Incandescent bulbs contain a tungsten filament which, when heated to high temperature glows and emits light. But, most of the electricity is wasted as heat and only a part is converted into light. Whereas in CFLs, vaporized mercury emits ultraviolet radiation, this in turn excites fluorescent phosphor coating in the bulb and light is produced. So, there is very less energy wasted in the form of heat, and most of the input electricity is converted to light (McLendon, 2011). Also, for same amount of illumination required, say 800 Lumens of luminous intensity, an incandescent bulb of 60W power may be required but a CFL of 13W power is quite sufficient.
In our case, the hotel’s 200 rooms have 60% occupancy in a year and in each room it is proposed to have four lamps, working 6 hours a day. Assuming electricity cost is 11$ per kWh, Annual electricity bill to Brightlight would be around 10,264$ if incandescent bulbs were installed and only around 2,224$ if CFLs were installed. That is the power cost can be reduced by more than 4 times if CFLs are used instead of the conventional lamps. Considering the initial installation cost alone, CFLs might be costlier when compare to incandescent bulbs. But, CFLs have a lifetime up to 15,000 lighting hours, while incandescent bulbs last only up to 1000 hours (“Why Choose Energy Star?”, n.d.). So, CFLs need not be changed frequently and there is less loss due to damage or breakage.
The only drawback with CFLs is that mercury used in these lamps is hazardous and could be released when the lamps are broken. However, recent standards and guidelines in US allow only minimal use of mercury in the lamps and also CFL disposal is strictly regulated. Also, since CFL has a longer life i.e. up to 10 years, mercury release from the lamp can be contained and managed. Further, since CFLs consume less electricity, greenhouse gas emissions associated with it are less and the carbon footprint of the hotel can be reduced to a minimal level.
CFLs are the best option for the boutique hotel as Brightlight would not only save on power bills but also on lighting equipment maintenance and repair costs. Further, the hotel would become more energy efficient and eco-friendly with a very small emission footprint.
McLendon, R. (2011, February 15). CFL vs. incandescent: Battle of the bulb.
MNN. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/translating-uncle-sam/stories/cfl-vs-incandescent-battle-of-the-bulb
Why Choose Energy Star?. (n.d.). Why Choose ENERGY STAR Qualified CFLs?
: ENERGY STAR. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_why