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Does God Like Compact Fluorescent Lamps?
Prophecy - Signs
Friday, October 05, 2012
J.L. Robb

Now I know that’s a strange question; but my guess would be, yes He does.  There is a lot of concern in the world about global warming, and especially the “man-made” type.

I’m not sure that the Compact Fluorescent Lamp can do the trick and solve the problem, but this much maligned lamp could certainly help.  The lamp puts off about one-fourth the heat of a standard, incandescent lamp.  Obviously, if every light bulb in the world was a compact fluorescent, there would be about 75% less heat from lighting that would be pumped into the air.

In doing some research for this week’s article, I asked the questions: Does God mention anything about Global Warming in the Bible?  If so, did He say it would be man-made instead of God-made?

“The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire.” (Revelation 16:8 NIV)

That sounds to me like it’s God-made.

I Googled the subject and ran across an excellent sermon by Pastor Bruce Fraser, with Friendship United Church in Ontario, Canada.  I tried to track down Pastor Fraser to let him know I was using his sermon in this article, but I think he may be deceased, at least I found an obituary.  So if you’re reading this Pastor Fraser, I apologize for the obit comment.

It’s a great sermon, and here is an excerpt:

In the book of Genesis is the account of God giving humans stewardship over the world:

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28, New Revised Standard Version)

One way of interpreting this is that humans are superior to everything else in nature – we are the only thing that matters – and our job is to subdue the earth, to rule and have dominion over it.  Trees are just lumber that hasn’t been cut up yet.  Water is a commodity waiting to be dammed or bottled.  Who cares if we use it all up?  Jesus is coming soon, and then we won’t need trees or water.  This kind of thinking is still prevalent today.

There is another way of looking at this passage.  Go back and read the rest of that first chapter of Genesis.  It is significant that just about every time after God makes part of the creation, the passage ends with the words,

“And God saw that it was good.”

God is rather fond of this world, and we have been given the job to look after it.  How do we do that?  How do we look after the world?  Just about every time I get a bill from the Hydro company, there is a brochure inside telling me how to conserve electricity:

  • compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • thermostats which automatically turn the heat down at night and when you’re away during  the day
  • weather-stripping doors and windows
  • insulate walls and attics

This was only part of Pastor Fraser’s sermon, but you can click and see the rest.  His sermon is the reason I decided to write about Compact Fluorescent Lamps.  People seem to be confused.

In the list above you see the #1 item is the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), the lamp that everyone loves to hate.  It is the lamp that the U.S. government is trying to “force” on us, and it’s met a lot of resistance.  You know, the one that looks like an ice cream cone.

The Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) has been all over the news lately.  A lot of folk don’t “like” them, primarily because they don’t like the federal government mandating their use.  Some claim they don’t like the “color” because they are too harsh or too bright; and they flicker when they first come on.  Some think they are dangerous because they contain “mercury.”  Even snopes.com has tested and found this to be untrue.  Now, if you had 5 million in your home, it would be a different story.

The government has mandated the most preposterous “rules” about what to do if a CFL breaks.  I often wonder if this has been a lobbying effort by the manufacturers of the standard incandescent lamp like grandma used to use and most of us still like.

I have a “real” job.  If I ever get to be a best-seller, that will be my real job; but right now I own a light bulb company and have distributed energy efficient lighting products for 30+ years.  I don’t know much about a lot of things, but I do know a lot about light bulbs and what makes them light up.

Here is the Truth about the Compact Fluorescent Lamp …

The facts: Mercury is contained in almost every form of commercial lighting, from metal-halide (grocery store parking lots and automobile dealerships), to mercury vapor (fuzzy blue-white light) and high-pressure sodium (the amber colored lights you often see along roadways), to all fluorescent lamps.  Mercury is found in neon lights, black-lights and sun lamps.  Mercury (chemical symbol Hg) is a naturally occurring element and is used in barometers, thermometers and sphygmomanometers (blood pressure cuffs).

As kids in the ‘60s, we often broke thermometers and played with the mercury in our hands, rolling it around and trying to make little balls that would merge quickly back together.  Hmmm, maybe that’s what’s wrong with me!

Now, mercury isn’t good for you to drink or snort; but it’s everywhere, not just in Compact Fluorescent Lamps.  When the power company generates electricity for our homes and businesses, mercury is usually pumped into the atmosphere, along with several other pollutants.  It’s everywhere, in minute quantities.

If you work in an office environment, next time you’re at your desk, look up.  There’s about an 80% chance that the light bulbs you see are fluorescent tubes, usually four feet long.  They’ve been breaking in offices since 1938 and contained 10 to 20 times more mercury than is in a CFL.

According to new federal guidelines, mercury is so dangerous that if a fluorescent lamp (or other mercury containing lamp) should break in your home or office, you must open the windows, air out the house, put the lamp in a plastic baggie and don’t dare vacuum.  You may want to don a gas mask and check into the nearest ICU!! More “federal” guidelines to save us from ourselves.  If they want to saves us, they should just fire Washington DC.  That would be much better.

The fluorescent lamp tube for standard office fixtures was first sold in 1938.  Since that time, millions have been broken in offices when dropped.  They make a “poof” sound because of gas inside.  I have yet to see an office “air out” or evacuate because of a broken fluorescent lamp and are almost always vacuumed in the cleaning process. 

Most fluorescent lamps are now “low mercury” because they have… well, low mercury.  The CFL has about 3-4 milligrams of mercury (about the size of a period at the end of this sentence), one fourth the amount of  the mercury of a standard four-foot fluorescent low-mercury lamp, the one above your desk possibly.  A typical mercury thermometer has about 500 milligrams of mercury.

So what are the advantages of the Compact Fluorescent Lamp?  Do they help God’s green earth?  You betcha.

The advantages are numerous.

  • A CFL uses one-fourth the energy consumed by an incandescent (standard) lamp.  A 27 watt CFL puts out more light than a standard 100 watt lamp.  That’s with a 75% energy savings.  Instead of costing a dollar’s worth of electricity, it will cost you twenty-five cents.
  • A 100 watt standard lamp that is ON for 10 hours/day will cost you about $ 43.80 per year in the USA.
  • A 27 watt CFL that is ON for 10 hours/day will cost you about $ 10.95, an energy savings of $ 32.85 per year.
  • A CFL lasts 5-8 times longer than a standard lamp.
  • A CFL is available in many color ranges, from “warm white” like the standard lamp to bright white, to blue-white light (obnoxious).
  • A quality CFL does not flicker.

Here’s how you can tell the color: The box the lamp comes in, or on the lamp itself, you will see a number, usually 4-digits but sometimes they leave the two zeros off.  The lower the number, the softer the light. A 2700, or 27, is a light like granma has, warm-white.  A number 3000, sometimes it will be followed by a K (Temperature in Kelvin), ie 3000K, or 30K, is still a warm-white but not quite as warm.  A 4100, 41, is a “cool-white", like in most office buildings.

Sometimes Home Depot type stores will have a big sale on CFL lamps that are 5000 to 6500K.  That’s why so many people hate them.  They get the wrong color.

The average cost of a quality CFL (that’s important) 23-27 watt lamp is $5.00 to $6.00, non-dimmable.  Return on Investment: Usually Less than 4 MONTHS.  A standard incandescent 100 watt lamp may cost a dollar, but you will buy ten of them before you buy another CFL.

Synopsis: You spend $5.00, get your money back in 2 months in an office environment and don’t have to replace the lamp for 3 years.  In the average home where lamps aren’t on 10-12 hours per day, the lamps will last many years.  I moved into my home in 1993, installed CFLs and they are still burning today.  I, nor my kids, cats and dogs have not had Hg poisoning!  I do run into the wall sometimes, but that’s typically after Happy Hour.

Does this sound like a bad deal?

Nope, God doesn’t mention Global Warming, at least by that name, in the Bible.  I bet He would think it was a bright idea though.  They do wonderful things for the environment and are the # 1 or #2 best way to cut the power bill in your home.  Usually the proper control of the Heating and Air is the #1 best way to save.  Maybe we will discuss that next time.

With all this said, I think we should be free to spend four times as much money to light our homes if we want to.  It’s America for Pete’s sake.

About J.L. Robb

Last week: So Jesus Married a Hooker. Really???

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