Nearly half of CFL bulbs of low qualityMarch 19, 2012, 10:54 pm
By Ifham Nizam
Despite, the availability of five star grades, nearly 50 per cent of the Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) in Sri Lanka were of low quality with most of them having a shorter life span and lesser brightness.
"There are more than 25 varieties of CFLs, most of them refurbished bulbs from China. The worst part is that they contain higher Mercury levels," said Centre for Environment Justice, Executive Director, Hemantha Withanage.
He said 2 mg mercury could pollute a large lake.
Withanage said that despite 10 or more recognised brands, many consumers go for cheaper products. However, of the 10 or so companies, only one company takes back their returns.
"There should be laws, at a time when the country is on an ambitious energy efficiency drive, that all companies should collect their products after use," he added.
He said that CFLs sold in Sri Lanka have 0.5 to 5 mg mercury content whereas in US and Europe the amount is not more than 1 mg.
Sustainable Energy Authority, Energy Efficiency System Head Chamila Jayasekara told The Island yesterday more than 92 per cent of the urban area had now switched to the use of CFLs and the trend was increasing in the rural areas as well. Overall 76 per cent of the consumers were using CFLs.
During 2010, the imports of CFLs had surpassed that of the imports of incandescent bulbs.
In 2010, nearly 17.3 million CFL’s were imported in comparison to the importat of 14.2 million incandescent bulbs. However, the CFLs had now taken over in larger proportion.
During 2005, the country had imported a massive 30.6 million Incandescent Light bulbs compared to just 10.4 million CFLs.
Jayasekara said that the use of CFL bulbs by both domestic and industrial users has helped the national grid to conserve nearly 574 GegaWatts of electricity during 2009 and 2010.
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