Skip to comments.Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Not Worth Cost and Trouble
Posted on 12/15/2008 12:06:52 PM PST by Sammy67
NCPA: Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Not Worth Cost and Trouble Report Says Government Should Not Force CFLs on Consumers
DALLAS (Dec. 10, 2008) - Although touted by many as the smart energy choice, compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are not suitable for many common uses and should not be required by the government, according to a new report by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).
The Environmental Protection Agency states that CFLs will reduce energy use and will last longer than standard bulbs. However, NCPA Senior Fellow and report co-author Sterling Burnett argues: "For many uses, compact fluorescent bulbs may be more costly and
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Here is unretouched video of plants exposed to too much fluorescent light.
Pretty tasty stuff though!
I HATE those things. They are ugly, expensive, dangerous if they break. Did I say UGLY? I did not pay good money for nice light fixtures in my new house to have the libs force these creepy, wierd things into my life. If you don’t leave your lights on excessively you shouldn’t worry about light bulbs anyway. I guess libs are scaredy cats who are afraid of the dark and leave their lights on all of the time. Let them buy them. Leave the rest of us ALONE.
Wow, I’m in Ontario, Canada, and it’s 44F.
I don’t know what everyone’s complaining about. The ones I bought worked just great for a couple of weeks.
We’ve been using these for years all around the house (usage spread as light quality improved) and I’ve had to replace, maybe, three.
More like burning electronics. There’s VERY little mercury in one of those — 1% or less of the old mercury fever thermometers.
You need to use "appliance bulbs" in your range hood. There is a lot of vibration when the fan operates, so you need a better bulb, with better filament support.
I got an LED nightlight earlier this year. It lasted only 3 months.
Would you mind sharing the suppliers you are buying from?
I haven’t come across affordable/practical LEDs yet.
CFL bulbs have a circuit board in them. This is a power supply for the bulb. They can catch fire. I had one that the bulb itself just burned a little hole in it and all the gas and toxic poisons leaked all over my counter.
Buy the better ones. If you are constantly turning them on and off they won't last as long. I have several that are years old.
Who still uses them at home? They use up a lot of electricity. As far as industrial use they must be packaged and sent to a recycling site. You buy a pre-paid box and stuff them in. I always tried to convince my boss to just shatter them and fill the box with the shards but he would never go for it.
Yep, and that’s exactly what I intend to do. I figure to buy about $200 worth of 60 and 100 incandescents before they quit making them. I really don’t give a sh*t if the CFL’s are more energy efficient. It’s a matter of principle with me. I’ll be damned if the government is going to tell me what kind of freekin light bulbs I’m going to use.
I live alone and am gone most of the day and gone most weekends in the summertime. I get at least a year out of my incandescent bulbs so I figure a $200 investment will last me far longer than I will be alive.
Superb tag line.
Not necessarily true. I have three recessed lights in my hall. I used to use 45 watt floods. Now I use 13 watt fls.
The lights around the kitchen are all 13 watt fls. It's a comparison of 300 watts versus 52. The lights are on most of the time in the evening.
LED’s don’t burn out. The transformer or something else went bad.
When the wind blows in from the north, the only thing out here to stop it is some barbed wire fence. It’s up to 17 degrees now.
Anyway, the point I was trying to make is, I’m smart enough to figure out what kind of light bulb I should use. The (adjective deleted) government should stay out of this decision. This is yet another central planning failure in the making.
That’s totally worth a lawsuit!
I found a better bulb without a filament.
Speaking of CFL/LED bulbs...am I the only one who is finding it VERY difficult to buy replacement incandescent bulbs for my Christmas lights?
I can’t seem to find them anywhere, except some clear ones at Ace hardware.
I don’t want to have to buy all new light sets for my tree. As it is, I know I can’t replace those good old 500-light strands they used to make. (I get a whopping big 10 foot tree every year — a 10-footer needs LOTS of lights and those long strands make it easier to decorate.) If I have to replace 4 sets of 500 with 40 sets of 50, I’ll be mad.
I had a LightsOfAmerica (actually Chinese crap) circular lamp catch on fire also. It was the ballast in the base which is always the point of ignition. I started a complaint with the FTC, who took the information but wanted me to send the charred remains at my expense which I did not do. Two other of these ring light fixtures quit working early (because of the ballast), but fortunately did not catch fire. These should never have been imported.
Regarding the regular compact fluorescents, in the shape of a bulb, I have had very little complaint. Three of the early ones I installed in late 1999 are still working, used every day, but a little dimmer. The only ones which failed early were indoor units I installed outdoors.
It would be interesting to see if the units failing early tend to be off brands or ones you'd purchase at a dollar store. The manufacturers of the decent units will stand behind their claims for longevity.
“LED is to fluorescent what fluorescent is to incandescent.
LED is great technology with a bright future. Today though they are just way too expensive and most of what you will find on the market isn't even as efficient as fluorescent lighting. Newer fluorescent tube lighting, like some four foot T8 tubes with a good electronic ballast will give you about 100 lumens of light for each watt used. A regular sized incandescent light will give you less than 15 lumens per watt, and the little tiny ones for flashlights and that sort of thing are way less efficient. Compact fluorescent bulbs put off around 60 to 70 lumens per watt, but LED technology is still all over the place. A company called CREE claims to have gotten 161 lumens per watt in their lab from an LED just recently, but those available on the market are often closer to 20 or 30 lumens per watt. Some of the newest high output LED's available on the market are getting close to 80 lumens per watt efficiency, but most of what you will find on the market aren't half that efficient. They're in the 20 to 40 lumen per watt range and the light quality is not very good. Not only that, but these cheezy lightbulb replacement LED things they make throw off some weird light patterns just because of the way they have to make them with a cylinder studded with LED's. And of course they cost a fortune. You can drop $90 on a single “bulb” easily if you get one of the best available.
LED's aren't ready for prime time for residential lighting yet. Ten or fifteen years from now they'll be pretty cheap and super efficient. Right now they're mainly good for specialty applications. They're great for flashlights, stoplights, brake lights, and so on. But it's going to be several years before we see most people using them as their primary source of lighting for their homes. Right now they're going through a transformation kind of like we saw with computers in the 1980’s, and in a few years we'll see them being used more and more in people's homes like we saw with computers in the 1990’s. Prices will drop and they'll just get better and better. Pretty soon we ought to see these crappy LED lightbulbs that now go for $50 going super cheap as better stuff comes on the market. I wouldn't buy any LED lights for general lighting now unless I could get them at super reduced clearance sale prices, and I knew the particular light I was buying will produce enough light and at decent enough quality for wherever it was I wanted to use it. I haven't really seen any super cheap prices yet though for “obsolete” LED lights, but I bet that's coming.
I love CFLs. Granted they should not be mandated by the government and there are things for which they are not appropriate.
Don't buy cheap incandescents they will cost you more in the long run. Just buy bulbs that are brass colored on the base. With GE is the corrosion resistant bases. A buck eighty eight for a box of four. They also have slightly larger filaments which means more bulb life. Fluorescent were mainly intended to be used for commercial lighting in bigger buildings where a buildings internal vibration is a factor. The typical incandescents won't take the abuse unless you buy as the ones designed for it.
Unless you own a large home lights are not the big power users anyway unless you are running say 300 watt quartz outside lights. The major power consumers in a typical house are furnace or A/C, Range/oven, Water Heater, Dryer, freezer, refrigerator, any space heaters, and microwave oven.
I have noticed one other thing especially in the Tennessee Valley. For decades the standard for voltages on a service 110/220 or 115/230. I caught my local utility jacking my voltage up to 128/256 and yes that does cost money both in consumption and in damaged devices. This is right on the edge of maximum and means it leaves little room for spikes and surges. I told my utility to lower mine as I was tired of buying a well pump and water heater elements and other items and blowing even slow blow bulbs like mad. They put me back to 115/230 and no trouble since.
I don’t think they should be government mandated. But I certainly find them cost effective.
First, you need to get good bulbs. A lot of the ones you see for sale give off a horrible color light that would make you sick. Personally, I like color of GE bulbs.
Second, you need to get the right price. I’m not sure why, but our local hardware store sells GE compact flourescent bulbs for $1 apiece, which is a real bargain.
I’ve been using them for many years. They’ve gotten better, smaller, and more efficient over the years. And they have cut my electric bill by a huge amount.
Our local dump will not take CFL bulbs of any type. What are we supposed to do with them when they go bad?
That's not that much power though. Let's say you use lots of lights and save 500 watts for 12 hours a day by replacing incandescent lights with compact fluorescents, which would be hard to do just replacing lightbulbs in a normal home. If you could do that, you'd be saving six kilowatt hours of electricity a day, which would be less than sixty cents a day if your electricity is costing you under ten cents a kilowatt hour. We pay about nine cents a kilowatt hour where I live, so saving six kilowatt hours a day would save me fifty-four cents a day and about $16.20 in a month. That's pretty good, but if you are only cutting down on a couple of hundred watts for a few hours a day you aren't going to see much of a difference in your electric bill.
“Go to the EPA web site, search for CFL and mercury, and read the steps required to safely clean up a broken bulb. It’ll blow your mind! Basically, call HAZMAT.”
“Before Clean-up: Air Out the Room
Have people and pets leave the room, and don’t let anyone walk through the breakage area on their way out.
Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system, if you have one.
Clean-Up Steps for Hard Surfaces
Carefully scoop up glass pieces and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place towels in the glass jar or plastic bag.
Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.
You seem to forget that this was cooked up on Bill Clinton’s watch. Chinese = $$$ = current life style for Bill
I replaced all the incandescents with CFLs in my house about two years ago. So far, they’ve lasted longer than the incandescents did and I’ve noticed my electric bill has gone down about 10%.
The only ones I’ve had trouble with are the globe type CFLs that you use in vanities. They seem to burn out quicker than the regular bulbs do.
I am looking forward with this. I will not be buying for two years. This thing is changing quickly and it should go even quicker as the economy goes south.
I figure I’m saving about $30 a month. Also, CFL’s last a lot longer and replacing incandescents adds up.
If you plug in just one 1200 watt space heater you are using as much power as 20 sixty watt bulbs or 10 amps roughly. The formula is Volts X amps = watts Watts divided by volts = amps roughly. The light bulb issue is a big bunch of boloney fabricated to push more expensive bulbs.
In other words you are only saving a small portion on the least power users in the house to start with.
Why would it go quicker now?
Here’s an ideal. Light is actually measured in lumens not watts. So a typical 60 watt incandescent has 780 while a 100 watt has 1510. Two 60’s is 1560 but one 100 watt bulb will use less power and give off nearly as much light. But you must have a fixture rated for it. I took out most of my 60 watt fixtures and replaced them with single 100 watt rated ones at a net cost of about $2.00 a piece :>}
Regular light bulb = no patent royalties.
CFL light bulb = patent payment bonanza.
I'm glad that you are happy with your illumination.
You leave me and my bulbs alone and I’ll leave you and your bulbs alone. Light and leave lit I always say.
Never again will I buy those!
Yeah, I’m still waiting for “cheap” LED. I am surprised by your power consumption figures though. One reason there are “led” lights powered by usb ports is because the power requirements are so low. And for bicycle headlights they are a true breakthrough.
Is this accurate - power consumption wise?
I think the prices will drop pretty dramatically, eventually. Y’know, like calculators and CD players.
LED’s are really taking off now. I think we will very soon see the “calculator” or CD player type price slide. I’ve been waiting a few years and it is happening, but it has not gone parabolic yet.
You’ve got it.
Hopefully this year.
We’ll need it.
I have wind-up flash lights.
I use them in my house and I have one fixture that’s closed. The bulbs in that fixture don’t last anywhere near as long as the open fixtures.
From the EPA web site What to Do if a Fluorescent Light Bulb Breaks:
Clean-up Steps for Clothing, Bedding and Other Soft Materials
If clothing or bedding materials come in direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from inside the bulb that may stick to the fabric, the clothing or bedding should be thrown away. Do not wash such clothing or bedding because mercury fragments in the clothing may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage
The problem is that they will last a very long time IF you turn them on and keep them on. However, the more often you power cycle them, the shorter their life span. And there are some applications where they are completely wrong... For instance inside appliances, like ovens and refrigerators.