Beware of cheap CFL bulbs – DOE

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 April) – Consumers should not buy compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs that are being sold around town for a bargain price of three for P100 here, the Department of Energy (DOE) warned.

Raquel Huliganga, director of the DOE’s Energy Research Testing and Laboratory Services, said in a press conference here Wednesday that there were reported instances of cheap CFLs exploding, which caused harm or fire.

She said that these cheap bulbs are not entering the country through legal means.

Huliganga advised consumers to look for the mandatory yellow label on the bulb’s packaging, which provide information on the energy efficiency performance of the product. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), she noted, performs safety tests on CFLs sold in the local market.

The DTI said that the yellow labels help “eliminate the least efficient lighting system in the local market, reduce monthly electricity bill, protect consumers from mislabeling, encourage the manufacturers to improve product efficiency, and to reduce greenhouse gas emission.”

Huliganga said safe CFL bulbs that cost P80 to P120 each, depending on the quality and wattage, are energy-efficient compared to the cheap incandescent bulbs.

The DOE urges the public to use CFLs to help reduce energy consumption. In its Philippine Energy Efficiency Project (PEEP), the DOE distributed 8.6 million CFLs to households all over the country to demonstrate how to save energy using the CFL bulbs.

She mentioned that the DOE also replaced street lights in some major cities with light-emitting diode (LED) lamps from the high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps.

Of the two types of street lamps, the LEDs are more efficient in energy consumption. It has the same life span as the HPS lamps at 30,000 hours, Huliganga said.

She noted, though, that the government does not have tests yet for the quality of the LED lamps. She advised consumers to ask for warranty and know where the lamps were manufactured to protect their consumer rights. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro / MindaNews)