Young Consumers’ Knowledge of Compact Fluorescent Lamps: Energy, Sustainability and Willingness of Use

By Asha L. Hegde and Elizabeth Hunt.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study assessed young consumers—college students’—knowledge of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) regarding sustainability, energy usage and their willingness to use it in their home. Lighting plays an important role in our day-to-day lives. In absence of daylight we depend on artificial light for visibility, comfort and safety. Incandescent light, which is the least efficient of all lamps, is typically used in homes around the world including the U.S. As energy and sustainability issues become critical, governments around the world have passed regulations to phase out the inefficient incandescent lamps in favor of more efficient light sources such as CFLs and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
The urgency of energy conservation and sustainability is apparent globally and the shift from incandescent to CFLs is obvious. This study surveyed 168 college student’s knowledge about sustainability and energy efficiency regarding CFLs. Results indicate that the majority of the students identify sustainability with ‘preservations of natural resources’ and with ‘respect and responsibility to conserve the environment’. Eighty-two percent of them consider CFLs as an energy saving lamp along with long lamp life (53%). However, 65% of the students believe that CFL does not contain mercury and 77% of students dispose of them in the trash. When students were asked to select between incandescent and CFLs for their homes, the majority selected incandescent over CFLs for living and bedroom areas while CFLs were selected for utilitarian areas such as kitchen. The results suggest that even though the students are aware of the energy virtues of CFLs, they might not be convinced with the qualitative characteristics of CFLs to create the right ambiance or ‘mood’ in living/bedroom areas typically achieved from incandescent. Lack of consumer knowledge regarding aesthetic qualities of CFLs and lamp disposal in relation to sustainability are also discussed in this study.

Keywords: Sustainability, Compact Fluorescent Lamps, Energy, Energy Efficient light, Ban on Incandescent, Consumer Knowledge, Home Lighting, Residential Lighting

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.49-58. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 638.933KB).

Dr. Asha L. Hegde

Assistant Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA

Asha L. Hegde, Ph.D, RID, LC, is an Assistant Professor of Interior Design and Lighting, in the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences at Texas State University-San Marcos. Hegde focuses her research on the effects of light and color on individual’s health and behavior and overall well being of user within the interior environment—specifically the older adult. Her research papers regarding effects of light and color on the aging eye appear in the Research Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences as well as in Journal of Applied Gerontology. She is also a certified lighting designer and a registered interior designer in the State of Texas who specializes in architectural lighting.

Elizabeth Hunt

Account Manager, Rockford Business Interiors, Austin, Texas, USA

Elizabeth G. Hunt, received double degree in Industrial Distribution and Latin America Studies from Texas A&M University and degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, majoring in Interior Design from Texas State University—San Marcos. While Elizabeth attended Texas State, her concentration was lighting in interior spaces where she conducted two independent lighting research studies: human response to a museum lighting and compact fluorescent lighting—under the advisement of Dr. Hegde. Currently, she works for Rockford Business Interiors as an Account Manager creating more effective and ergonomic environments for the workplace. In the fall 2010, she will pursue a Masters of Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University.

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