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Lights out.

THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT is turning off the switch on incandescent light bulbs.

In February 2007, the government announced that it will phase out sales of incandescent bulbs by 2010, with exemptions permitted for certain special purposes, such as medical and oven lighting. In most cases, traditional light bulbs will be replaced by much more efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Compact fluorescents use approximately one fifth the energy of incandescent bulbs. The Australian government says the ban will significantly lower the country's greenhouse gas emissions, which at 27.2 metric tons per capita annually is the highest in the world.

Compact fluorescents cost more than incandescent bulbs, but pay for themselves over time with reduced energy expenditures. Not only do fluorescents require only 20 percent of the energy used by traditional bulbs, they last four to 10 times longer.

Many users have been displeased with the light quality of fluorescent bulbs relative to that of incandescent bulbs. However, proponents say that improvements are constantly being made in the quality of the light emitted by compact fluorescents. Australian officials say that slightly lower-quality light is a small price to pay for a healthier environment.
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Title Annotation:BEHIND THE LINES
Publication:Multinational Monitor
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jan 1, 2007
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