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Public Warned To Take Care With Light Bulbs

16 October 2006

Public Warned To Take Care With Energy Saving Bulbs

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"Three generations of light bulbs along with the three generations of the family members of The Energy Smart Schools Trust Board - Member Victoria Wiseley; Victoria, her father Peter and son Lachlan. Father Peter holds the old 1st generation of bulbs that we have all grown up with, Victoria holds the 2nd generation of bulbs being the curly-whirly and finger style energy saving bulbs and son Lachlan holds the new 3rd generation of Marexim Safety Energy Saver bulbs."

Chairman of The Energy Smart Schools Trust, Dean Coleman says the public should take care when choosing energy saving bulbs because many on the market are from an older generation and could be less safe than the new 3rd generation bulbs now available.

His comments, fresh from the "Sydney Safety Show", come in the wake of the launch of a campaign supported by Trustpower and others promoting the use of an older generation of energy saving bulbs.

Coleman says that The Energy Smart Schools Trust is a strong advocate of energy-saving bulbs and has strong data supporting the switch from ordinary bulbs.

"Curly-whirly and finger type energy saving light bulbs started to be superseded by 3rd generation bulbs about five years ago," he says.

"We've carefully researched the type of bulbs which should be used in homes and we have put enormous emphasis on the safety aspect as well as the aesthetic appeal. People generally don't like the look of the curly-whirly bulbs but haven't actually known that they do have an alternative choice"

Coleman says that it's not true that all bulbs are created equal.

"I'm disturbed to see the promotion of the spiral shaped energy saver bulbs (CFLs) because both these, and the finger shaped bulbs, have very fragile tubes exposed which can break easily and caution to this hasn't been said anywhere."

Coleman also says that in cheaper CFLs, higher levels of hazardous substances can be present in the tubes, such as mercury and amalgam, which is damaging to the environment and hardly ecofriendy.

While in full agreement with the theory of replacing ordinary lightbulbs as a means to saving energy, the Trust has implemented its own programme for schools to encourage and educate on the use of energy saving bulbs and the reasons why we all need to do our bit to conserve electricity where ever we can.

"Because we've implemented our programme firstly for educational purposes and secondly as a fundraiser for schools, ethical and safety issues are of the utmost importance to us, for New Zealand. The Marexim safety bulbs we promote are the 3rd generation of lightbulbs. They are energy saving bulbs that have a special protective outer shell to protect the inner workings of the bulb. Unlike normal bulbs, they are also "cool running", so you won't get badly burnt if they are accidentally touched."

Coleman says Marexim safety bulbs are one of the world's leaders with compliance to the very rigorous international RoHs certification standards for their adherence to the "restriction of hazardous substances" in the manufacturing process and in the composition of the finished product. The bulbs are virtually 100% recyclable too!

Marexim safety energy saving bulbs have the added advantage that they look just like the normal bulbs people have been used to putting in their homes for years, they are the same familiar shape and size, and are not something that looks completely foreign and out of place.

"It's an easy switch to make because you only need to match the old 1st generation bulbs you are using throughout your home with an identical or similar looking Marexim safety bulb and enjoy up to 85% electricity savings and 15 times the life."

Smart Packs of six Marexim safety bulbs are being sold for $40 through schools with $5 per "Smart Pack" going back to the school as a fundraiser. The programme is supported by and has been commended by the Department of Conservation, Enviroschools, the Ministry of Education's Sustainability team and the Royal Society of New Zealand.

"Our programme has been commended for what it achieves; educating children and their families on one of the problems we all need to do something about today and then providing the tools so that every single one of us can do our part. One $40 smart pack will save a household approximately $1,100 over its useful life.

"The Government has already identified that there's a big problem for all New Zealanders, with not enough power being produced to keep up with growing demands, and it realises something needs to be done about it. The simple act of changing just six of the most commonly used light bulbs in every house, with Marexim Safety Energy Saver bulbs, could in fact save enough power to supply both Hamilton and Dunedin combined," he says. "But why stop at just six because there is a Marexim energy saving safety bulb suitable for virtually every light fitting in your home, from your chandeliers and decorative fittings to your recessed downlights."

Visit The Energy Smart Schools Trust website: for more details on the programme and learn all about the 3rd generation of light bulbs that are now available.


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