Let's take a small one step

Let's start conserve energy and save our planet along the way. We don't need to go far, carry a banner and shouting on the road, we can do it in our own home.

We can begin by replacing our traditional incandescent bulb, fluorescent tubes or compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) with LED tubes or bulb.

It is very rare to see any home still using incandescent bulb. Probably you can still see it in "kampung house". The last time I saw this bulb when I was living with my grandmother many years back. In some country this bulb has been phased out. The reason because, this bulb does not use power efficiently. 95% of the power consume is converted to heat rather than light. There is a big energy wasted. Most new home now has been fitted with fluorescent tubes or fluorescent bulb (CFL) because it is more efficient in energy usage, up to 80% less energy and last longer in term of life span. But, there is a cost factor, either in $$$ or health and environment impact.

Not many people knows that fluorescent tubes contains mercury. which is hazardous and dangerous to human being and the environment. This heavy metal, also known as neuro-toxin can damage our brain, kidney, nervous system, lungs, liver and etc. Long term exposure can cause personality changes, stupor and in extreme cases, coma or death.

The use of fluorescent tube is safe because it does not release mercury while in operation. The problem arise when people start discarded it. It is dangerous to break it because you will release the mercury to the atmosphere and might accidentally inhale it. When disposed, if landfill is used, this mercury can leech into soil and water and contaminated it. If incinerator is used, the amount of mercury released to the atmosphere even higher.

Fluorescent tubes and CFL bulb consume more power than LED tube and LED bulb. What the heck? Isn't the wattage is the same if you want the same brightness? No, it is not. It just giving you some clue with the brightness it will be in the old days. Brightness is not measured by electrical power it uses but by LUMEN.

By definition lumen is "a unit of luminous flux in the International System of Units, that is equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one candela intensity radiating equally in all directions". In short, lumen is a rating used to measure how much light which a light source (bulb, tubes, led etc) emits.

Let's compare the lumen of T8 LED tube and T8 Fluorescent tube:

  T8 Fluorescent Tube T8 LED Light Tube
Lumen per Watt 60-80 110-120

You will see that there is more lumen per watt in LED tube then Fluorescent tube. Almost double. Off cause this data is not true for every fluorescent tubes and led light tube out there. It depends on the manufacturer specification. This is an average data and to give you some clue how the comparison will be.

In a normal house fixture, let's say we use a 36 watt of fluorescent tube. That means the fluorescent tube will emit about 60 x 36 = 2160 lumen when you switch it on.

To get the same amount of lumen in LED light tube, the calculation will be, 2160/110 = 19.6 Watt. That means you need to get a 19 - 20 Watt of LED light tube. Almost half of the wattage of fluorescent tubes.  In simple word, you will get the same amount of brightness but with only half electrical power consume when you use LED compares to Fluorescent.

Translate it further into $$$ :

Price of 1 unit of Fluorescent tubes = RM 7.00

Price of 1 unit of LED light tube = RM 16.00

(This price is the average price you can get in Labuan)


  T8 fluorescent Tube T8 LED light Tube
Operation Wattage 36 watt 19 watt
Annual Consumption (6 hours daily - 6 p.m to 12.00 a.m) 78.840 kWh 41.610 kWh

The difference of power consumption between fluorescent tube and LED light tube is: 78.840 kWh - 41.610 kWh = 37.23 kWh.


The domestic tariff for electrical usage for Sabah and Labuan released by SESB :

Tariff Category Unit New Rates
Tariff DM – Domestic Tariff

For the first 100 kWh (1-100 kWh) per month Sen/kWh 17.5
For the next 100 kWh (101-200 kWh) per month Sen/kWh 18.5
For the next 100 kWh (201-300 kWh) per month Sen/kWh 33.0
For the next 200 kWh (301-500 kWh) per month Sen/kWh 44.5
For the next 500 kWh (501-1000 kWh) per month Sen/kWh 45.0
For the next kWh (1001 kWh onwards) per month Sen/kWh 47.0

Statistic in 2014 shows that on average, household in Malaysia uses around 3012 kWh per year or 251 kWh every month. This means that the tariff we will be using is 33.0 sen/kWh.

So, for 1 single LED light tube, we will save RM 12.29 (37.23 x 33.0 sen) every year compare to using fluorescent tubes. For a house with 10 tubes, you will save RM122.80 every year or equal to "18 tapau of Nasi Ayam" or 18 days of free lunch.

Imagine if you implement this in your company you work with more than 50 fluorescent tube light fixture, with higher tariff and longer usage ?

Not even we save some money but we also save our planet from mercury contamination.


Jun 15, 2017 Category: General Posted by: shah
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