Chinese CFL, Lack of Investment Harming Domestic Producers

Chinese CFL, Lack of Investment Harming Domestic ProducersChinese CFL, Lack of Investment Harming Domestic Producers

Production and use of filament light bulbs (FLB) was due to be discontinued, however, not only are they still being produced due to insufficient funding to shift the production to CFLs, but their massive import from China has also not stopped, head of the Lamp Producers’ Association Ahmad Mohseni said on Sunday, ILNA reported.

“The culture of using energy efficient lamps has not matured in our society. Moreover, government ought to support the manufacturers of such lamps with low-interest loans so that they can transform their production lines from  incandescent lamps to  compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs),” he said.

“There are 20 FLB production units in the country which need at least $13 million to be able to move to CFLs. These factories should produce 140 million lamps a year to continue normal activity. However, due to import of cheap Chinese lamps plus the stagnation in the overall market many of the units are on the verge of insolvency.”

Mohseni reiterated that most imported lamps are non-standard and smuggled into the country. It is not clear how many lamps are imported legally because the customs administration releases statistics based on tonnage. Nonetheless, it is regrettable that most businesses and importers prefer Chinese lamps because of higher profit margins, he complained.

If the “government can put an end to the import of low-priced lamps from China by better oversight, domestic producers can and will compete with more expensive imported brands; otherwise, they will suffer heavy losses,” he noted.

Referring to the pollution such lamps may cause, Mohseni stressed that the imported energy- efficient lamps contain four milligram of mercury and if they burst when on, they severely pollute the air. “However standard domestic lamps are much safer.”  

A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), also called compact fluorescent light, energy-saving light, and compact fluorescent tube, is a fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent lamp; some types fit into light fixtures formerly used for incandescent lamps. The lamps use a tube which is curved or folded to fit into the space of an incandescent bulb, and a compact  electronic ballast in the base of the lamp.

Compared to incandescent lamps giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer. A CFL has a higher purchase price than an incandescent lamp, but it can save over five times its purchase price in electricity costs over the lamp’s lifetime. Like all fluorescent lamps, CFLs contain toxic mercury which complicates their disposal. In many countries, governments have established recycling schemes for CFLs and glass generally.

The principle of operation in a CFL bulb remains the same as in other fluorescent lighting: electrons that are bound to mercury atoms are excited to states where they will radiate ultraviolet light as they return to a lower energy level; this emitted ultraviolet light is converted into visible light as it strikes the fluorescent coating on the bulb (as well as into heat when absorbed by other materials such as glass).

CFLs radiate a spectral power distribution that is different from that of incandescent lamps. Improved phosphor formulations have improved the perceived color of the light emitted by CFLs, such that some sources rate the best “soft white” CFLs as subjectively similar in color to standard incandescent lamps.

White LED lamps now compete with CFLs for high-efficiency house lighting.