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Kerala’s ban on CFL and filament bulbs from November 2020

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Kerala’s ban on CFL and filament bulbs from November 2020

What to study?

For Prelims: Differences between LED, CFL and filament bulbs.

For Mains: Why the ban? Implications and significance.

Context: Kerala will impose a ban on the sale of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and incandescent (filament) bulbs starting November this year as part of sustainable energy policy.

This is in line with the government project of ‘Filament-free Kerala’ envisaged in 2018 as part of the state’s Urja Kerala mission.

What is filament-free Kerala project?

  • It will be implemented by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the Energy Management Centre,
  • Consumers in the state can place orders for LED bulbs on the KSEB website in exchange for existing filament bulbs.
  • Nine-watt LED bulbs are being sold at reduced prices by the government to encourage usage. Last year, Peelikode in Kasaragod district became the first panchayat in the country to be completely filament-free.
  • The project is also part of the long-term sustainable energy policy to reduce the dependence on conventional energy sources and instead maximise potential on renewable sources like solar and hydel power.

Key differences between LED and CFL:

  • The major difference between the CFL and LED is that in CFL the emission of light is because of the ionisation of mercury vapour. The mercury vapour when ionise produces ultraviolet rays. These rays when collides with phosphorous coating tube generates visible light.
  • Whereas in the LED it is because of the PN junction diode. When the forward current applies across the diode, the recombination of the charge carrier takes place. This charge carrier gives energy in the form of the heat and light.

Rationale behind the ban:

  1. The CFL uses mercury vapour which is dangerous for the environment and living beings.
  2. Also, it requires additional components like ballast, tungsten tube coated with barium, etc., which increases their cost.
  3. The destruction of the LED is easier than the CFL because LED does not have any harmful metal which pollutes the environment.
  4. The brightness of LED is more as compared to CFL because LED emits light only in one direction.

Why LED?

The LED is better than the CFL in every aspect. The LED saves up to 80 percent of the electricity bill even though their cost is very less. It is recyclable, and their brightness remains same even after using it for a long time.

Sources: Indian Express.