Analyzing Light Bulb Choices

M3 Choice 1: Analyzing Light Bulb Choices – There is Only this 1 Lab Choice for Mod 3Photo Credit: teachengineering.orgI am sure you have come across information encouraging you to replace your standard incandescent light bulbs with the newer compact fluorescents (CFLs). The two factors usually cited are energy savings and savings to the environment. In this activity you’ll investigate those claims in detail. InstructionsFor this exercise you will compare 100W incandescent bulbs with 25W compact fluorescent bulbs. Both these bulbs produce similar amounts of light (lumens). You will need to find (or calculate) the information in the chart below. You can find the information on life expectancy on the bulb packages. You can check with your local utility to find the cost of electricity in your area. You can check local stores (or look online) to find purchase costs of the different types of bulb.
Incandescent (100W)Compact Fluorescent (25W)Life expectancy Lifetime kWh used Electricity cost (kWh x cost of electricity in your area) Cost of the bulb Lifetime cost (electricity used + cost of buying bulb) Cost per year CO2 produced per year (kWh/year x 2lbs) From your calculations, you should have discovered that the compact fluorescent bulbs save energy and money, and reduce CO2 emissions. Now consider this final point. Compact fluorescent bulbs contain small amounts of mercury. Would this be a reason not to switch to CFLs? Discuss.Many in the lighting and energy conservation industries consider LED (light-emitting diodes) lighting the future preference for improved lighting efficiency. Compare and contrast the benefits and downsides of LED’s to CFL’s. For 5 points extra credit, include in the above table a column for LED Lights (16W, 100W equivalent). Write up your findings in a 1-2 page report that includes the information in the table above, and a discussion of the mercury issue raised in part 2.

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