Today's question: What is the difference in terms of environmental impact during the production of old-fashioned and newer light bulbs? My dad says that there is mercury in the newer bulbs, and therefore the metal and glass tungsten ones are better, and that the heat from the bulbs in a bonus.
Thanks for the question. It's true that the compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs do contain mercury, while the older incandescent bulbs do not. We think the best product on the market right now are the LED lights, since they use much less energy than incandescent bulbs and even less than the CFL lights, but they don't contain the mercury that CLF light bulbs do. They are more expensive, but they last a lot longer than the other bulbs.
You mentioned the heat that is given off by the older style (incandescent) light bulbs. We don't feel it is a very efficient source of heat and so don't recommend that you rely on it for heating.
This link provides a great table comparing many aspects of the three types of lighting. And if you're looking for more detail, this chart might be useful to you. It comes from a website called Inhabitat.
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