bulb, it will not qualify for the Energy Star program.