The Instigator
Ore_Ele
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
ReptiDeath
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

CFLs are superior to Incandescent light bulbs

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Ore_Ele
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/9/2011 Category: Technology
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,389 times Debate No: 17839
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (2)

 

Ore_Ele

Pro

Pro (that's me) has the burden to show that CFLs are better, while Con (that would be my opponent) has the burden to show that Incandescent are better for your standard american family household.

By "superior" and "better" I mean by judging the whole picture, not just in a single category. As such we will both want to highlight our strengths and down play our weaknesses. Some common ways things are valued are, cost, safety, efficiency, ease, etc. We can of course use anything that helps our case, but it is up to voters to determine what really matters.

CFL - Compact Fluorescent Lamp (or Lightblub) [1]
Incandescent Bulb [2]

My opponent is free to start their argument in R1, or they may simply accept and offer any definitions they may have and allow me to start in R2.

Thank you,

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
ReptiDeath

Con

I accept your terms and definitions and I would like to define my own terms in addition to yours...

I would like to define hertz as: The hertz (symbol Hz) is the SI unit of frequency defined as the number of cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon. One of its most common uses is the description of the sine wave, particularly those used in radio and audio applications.[1]

I would also like to define superior as: being of higher grade or quality. Also as "having superior functionality or practicality" meaning, one excels in functionality and or practicality over the other.[2]

Also I would like to layout what I would like to center my half of the debate upon so that we can avoid proposing new arguments on the very last round (but I understand if it comes to you just then and you have to put it in).

-Negative health effects of CFL's
-hazards of CFL's
-Ideal soft warming light of incandescents
-costs
-Inconvenience of CFL's

I would also like to elaborate on the fact that this debate applies to their application in the personal housing applications and is not to extend into talk of its superiority in applications in commercial lighting as per what you stated in your round one arguments "the burden to show that Incandescent are better for your standard american family household".

Thanks again for such a provocative topic this could go either way

Sources:
[1][http://en.wikipedia.org...]
[2][http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Ore_Ele

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. Based on his round 1, it looks like his argument will be based around Safety (health effects and hazards), Aesthetics (ideal soft warming light), Cost, and Convenience. I have no argument that CFLs are "safer" than Incandescents, so I will not present a safety argument, the same goes with convenience. Instead, I will defend against any safety and convenience arguments he makes with my R3. Along with those arguments, I will also put in Efficiency (though that could be considered a subcategory of cost, since the two often go hand in hand).

1)Cost.

This is probably going to be my main argument for CFLs (unless we have some uber environmentalist voters, then for them, efficiency is going to be the main, but they all tie together). It should come as no shock to anyone reading this that CFLs have greater upfront costs than their incandescent older siblings. However, to think that the upfront cost is the only cost associated with them would be like thinking that the only cost of a new car is the sticker price (in other words, wrong).

Here, we will look at 3 CFLs and 3 Incandescents. I will try to make it so the 3 represent the cheap, middle, and premium qualities of each. If my opponent can suggest better examples for the Incandescents, please let me know and I will re-run the numbers using those instead. These numbers will also be calculated multiple times, since some numbers have questions as to what you should use. For example, for lifespan, should we use the expected life hours? Or the actual length of the manufacturer's warranty (if there is one)? Should compare based on the Watt equivalent? Or match up the Lumens? I will run them based on all of these.

Here are the light bulbs I've selected for CFL, low quality [1], middle [2], and premium [3] and for Incandescent is [4][5][6]. The two different ways these will be measured, is what is the cost of the live of a bulb per 100 hours of use, and how much does it cost to light a room with 5,000 lumens per 100 hours (since a bulb that is technically cheaper, but produces less light is not really better).

Okay, so let's look at these different light bulbs. First thing we might notice, is that the only Incandescent bulb to have a warranty is the premium one. And if we assume that I cherry picked that (which could be possible, after all, I'm arguing against them), then we can search through the 60W section of the Incandescent bulbs to see that the when sorted from cheapest to most expensive, the "premium" that I selected was the cheapest to actually have a warranty, while every single CFL has a warranty. Though, I still hold, that my opponent may go through and select any 3 bulbs that he feels better represents the three categories.

So, for CFL 1 [1], we find that is has a lifetime of 10,000 hours, and over that life time costs of $15.77 ($1.77 for the bulb, $14.00 of total energy at 10 cents per kWh). This comes to 15.77 cents per 100 hours. If we use the warranty (3 hours a day for 15 months, or 1,400 hours), we get 26.64 cents per 100 hours.

For CFL 2 [2], it has a lifetime cost of $15.23 over 10,000 hours (because it is 13 W, rather than 14 W of CFL 1). That costs 15.23 cents per 100 hours, or 23.14 cents per 100 hour by warranty (3 hours a day for 24 months, or 2,200 hours).

For CFL 3 [3], it has a lifetime cost of $22.40 over 12,000 hours. That comes to 18.67 cents per 100 hours, or 43.91 cents per 100 hours of warranty. Now, let's move on to the Incandescent bulbs.

For Incan 1 [4], we find that it has a lifetime of 5,000 hours. That comes to a total lifetime cost of $30.69, or 61.38 cents per 100 hours. This bulb has no warranty, so that cannot be compared.

For Incan 2 [5], we find that it has a lifetime of 10,000 hours. That comes to a total cost of $60.80, or 60.8 cents per 100 hours. It also has no warranty.

For Incan 3 [6], it goes back down to 5,000 lifetime hours (but it has a warranty). It comes to a cost of 65.78 cents per 100 hours, or 80.64 cents per 100 hours of warranty.

Now, it should be pointed out that "lifetime" is not just some number a company can make up and slap on the package. It is basically the LD50 for light bulbs (how long until 50% of bulbs burn out under normal circumstances), as you can see if you place your mouse over the "?" next to "life hours" in any of the links. From this first calculation, it is clear that Incandescent bulbs are almost 4 times as expensive as CFLs.

Now going to the other test of lighting a room with a given number of lumens, this will actually bend more to the CFL's favor because the CFLs, produce more lumens than there Incandescent counterparts. Running through the calculations again, we find that the three CFLs get 65.71 cents per 100 hours, 84.61 cents, and 100.90 cents (respectfully). The Incans come out at 590 cents per 100 hours, 633.33 cents, and 548.17 cents (respectfully). So the light the same area, they turn out to be much more expensive.

2)Efficiency

Now, much of the efficiency shows up in lowering the cost of the CFLs versus Incandescents because they use less energy, and the energy cost of light bulbs is the biggest cost (for example, with Incan 1, the light bulb only cost 69 cents, but the energy spent over the life of the bulb was $30.00). But one of the things with efficiency is the cost savings that cannot be directly calculated, but we know can exist based on basic economic principles (like supply and demand).

One way this can help everyone, is that the lower the demand for energy, the more the cost goes down. Since CFLs demand less energy, they actually lower the cost of energy (a single bulb is too insignificant to cause an effect, but tens of millions would). By lowering demand, and lowering price, that makes all other electrically devices more cost efficient as a result. On a personal home level, this means a lower electric bill, and so more money for various other activities, while in companies, this means a lower overhead cost of doing business, which (also according to supply and demand) will marginally decrease the price of goods.

Since we live in a world where everything is driven by energy, the cost of energy is in everything. Lowering that cost of energy through the use of efficient means will result in everything dropping in price.

3)Aesthetics

This is really completely subjective and there really isn't any way to measure this. Personally, I like their shape (not too fond of the ones that imitate bulbs rather than spirals), but really, I use lamp shades and such to customize my lighting so you don't really see the bulbs anyway.

With this, I will pass to my opponent for his R2 and await his response to my arguments, along with what he has to say about safety and convenience.

[1] http://www.1000bulbs.com...
[2] http://www.1000bulbs.com...
[3] http://www.1000bulbs.com...
[4] http://www.1000bulbs.com...
[5] http://www.1000bulbs.com...
[6] http://www.1000bulbs.com...
ReptiDeath

Con

I will first reinforce my arguments and then move on to attack my opponent's case.

Cost:
Lets be honest. How many people actually buy there bulbs online? I prefer not to look up a statistic for this but honestly I don't believe I need one because the voters will agree. It is rare to come across someone who buys their bulbs online. Additionally, my opponent failed to include shipping in her calculations but that wouldn't have a significant difference it is still important since she chose online ordering (which I still believe doesn't reflect the stereotypical homeowner).My numbers that I have are from HomeDepot.com (same price in store where, to my experience, most people get there lightbulbs) show that the cheapest set of four bulbs of comparable quality showed even greater differences in costs. I chose to demonstrate packs of four because it highlights the true value in both of the bulbs and also because I know I rarely buy just one bulb at a time and the voters will reflect that. Here is my data

-[1] The Incandescent output nearly double the lumens of the comparable CFLs [2] COST: $1.27

-[2] The CFL only output about 800 lumens and was 14 watts, similar to your example. Warranty and life hours were also similar. However, the COST: $7.97

So as you can see differences in costs are quite steep and while it may not make up entirely for the savings of the CFL it narrows the gap.
Another thing my opponent failed to address is the cost of disposal for CFL's being as that they contain noxious gases and mercury.

It costs about 3.50 dollars to dispose of each CFl compared to less then 10 cents per incandescent [3]

This concludes my cost argument... again my side of the story may not recover all of the cost benefits associated with CFL's but it should help the voters realize that the cost savings isn't significant enough to rule out my other arguments and factors which I will discuss in succeeding rounds

[1] http://www.homedepot.com...
[2] http://www.homedepot.com...-
100687001/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053
[3] http://www.ehso.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Ore_Ele

Pro

I thank my opponent for his argument and will dive into it now.

My opponent questions how many people are buying light bulbs online. While it is true that very few are actually doing that, it does not change the fact that these light bulbs are available for sale online and that if you wanted them, you can get them there. Just because people choose a more expensive route does not mean that the objects in question have to be more expensive. But, I can still make a easy proof going off of only Home Depot [1], ACE hardware [2], and Lowes Home Improvement [3].

Looking at these, we can see that Lowes has CFLs as low as $4.98 for a two pack ($2.49 each). Ace has them as low as $3.49 each (in a single pack), and Home Depot has them as low as $3.97 each. The nearly $8 CFL my opponent selected is one of the more expansive ones (which I showed in my last round that the more expensive are still more expensive in the long run).

It should also be important to note, that even in my opponent's examples, his Incandescent bulb has only an estimated 750 life hours, meaning that it will likely need to be replaced 10 times over the life of a single CFL (which average about 8,000 life hours). As seeing as it is only half the cost of a CFL, needs to be replaced 10 times as often, and uses about 400% more energy (which is where the real cost of lighting comes from, as shown in my last round and not disputed), it can hardly, under any line of logic be viewed as cheaper.

Regarding my opponent's claim that CFL's cost $3.50 to discard, it should be noted from his source, "The information in this document is believed to be correct as of March 1995." It should also be noted that the cost $3.50 is for the disposal of PCB Ballasts, which are not in CFLs anymore, since they became illegal in 1978 [4]. As such, my opponent's claim on the cost of disposal of CFL bulbs is effectively negated.

Since my opponent only addressed costs this round that is all I could negate. Efficiency and Aesthetics were not addressed and so dropped.

I look forward to my opponent's next round.

Thank you,

[1] http://www.homedepot.com...
[2] http://www.acehardware.com...
[3] http://www.lowes.com...
[4] http://easternenvironmental.com...
ReptiDeath

Con

ReptiDeath forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Ore_Ele

Pro

There is nothing for me to address, so I will just summarize.

CFL's are not much more expensive at the time of purchase. Since they last so much longer, and use such a smaller amount of electricity, there is no cost reason for them not to be used for every socket that they can fit in. Since this is the final round, I will not be able to address any points my opponent brings up in the next round, but I request that people please double check sources, as we saw last round, a disposal price he gave was for something entirely different from CFLs.
ReptiDeath

Con

ReptiDeath forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ReptiDeath 2 years ago
ReptiDeath
And I agree the government should not regulate the kind of light bulb we can use... besides i think LED's are the wave of the future... simply amazing
Posted by ReptiDeath 2 years ago
ReptiDeath
I agree... I had to narrow the resolution as you may have noticed... but the big money arguments against the CFL's i didnt hit because i forfeited
Posted by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
Pro had a clear win, with cost being the only disputed issue.

The resolution is no very good. Whether CFLs are better depends upon the application. For ordinary room lighting they win big on cost.

In most places, it's illegal to throw dead fluorescents in the trash, but that's true of the log tubes as well.

For applications where the bulb is rarely on, like a closet light, the initial cost of a CFL is never recovered. CFLs start dimly in the cold, so they are not very good for something like a garage in a cold place or in a frig. They cannot be used in ovens. CFLs are unattractive for many types of chandeliers.

The best way is not to have a government mandate for CFLs, but have a lighting engineer do new installation designs.
Posted by ReptiDeath 2 years ago
ReptiDeath
im rather embaressed
Posted by ReptiDeath 2 years ago
ReptiDeath
I am a failure... ha ha i forgot i missed dealine twice and i told myself i wouldnt
Posted by Ore_Ele 2 years ago
Ore_Ele
I hope my "Cost" section isn't too difficult of a read. I tried to make it as simply as possible.
Posted by Ore_Ele 2 years ago
Ore_Ele
But it is a product that your either choose to buy them, or the some other style of light bulb. Not to narc on An Cap or anything (since the same is true for my political views), but this actually has real world implications and uses.
Posted by Tim_Spin 2 years ago
Tim_Spin
I honestly dont know enough about cfl light bulbs to seriously debate about them.
Posted by Ore_Ele 2 years ago
Ore_Ele
I could just picture someone suggesting that up in Northern Canada that since Incandescent produce more heat, they are "better" in freezing environments. But that was really about the only situation that I could see being pulled that I couldn't really argue against.
Posted by Ore_Ele 2 years ago
Ore_Ele
Sshhh!!! No one has accepted yet.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
Ore_EleReptiDeathTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con dropped all arguments except cost, and Pro won the cost argument. Easy win for Pro.
Vote Placed by CD-Host 2 years ago
CD-Host
Ore_EleReptiDeathTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: First 2 rounds were good and then a double forfeit. Pro's attack on cost was solid though I would have loved to see Con's disposal argument addressed. Pro had a slight edge on sources for the 2 rounds the debate continued.