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Smart Lite CFL replaces the bulbs not the ballast

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February 17, 2009

Smart Lite CFL

Smart Lite CFL

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February 18, 2009 Compact fluorescent lights (CFL) are a smaller version of their long established big brothers which, despite some drawbacks such as a small amount of mercury content, have gained serious ground in recent years as an energy-efficient alternative to conventional incandescent globes. CFLs reduce carbon emissions because they convert electricity into light more efficiently and also last up to ten times longer, but the globe still reaches its used by date long before the base (ballast) section that connects it to the power socket. 3E Technologies has identified this as another wasteful aspect of the process that could be eliminated and its solution is the Smart Lite - a two-piece CFL which allows the bulb to be removed from the ballast and replaced with a simple ‘insert and twist’ operation.

The Smart Lite CFL lasts around 8,000 hours (approximately ten times that of incandescent bulbs) and have an efficiency of 65 lumens per watt, which is a high figure even for CFLs which generally run at about 40 lumens per watt according to the manufacturer. Incandescent lamps come in at about 8 to 17 lm/W.

This efficiency reaps rewards. It's been estimated that replacing a single incandescent bulb with a CFL will keep a half-ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere over its lifetime, but each time we throw out a CFL, we needlessly dispose of an expensive electronic ballast that's still in working order.

With the interchangeable system, the Smart CFL ballast, which has a 40,000 hour life, can be used throughout the life of about five Smart Lite bulbs. The benefits of this are seen as offsetting what must has to be a slightly more complex production process (i.e. producing two separate, interlocking pieces).

The idea in a nutshell - less waste with fewer emissions and money saved.

For further information on Smart Lite bulbs see 3E Techonologies, Inc.

Karen Sprey

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2 Comments

i am an old, pushing 90, scientist. learned 80yrs ago how to "log" events. even how fast popcorn popped. i habitually mark metal base of all lamps.

mini fluorescent bulbs for 15 yrs. cost of bulbs far exceed power, even i highenergy $ reno, nv $.14-.15 kW. failure rate back "then" on mini bulbs plus labor to replace was at least 3x.$ supposedly saved : my office bldg, qualified for $10,000 incentive paid thru power co. i now utilize similar retail purchased bulbs in my home and garage.

the new "standard" twists do not even make life the expectancy listed on the packages: either on units turned of and on every 12hrs or left on until failure, regardless of brand. but sure helps china mfgrs. my high ceiling kitchen floods designed for 75W but when then senator Gore (i think) he pushed for terminating 75W for 60W and result was: we need 90 or 100w in my kitchen. fortunately in the incandescents, esp. halogens, a voltage controller switch prolongs bulb life depending on brand and country of mfg from 2-5 years. reason: filament is heated slower, not "shocked".

so let politicians and GE b..l.s..t others. i would be pleased to create contest: by bulbs of random mfgr and bought at random retailers, say $10,000. for MY favorite charity?

oldealchemist
15th March, 2010 @ 11:18 am PDT

This idea will only work if better-than-average components are used for the electronic ballast. I have yet to see a made-in-China CFL reach its rated life, regardless of brand: They always seem to fail after 500-700 hours (yes, a shorter life than the incandescents they replace), and the failure is invariably due to some component in the electronic ballast. There's also the issue of mercury content. We never had to worry about discarding incandescent bulbs, but now the CFLs need to be handled as hazardous waste; God forbid that you should drop one and break it on the floor in your house. The entire CFL industry is a gigantic fraud.

Facebook User
19th May, 2010 @ 04:07 pm PDT
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