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The Four Types of CFL Haters...And What to Tell Them

In the fourth quarter of 2008, one out of every four bulbs sold in the U.S. were compact fluorescents. For the last five years, one out of every one bulbs I've bought have been compact fluorescents. What is up?

How have incandescent lights managed to hold on for so long? I'm going to do a little bit of guessing here, but this article, I hope, will help explain the resistance.

First and foremost, people who use CFLs simply buy fewer light bulbs. If half of America is already on CFLs, but CFLs last five times longer than incandescents, then the 50% of America that uses incandescents will be buying five times more bulbs.

So that's somewhat says to me that the 50 mg levitra numbers don't tell the whole story.

But what about those people who still rush out to the store every time an incandescent dies and replace it with yet another lame bulb. In my head, I put them in four groups. Just to be clear, I don't think there's anything wrong with any of these groups, but I think they should definitely consider revising their opinions of CFLs.

#1 The Ain't-Broke-Don't-Fix-Its
These are the group of people who've been using incandescent bulbs their whole lives, and simply can't see why we need to change. They've learned the quirks of the bulbs. Why learn a whole new set of quirks when, truth be told, incandescents work just as well, if not better, than the rest.

I say to these people: "Incandescents are broken...we just never knew it. The waste is staggering. You're also probably the kind of person who thinks that inefficiency is a travesty...well there isn't much less efficient than an incandescent light bulb."

#2 Moms Who Love Like Crazy
The mercury content of CFLs can scare away a certain percentage of folks...I think most of these people are moms who want to protect their kids from everything. While there's a certain level of futility in this, I'm willing to yield to their authority as I have never been a mom (or even a dad.)

I say to these people: "Check out LED bulbs. Not only are they more efficient than incandescents AND CFLs, but they're safer than both. Don't think incandescents are unsafe? They are one of the few things in the world that can burn your skin off without any visual cues as to their temperature. If you really love your kids, LED bulbs are the way to go."

#3 Coasters
Coasters, of which I am one, are the sort of people who recognize that there is something wrong, but just don't do anything about it. I obsess about green technology, so it's one of the few things that I don't coast through, but I coast through all kinds of other things. I'll eat the same Subway sub every single day, not because I like it or I'm on a diet...but because I did it yesterday, and making a decision takes time away from whatever else my brain happens to be doing.Coasters have no reason...they just keep doing things even though they know there are better ways.

I say to these people: "It just takes one decision and you're on a new path, so let me make the choice for you. Next time you're in a store, just grab a CFL. I'm giving you no reasons, I'm just telling you to do it. Get the wattage you want, and don't worry about anything else.

#4 Martha Stewarts
Some things are more important than the the shade of paint you chose for your living room. And if the paint looks different with a new light bulb...well...that's just not OK. These people tend to have CFLs where it doesn't matter or isn't in the closet. They like them, in theory, but they need bulbs that are dimmable, in the correct form factor, producing a specific number of lumens with a specific color temperature.

I say to these people: "Sorry...but next time a friend comes over to your house and scrutinizes your light bulb choice instead of complementing your paint color, that's when you'll know what you really need to do. Look at this as an opportunity. Experiment with different sconces...colored glass will make any bulb do the right thing for your home.I'm sure Martha herself has covered the subject (certainly better than I could.) See what she has to say."

I probably missed out on some people, but without resorting to demographic analysis, I think that these are the folks who want switch, but haven't been able to for one reason or another. If you haven't switched, and feel I'm oversimplifying or completely missed out on your reasoning, I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

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Comments (85)Add Comment
written by Karl O'Melay, January 26, 2009
there are a few uses for heat producing lamps but i have only bought 1 out of 10 in preference for cf bulbs in the past 8 years.
asnother reason
written by Mark Bartosik, January 26, 2009
quick start capabilities especially in cold weather. Sure LEDs are the answer, but that's a "$50 gamble" vs $0.50.

Some clear labeling on starting speed is needed.
written by Clinch, January 26, 2009
Not sure what I'd be classed as, possibly #5 Waiters.
Not that I work in a restaurant, but that I'm waiting for the technology to improve enough (although, not for CFLs, but LEDs).

There's also the possibility that I'm a #behind the times, as I've had CFLs in the past, they were slow to come on, gave off a bad light (I don't care what it makes the wall paint look like, but I care if it gives me a headache), and didn't last as long as they promised (having browned out relatively soon).
Now this probably doesn't apply to current top of the range CFLs, but past experiences has put me off them.

And I thought I'd mention this, as I found it quite funny, but the advert to the right of the article had a picture of a LED bulb (looking like it wanted to join the battle with the buy propecia 5mg incandescent and CFL)

"instant on"
written by Mark Bartosik, January 26, 2009
Well a little more reading and it turns out that some CFLs have a label "instant on".

Guess the CLFs last so long I've not purchased any for a while.
Candelabra bases
written by Bob, January 26, 2009
We went to CFLs years ago for just about everything...except that our house came with these crazy wonderful fixtures in the front foyer that use fully-exposed lamps with candelabra bases. I haven't found CFLs in that form factor which look good yet...Sam's Club had some LED ones (3 for $15!) which I tried out yesterday, and they didn't produce enough light...and what they did produce was all pointed straight up.

So...not quite there yet.
written by Ross, January 26, 2009
What about those who are worried about mercury and don't have the bankroll for LED's?

CFL's are broke too, you just don't know it yet.
written by Ross, January 26, 2009
If we just cleaned up the supply side of the energy equation it wouldn't matter how much energy light bulbs used. We'll get there someday.
Many other reasons...
written by Jeff, January 26, 2009
Let's be honest. There are many more legitimate reasons for people to avoid CFL's, unfortunately.

Dimmers were mentioned in the "Martha Stewart" category, but I think it deserves more attention. CFL's still are not very well suited for dimmer switches, which are used very extensively in many new homes. Dimmable CFL's are bigger, more expensive, louder (buzzing), and less efficient than regular CFL's, and so are much less attractive to consumers. Your typical homeowner is not going to switch out the dimmer switches just to have more efficient lighting and probably won't like the dimmable CFL's if they try 'em.

Warm up time is also a big issue that is not discussed nearly enough for CFL's. It can be annoying for indoor lights that are noticeably dimmer when first turned on, but partiuclarly for outdoor lights during the winter, CFL's put out practically no light when they're first turned out. So if you're heading outside and you turn on your porch light with a CFL, you have to deal with (practically) no light at all when going down the porch.

3-way bulbs... It's basically impossible to find a CFL to replace a 100-150-250 watt 3-way bulb. Even 50-100-150W replacements aren't available from what I've found. Most 3-way CFL's only go up to at most 33W, which corresponds to about 120-130W incandescent.

Ceiling fans... CFL's aren't recommend for use in ceiling fans because the lowest priced propecia vibrations can damage the electronics in the ballast. (I've had no problems myself, but I rarely use the fan in question.)

Electronic controls... CFL's aren't compatible with some photocells, motion detectors, and electric timers. This is problem, especially with outdoor lighting.

As for LED's, even if they last forever and pay for themselves many times over, even someone like me who is super gung-ho about CFL's and new technologies in general is very hesitant to drop $50-$80 on a bulb that will probably be no brighter than a 13 watt CFL and, for all I know, will put out an unpleasant light.
I replace every burned out bulb with a C
written by jello5929, January 26, 2009
Problem is that my home uses indoor floods in recessed cans. So the CFLs are very expensive.

Which would be fine, except... 80% of the bulbs I replace are CFLs that have failed. And they are only in about 15% of my house.

I've switched around the lights so that the CFLs are in the areas that never get used. Incandescent bulbs easily last 8-10x longer. Don't know why.

And the cheaper CFLs do last longer. But they have a 60hz migraine inducing flicker.
written by George, January 26, 2009
CFLs give me headaches. Quite a few of them make a slight noise, the whine of which has never been kind to me. They also flicker, and my eyes just can't stand it.

I would I could switch, but it's not happening anytime soon.
Type 4
written by Bethany, January 26, 2009
Hey, so I'm definitely in type four. Let's be honest. Lightbulbs don't have many selling points. And while incandescent lights have the adaptability advantage, they'll still out sell. Why can't environmentally friendly lightbulbs also be dimable? Why can't they look good in exposed bulb light fixtures like chandeliers and certain types of ceiling fans? You can of course install fixtures that work with CFLs when you're renovating, but for those which are already in place, CFLs don't cut it. Early adopters can deal with those inconveniences, but until CFLs become as flexible as incandescent the general pop. will use them for what they can without the sacrifice.
Type 4.5b
written by Tyler W. Cox, January 26, 2009
There's a further subset of type 4 that people like me fall in. Light connoisseurs. We're a group that prefer a certain brightness and a certain hue.

I personally love CFLs for the money savings, I appreciate CFLs for the brightness, but I hate CFLs for the light tone. In my home the best viagra buy light fixtures take between 2 and 4 bulbs. My solution has been to replace every other bulb. Thus, I still get the fast start and tone of incandescent; plus I get the bright light and low cost of CFLs.

It's important to remember in the bulb wars that there is room for both more than one type of bulb. Choosing the right bulb for the right area means getting the best illumination in the most efficient way.
"Environmentally Friendly" is how you lo
written by Brandon, January 26, 2009
Besides the flickering which is my biggest issue with them, cfl's are no better for the environment.

Sure cfl's use less energy and generic cialis pill thats great and all but your only looking at one aspect of being "Environmentally Friendly." For instance, the mercury, does anyone count in the fact of what people do with old light bulbs? They throw them in the garbage, which end up broken and letting out mercury among other things back into the environment. If we switch the world to cfl's sure we may lower coal burning or anything else a bit but we are just increasing the output of other harmful things like mercury back into the atmosphere.

I agree in changing for the better and less damaging practices but please look at different aspects than just the one you want to promote. Chances are whatever new technology is just as environmentally bad, it's just that those issues don't come into the foreground for a while.
written by Peter Lewis, January 26, 2009

Something most people don't think of:

Incandescent lamps release more mercury into the atmosphere (via coal) over the lifetime of a CFL than a CFL contains.

This assumes the average generation mix in the U.S. (about 50% coal).

Even if 0% of the CFL's are recycled, all of them are broken and the mercury is released into the atmosphere, there would still be less mercury. Granted the mercury released by a CFL is more likely to be localized, but just think about that corn field down wind of the coal plant which is powering your lamps next time you make your choice.

What about renters?
written by LH, January 26, 2009
I personally haven't lived in any one place over the past 10 years long enough to have spent any significant money on bulbs. And why would I want to invest in CFLs if I'm not going to be around long enough to make the longer change intervals pay off?

I'm not anti-environment by any means, I just feel that doing things like buying recycled products that don't contain toxic chemicals and paying extra for 100% renewable electricity are better ways to be environmentally conscious.
written by Hank, January 26, 2009
Wow! I didn't expect so many responses so quickly...lets go through the list real quick.

@Flickering: CFLs do not flicker, they never have flickered. Technology used in CFLs is fundamentally different from that of tube fluorescents. I don't know what you're seeing, but if you go buy a nice CFL at the store right now, I promise you will see no flicker. If you're looking at a computer screen, you're seeing more flicker than you would from a CFL.

@Outdoor use: CFLs shouldn't be used outdoor, there's no reason for it, especially in areas where the light will only be on a few minutes per day, they won't save that much energy anyway.

@Renters: When I rented, I replaced my lightbulbs with CFLs...but I'm I don't expect you to. Figure out which category your landlord is in :-).

@Waiters: I can see being a waiter...especially if you've got your eye on LEDs. But it will still probably make sense to replace your most commonly used light bubls with CFLs, even if you're going to recycle them before they've burnt out.

@dimmers: I guess I've just never been in this situation...but I can see it. Dimmable CFLs do suck, it's a compliated engineering problem. I have a 3-way CFL and it buzzes when its on high.

@supply: Yes...if only we cleaned up the supply side, it wouldn't matter how much energy we used...technically correct. However, it's much faster, cheaper and easier to control how much we use than it is to change where the power comes from. We need to do both...but efficiency works now...and we need "now" solutions.
written by Matt L, January 26, 2009
As a long term CFL user I guess I am somewhat surprised by portions of the article and some of the comments.

For the folks wanting a different color of light. Modern CFL's can be purchased with full or near full spectrum light. I personally buy warm lights that represent very closely the color of incandescent bulbs.

I also like slow start CFL's myself. I always hated stumbling into a dark bathroom in the morning and only today pill price levitra getting hit with the immediate bright lights of incandescent bulbs. The slow start is a MUCH less harsh way to start the morning.

For the folks who like flexibility in bulbs. I buy CFL's of all shapes and sizes, including ones that look like incandescent bulbs. Those go in my lamps that have spring attached shades.

I also use 3 way CFL bulbs that have the equivalent light output of any 3 way incandescent I have ever had. No problems. Never had any buzzing from any CFL either. Had a bunch more buzzing from my tube lights... those I would love to replace with LED

It is also good to point out that 90% of the energy that it takes to power an incandescent bulb goes to heat. So the bulb is only 10% efficient. That's why those bulbs work so good in things like easy bake ovens for kids! CFL's don't have anywhere near that heat level. That's why I love them in the summer, I don't have to run the A/C so much

About 95% of my house is currently CFL. And I changed out the majority of it 7 years ago. To date of all the 7 year old bulbs. I have had 1 burn out. And that was just recently. In going to buy a replacement I found out the bulb had gotten even more efficient than the one I had. So the technology is definitely improving still.

I think that the CFL industry really needs to promote more of what they have done with the bulbs over the years. More people would be interested in switching.

Good stuff!

written by Mike H., January 26, 2009
@ anyone who is worried about the mercury content of their CFLs:
1. The reduction in power facilitated by a CFL over its life reduces the mercury output of the coal-fired power plant that produced your electricity by an amount greater than the amount of mercury in the bulb.
2. If you feed your family fish (tilapia, orange roughy, tuna from a can, etc.) you're probably feeding them quite a bit of mercury. For instance, canned tuna contains, on average, about .118 mg of Hg per kg of fish. Granted, that means it takes over 200 6 oz. cans of tuna to equal the 5mg of mercury in the bulb, but you aren't feeding your family the bulbs, either.
3. A recent study found mercury in about a third of all products containing high-fructose corn syrup. Go read the labels in your kitchen...
written by Peggy Witt, January 26, 2009
We are interested in going green and the LED bulbs look like a great idea. We bought one of the Evolux bulbs for the house we are building and would like to put all LED bulbs in the house.
written by Austin, January 27, 2009
Anyone that says a CFL has the same quality of light as an incandescent will also tell you carob tastes like chocolate, tofu tastes like beef, and a Prius looks good. No they don't.

I have a home automation system installed that controls all of the lighting, and because every switch is a dimmer, I can put all of the lights at 80% instead of 100%. This saves energy, but there is currently no CFL that can handle this. When they can, I will give them a try.
Dimmable dimmable dimmable
written by timote, January 27, 2009
The only place I can use CFL is in non-dimmable applications, which as you point out is not the best of places - closets, front porch light, etc.

I use dimmers extensively in my house - if you ever have woken up a baby you're trying to sneak into bed by turning on a light or by tripping over something in the dark, you will understand why. This is a non-trivial issue for me and it will keep me in incandescents for a long time to come - dimmable CFLs suck, LEDs aren't dimmable, etc. There just aren't good options out there.
Moving onto LEDs
written by greener guy, January 27, 2009
Oh I would love to start moving to LED lighting. I'm hoping we'll start seeing a better selection. From 60W to 13W and now a another big leap to 3W.
written by Joe, January 27, 2009
CFLs do flicker. I purchased a new dimmable lamp and new bulbs and they flicker, gives me a headache so I had to buy old fashioned bulbs. Don't tell us they don't cause they do! CFLs are just no good, they are noisy and produce poor light. Where is the efficiency in a vastly inferior product?
I won't be replacing some of my incandes
written by bill, January 27, 2009
I have replaced all the incandescent lights in my house with CFL's expect for the following:

* lights in closets, the attic, and the garage: not used enough to be economical to replace
* a light fixture which is shaped so that a CFL will not fit: I am not going to spend the money to change the fixture.
* an outdoor light: CFLs don't work as well in the cold
* a 200W floodlight: I have never seen a 200W CFL
* a desk light: the quality of light from CFL is inferior.
One more category
written by Gryphon67, January 27, 2009
#5 Mechanically inept
After moving into this house I changed the bulbs in all the fittings for CFLs except for one - I just can't work out how to open it!

Not sure what I'll do when that bulb goes :)
written by Ben, January 27, 2009
I am following a course on lighting for the moment and I'm afraid you are wrong on the efficiency of LED. CFL is still more efficient than LEDs. Sure, cold white LEDs in the laboratory will give you more lumen/watt than a CFL , but if you want warm white and use it in a real environment they cannot compete with CFLs...Yet...
Dimmers do not save energy
written by Oscaruzzo, January 27, 2009
It's worth mentioning that dimmers do not save any energy. In fact, they reduce the energy that's consumed by the light bulbs by consuming it themselves. So the total consumption is constant.
What about the migraine sufferers...?
written by Kevin, January 27, 2009
My wife is a severe photo-sensitive migraine sufferer, triggered by the 100Hz flicker of magnetic ballast fluorescents. She can't go into most stores, because the lights will give here a migraine which will leave her screaming in pain for several hours. She has to go into the doctor's surgery and the pharmacist with her eyes closed. She can't work, because most offices have fluorescents. If we visit friends, we have to take our own lights. (And of course she can't watch CRT TVs either).

And it's not just her. Studies have shown that the rest of us are affected. Under magnetic ballasted fluorescents, the majority of people suffer a measurable degradation of mental acuity and reading speed. Absenteeism is increased. But most of us just don't notice it.

The sad thing is that there is a partial solution, and has been for years: electronic ballasted fluorescents. These, while not perfect, flicker at much higher frequencies (power factor effects ignored). And they use less energy. A minority of CFLs are also electronic ballasted. But when a new building goes up in the UK, what sort of lights do they put in? Flickerly, magnetic ballast fluorescents.

The government could have helped my wife, and to a much smaller extent everyone else, as well improving productivity and saving energy, by banning mag-ballast fluorescents before banning incandescents.

Or even better - don't ban by technology - legislate for efficiency. And then the light bulb makers could have carried on developing high-efficiency incandescents in parallel with other low energy technology.
I replace every burned out bulb with a C
written by Poida, January 27, 2009
I echo what "jello5929" said.

I have been using CFL's since they came out in the 90's. Have never had one last over 2,000 hours. Allways go black at the base & die before then. I have used them in 5 houses in 5 suburbs/towns with the same results.

My nephew works in Philips (who claim to own the best LED light makers around the world...) and he said that CFL's last ages when not repeatedly turned on & off. It's the starting that kills them.

Either way, their reliability is grossly over-hyped. Seems a bit like car makers advertising that "Our cars have the same power AND get over 100mpg" but not being obliged to say "..but only when driven down hill in neutral!"

Someone needs to do something methinks.

Home Depot...
written by carl, January 27, 2009
If anybody has visited Home Depot or Lowes lately and taken a good look at CFL choices, they will find that there are many different styles, colors, etc for CFLs. I recently purchased a CFL that simulated "daylight" light...I liked it much better than the standard CFLs, they even come in different fixture appearances for uses likes bathrooms. Instead of the coil appearance, they had the look of a white incandescent bulb so the appearance didn't look awkward when displayed in the bathroom track lighting. Fact of the matter is that you can find a CFL for whatever application you need it for (even floodlights), you just have to look for it. I also think it's not proper to say not to use them in a closet, it may not get used much, but it will get used and cialis brand save energy while doing so.
Re: Dimmers do not save energy
written by AndyM, January 27, 2009
Oscaruzzo wrote:

"It's worth mentioning that dimmers do not save any energy. In fact, they reduce the energy that's consumed by the light bulbs by consuming it themselves. So the total consumption is constant."

Could we get a source for this assertion? Putting most of your message in bold does not add to its merit.
written by Bob, January 27, 2009
The biggest problem with flourescent bulbs of any kind is that they are very hard to dim. There are dimmers but very expensive. If the industry can solve that issue,i'm sure that the old hot bulbs will be gone. For the record,most of my lighting is CFL's
written by Bob, January 27, 2009
Dimmers Do save energy if they are designed correctly. They are like a water tap,only the water or energy needed is used.
LED Bulbs
written by Daryl, January 27, 2009
I have seen LED bulbs being marketed as a "more eco" alternative to CFLs, but then I've also read that some LED bulbs have gallium arsenide, which was recently added to the dangerous toxins list by the state of California.

To Daryl
written by Mike1101, January 27, 2009
Since you are using the web, I will tell you that you are already using many nasty things including gallium arsenide(GAs). GAs is in many computer chips where silicon won't work for a variety of reasons. The point is that all computers, even solar cells (almost everything we use), use nasty stuff in them or in their creation. Check this wikipedia link ( I am a EE, and have made chips in the lab, in college, and can say that while the silicon itself is not dangerous, the chemicals we used to etch the circuit into them were quite toxic, and required special handling. (Check this link

My point being that making a light bulb also uses nasty stuff simply by making the glass and steel in it; let alone mining the stuff. Using LED bulbs lowers the amount of nasty stuff overall.
Not a good enough solution yet...
written by Anonymous, January 27, 2009
1. The light and EMF from CFLs do affect the health of some people, and therefore are simply not an option for them.
2. LED lights so far are not pleasant at all when compared to other alternatives.

I have been pro-environment for 10 years, choosing the path less trodden for many, many aspects of my life. I am absolutely open to a reasonable alternative for lighting in my house. So far though, I would prefer to switch over to solar power or some other alternative form of energy than replace my incandescent bulbs.

I also have to add, this article and others like it are getting old. People are all "CFLs: it's just so simple, do it", but the reality of the situation is that it is not. There are a ton of ways that people can make small changes to help the environment without bringing products in the home that have a negative impact on their health. It is also simple to switch to eating primarily organic, locally grown, non GMO produce and locally raised, hormone and antibiotic free meat, which also has a huge impact on our environment by reducing pesticides use, supporting local businesses, reducing transportation impacts and clearcutting of forests to raise cattle, but you don't see people jumping on that bandwagon very quickly.

written by timote, January 27, 2009

Dimmers do save money, please stop spreading myths.

Here's a link from my electric company on how to save money, note the eighth bullet point.

I highly doubt they'd recommend dimmers if they in fact do not save money.
written by dvm, January 27, 2009
Where I love CFLs:
- In the ceiling fixtures in my hallways. I need a ladder and a third hand to get the heavy decorative cover off without dropping it. Changing these bulbs less is very worth it.
- In my vanity. I have an old-fashioned strip of round bulbs lighting my mirror. The incandescents got really hot really fast. In the summer I needed a fan to get ready in the morning. The CFLs (with the candelabra base) look funny, but they do the job and don't make me sweat.

I also use CFLs in my closets and viagra uk my utility rooms.

Where I hate CFLs and LEDs.
- Everywhere else. I rely on dimmers. Why? Am I trying to save energy with them or make some sort of home decor statement? No. I have a messed up body clock. If left to my own devices, I'd go to sleep at dawn and wake up at dusk. But, I have a 9to6 job and sleeping through it is frowned upon. One of the few things that has helped me is to seriously limit my exposure to bright light after the sun sets and to expose myself to bright lights in the morning. Dimmers to the rescue!

As soon as they come up with a good and affordable option in dimmer CFLs or LEDs, I'm there.

(And before you ask, yes, I've tried SAD lights. But the strategic use of dimmers all day has had a much bigger impact than 20 minutes in the morning in front of a special light. It's a lot cheaper too, those SAD lights are expensive!)
lighting professional here.
written by metis, January 27, 2009
in day to day work i specify cfls on a regular basis. every single complaint about them is now moot with the exception of 0~100% dimming (the best only hit ~10% before off), 3 way bulbs, and cold start integral ballasts.

electronic ballasts and modern magnetic ballasts do not produce flicker, you're more likely to get that from other sorts of ballasted lamps, or old/failing ballasts. cheap ones may produce some, but specification quality ones do not.

light quality. you can get a staggering array of color temperatures and cri numbers in cfls, far more than are available in incandescent. if your paint doesn't look right, you're using the wrong lamp, or you chose a color of paint in a different lighting condition.

cold temp start. available down to 20 below but as external ballasts. they work great.

fans- there are lamps designed for ceiling fan application. they work. i've got several at home. read the label.

small bases- they're starting to appear. i just switched my bathroom fan over (with fan lamps) and living room floor lamp.

recessed cans- there are spec grade a lamp cfl replacements, in various beam spreads and there are a myriad of can retrofits for both LED and non-a-lamp base CFLs that are excellent.

home control/dimming- we've done hundreds of successful projects with dimming cfls. ranging from single family dwellings with wall box dimmers to 4 star hotels and cheapest tramadol prescriptions convention centers on central theatrical building control systems.

the -one- downside to cfls that no one mentions is ballast noise on power lines, but it doesn't seem to be an issue yet, probably due to the shape of our power grid.

buy a well known brand (GE, Osram, Phillips) and not a bargain basement fly by night operation. you'll probably have to go to a "lighting store" to find better quality ones, or if you're doing a bigger project look up "lighting designer" in your phone book and find one who specializes in architectural lighting.

(n.b. there are medical issues that a *very* small percentage of the population has with some types ballasted lights, tvs, computers and displays, however the majority of those claiming suffering from this are shown to be unable to tell, or "suffer" from the wrong stimulus in double blind studies, but not all.)

other complaints i missed?
written by Mark Derail, January 27, 2009
Well I changed a few over to CFL's and my biggest complaint was durability.
As in, not lasting at least one year before dying.
Due to shoddy manufacturing.

At least now, you can get CFL's that have the Ballast separate from the Bulb. Finally that's intelligent.

LED lighting makes sense, "en masse", where the human cost to replace is excessive. Meaning in industrial settings, shopping mall signs, etc.

This needs to happen, so that the manufacturing cost of LED's plummets, much like we saw with the LED Christmas lights.

And YES, out of 12+ sets of LED Christmas lights I had four sets that went bad on me. All sealed, impossible to replace.

Sometimes new is not so great after all, even if labeled 'green'.
Flicker does happen
written by Jim, January 27, 2009
Count me in with the people who can notice the flicker. I don't care what Hank says, they flicker. I've bought new bulbs and they flicker. It's not easy to notice, but people who are sensitive to it do notice.

That being said, I've replaced all the bulbs in my house that are used regularly with CFL's. The exceptions are the lights on dimmers, which include my often used entertainment room that has 6 recessed lights on dimmers, that need to be that way so I can enjoy my TV without going to total darkness and without having any buzzing distracting from my TV.

I have one on my porch light, which remains on for about 6 hours every night for safety. It's slow to start, but it's not that bad (and it's on a timer, so it's already on before I need it).
written by TwentySomething, January 27, 2009
We switched to all CFL's about 4 years ago, and my pet peeve is that they just don't last! An example: In four years, I have gone through 3 CFL bulbs in my bedroom. I'm not trying to shove too much bulb into too little space, so WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?! I have had various CFL's die all over my house. I really want them to work!
My other peeve, is that I'm having a harder time finding CFL's in pleasing incandescent-like colors. A small issue, I know, but annoying none the less. I think the odd blue shade is causing me more headaches than normal.
ok... one more time:
written by metis, January 27, 2009
don't buy crappy things. pay a little more for something that's well designed and manufactured.

you never shoved "any" a-lamp base incandescent in your fixture, you chose "daylight" "frosted" "long life" so do the same thing now, and don't replace the living room table lamp with a "bug light".

go to a lighting store, a place that -only- sells light fixtures, nice ones, a place that sells fixtures you can't imagine spending that much on, and ask them for help with picking the right CFL for your application. in this economy they'll love you. you'll pay a little more up front but you'll be getting a lamp with known and tested qualities, and possibly a warranty.

i'll wager that 99% of the quality complaints here would be complaining that the geo-metro they bought doesn't drive as well as the full sized sedan they're used to. of course not.
Depends on where you live/time of year
written by Carter, January 28, 2009
In cold climates, or at least in cold winters, where heating is provided by natural gas, the old incandescent bulbs could be a better choice, depending on how your grid electricity is produced. This is because the energy that goes into heat instead of light isn't really "lost." It goes to the heating of your house. Switch to more efficient bulbs, and your heating system will start working harder.

In places where climate control also comes from the grid, (AC or electric heating), then CFLs would be better.

For myself, in southern Canada, I try to switch my bulbs seasonally. CFLs in the winter so the AC doesn't work as hard, incancesdents in the winter so the heating doesn't work as hard. And really, once you get used to it, switching isn't that big of a hassle.
A lot of misconceptions on this list
written by Ian Garrett, January 28, 2009
Wait, if an incandescent costs $1.50 and has a lamp life of 1000 hours, while LEDs have 100,000+ hour lamp life, an LED bulb would need to cost $150 to be a bad purchase. If you turn on the lights in your home even 8 hours a day, everyday, You're going to have to buy at least 3 incandescent bulbs a year. Whereas the LED light is going to last 34 years.

Do a little mat here. In the life of one LED bulb vs CFL vs incandescent bulb for the equivalent of 60w:

Cost of Bulb:
Incandescent: $1.50
CFL: $3.82
LED: $70

Life of bulb (phillips estimates you'll use it 4 hours)
Incandescent: 1,000 hours or 250 days (at 4 hours/day)
CFL: 8,000 hours or 5 years(at 4 hours/day)
LED: 100,000 hours or 68.5 years (at 4 hours/day)

Number of Lamps in LED life:
I: 100
CFL: 12.5
LED: 1

Price over life of LED Lamp:
I: $150.00
CDL: $47.75
LED: $70

Power comsumption over life of LED:
I: 60w x 1000 hours x 100 bulbs = 6,000 kwh
CFL: 14w X 8000 hours x 12.5 bulbs = 1400 kwh
LED: 5w x 100,000 hours x 1 bulb = 500 kwh

Price of Power over life of LED
Average cost per kwh for residential = 11.86 cents(from Department of Energy, Oct 08)
I:6,000 kwh x $0.1186 = $711.60
CFL:1400 kwh x $0.1186 = $166.04
LED:500 kwh x $0.1186 = $59.3

Total cost of a bulb:
CFL: $213.79
LED: $129.3

If you have 20 bulbs in your house (my apartment has this many)
I= $17221.20
CFL: $4275.80
LED: $2586.00

So while CFLs and LEDs may be more of a choice to me more efficient, you'd save $14,635.20 in my apartment over the life of the LED lights at TODAY's energy prices with TODAY's technology.

I mean, really, 34 years is a LONG time, but it wouldn't be weird to have 60+ light bulbs in your house and wouldn't it be nice to make a change now and have $40,000 extra dollars in your pockets. For a lot of people it would be life not working for a year.
LED are energy efficient
written by Markus, January 28, 2009
Fact is, the LEDs use less power than current energy efficient light-bulbs. And they are much smaller and order viagra usa can last years without needing to be replaced.

And there is a lot of research under way to enhance the light quality of the led. It will take some time to improve. But some types like LED-Spots are ready to replace the halogen or incandescent Spots.
To Metis...
written by Kevin, January 28, 2009
It's no good asserting that flicker is not a problem, because it is a very real problem which affects my life on a day to day basis. While you may specify high quality lamps, the reality is that most of the new buildings we go into have fluorescent lamps which cause my wife excruciating pain. Not all, but most.

(I don't yet have enough data, but I am also beginning to suspect that some supposedly high-frequency lamps also flicker for other reasons. There is a substantial problem here - since the flicker is imperceptible to most of us, engineers can assert that the frequency is 10KHz and so the light doesn't flicker, and yet a photosensitive migraine sufferer may still experience pain from it. The assertions of the engineer are irrelevent - the experience of the user is the issue here.)
Dimming LEDs
written by Ian E, January 28, 2009
Re: Dimmers don't reduce energy consumption (@Oscaruzzo, @timote, @Bob)
This is true of the older resistance dimmers, but NOT true of newer PWM dimmers. PWM dimmers turn the light on and off very fast, with longer on-times as it gets brighter. The energy savings isn't quite linear, but much much better than a resistive dimmer.

Re: LED's don't dim @timote
Now, I've never put an LED bulb on a dimmer, but I do know that LED's LOVE to be pulsed - a PWM dimmer should dim an LED perfectly and make an LED bulb last even longer. I have put LED Christmas lights on a modern PWM dimmer, and they dim just fine. An old resistive load dimmer will likely not be able to dim an LED. So, the upshot: don't buy cheap dimmers for your expensive LED lights.

Back on topic...
As you can probably tell, I'm pretty hung up on dimming. The dimming CFL's suck, but I've got a couple around the house. When LED's come down a bit in price, It's very likely that I'll convert most of my fixtures to LED.

Nested Reply Threads (@Hank)
Can we have have nested replies please so we don't have to keep up with the (@so-and-so)?

Also, since dimming is important to many of us, I'd love to see a dimming shootout with various CFL's and LED's against the old incandescents - making sure you use both resistive and PWM dimmers. Anybody want to loan me an LED light for such a purpose?
to kevin:
written by metis, January 28, 2009
the end user is by far the most important. it doesn't matter if the mfg specs and tested results say it's a cow if it arrives on site as a horse.

i'm not trying to say that your wife doesn't have a very real problem, however that it's a *very* rare problem, and that the vast majority of people who claim to be able to notice a difference, when presented with a double blind comparison, can not pick the fluorescent source from the incandescent one.

in example, a comment on a forum a few weeks back claimed they could always tell when they were in fluorescent, however unless they were told after the fact the type of lamps used in every location they were in they of course have no way to "know" this, only to suspect.

most ballasted lights (fluorescent, merc vapor, etc) do flicker, however at a rate that is *in theory* high enough to be imperceptible, just as CD's play back data points rather than a true sound wave form. light flicker is most commonly noticed in film and video where the sampling rate is out of synch with the flicker.
written by John Giezentanner, January 29, 2009
I just don't understand when people, like my mom, insist that CFL's "aren't as bright," or don't have the same quality of light as incandescents. To my eye, they do. The only time I've ever seen a CLF flicker is just before it dies, which is nice when you think about it -- incandescents don't warn you when they're about to burn out!

My house doesn't have any dimmer switches, so that's never been an issue for me. Every CFL I've used has lasted for years with no flicker and no noise. It's true that they take 30 seconds to a minute to reach their full brightness when it's cold... so what?

I'm anxious to move on to LED's when they become more affordable, but for now CFL's are superior to incandescents in every way.
written by John, January 29, 2009
The light is different but you can adapt. I love the vast reduction in the wattage.
Definitely a #4
written by VIrgil, January 29, 2009
I'm definitely a #4, since a lot of the fixtures in our house (candelabra) use candle shaped bulbs, with the small screw-in base. This is interesting when you consider 2 important facts:

1) There is a ban (since 2007) on any light hanging from a ceiling having a regular sized screw in base. Every hanging fixture now has a candelabra (small) screw in base. I have bought several hanging shades and female levitra pills had to retrofit them to take large-base bulbs. Just go to any lighting store and buy a ceiling fixture - it will have a small base, by law.

2) A pack of candelabra-base CFLs is more than double the cost of regular-base bulbs.

My suspicion is that these 2 events are related. By forcing a "specialty" bulb (small-base) to be the new standard, the bulb manufacturers can keep selling more incandescents, and at the same time make more money on small-base CFLs.

Like the auto industry, and lighting industry is pretty big and powerful, and the decisions which get made in Washington have little to do with the consumer or green-ness, and a lot to do with protecting their interests.
Mood lighting
written by Laurel, January 29, 2009
Perhaps I am in a fifth category. I am generally an eco-geek, but I love my incandescents for the way they make me feel. I suppose in a sense this is a little Martha Stewart, but a person's surroundings can have a big effect on emotion -- *especially* the lighting of one's surroundings. I don't have a lot of other options for improving my overall mood, so I choose to spend the extra energy. I like to think that it's worth it in terms of increased productivity -- I'm using the good mood to give back to society in other ways.

I want to try CFLs and see how they make me feel, but I'm worried that the effect may be subtle, and I'm also a bit of a coaster. I'd love to see an empirical study on the matter.
written by Lex, January 29, 2009
It's still fluorescent, and fluorescent sucks.

As an aside, i've had one Verilux 50-100-150 full spectrum incandescent in the most used lamp of the house that is three years old. It's outlasted every CFL that was purchased at the same time. (I never buy shitty light bulbs.)

And the houseplants that have lived under it have all been happy and healthy. There's no such thing as a happy, healthy plant under a CFL...which makes me wonder if we can be happy under them.
written by metis, January 30, 2009

there have been very significant improvements in CLFs in the last year let alone 3 years. for a fair comparison are all of the cfls and your 3-way getting equal burn time and in comparable locations? if you're only burning that 3-way 2hrs a day you're probably just hitting it's 2000hr life span now. are you burning the 3-way 100, 50 or both filaments? are both filaments still good?

i've started plants in the basement for decades under florescent grow lights and they've loved it. it would seem that a lot of hydroponics folks use them as well for various crops.

CLF's do come in big sizes.
written by Tom, January 30, 2009
I live in greece, and I have found the clf's in sizes up to 85w's, or app the same light as a 500w bulb, hard to find the need for more light unless you want to light up the intire neigbourhood.
written by Oscaruzzo, February 02, 2009
First of all, sorry about the bold in my previous comment, just an error from my side in formatting.

I wasn't aware of the existance of PWM (pulse width modulation) dimmers. What I said is true of resistance dimmers, which are the vast majority of the installed dimmers, I guess.

I also agree that PWM dimmers should work fine on leds (while resistance dimmers just wouldn't work).
written by Een, February 02, 2009
Does anyone have any figures on the "incandescents heating house" comment above?

I'm green via being broke, so I live in upstate NY and heat my house to 60 with all CFL's bulbs. If Incandescents can really put out enough heat t significantly effect their surroundings, I might look into it. It seems a little farfetched.

One last comment: I'm sorry, but how do you people(#4's, Martha Stewarts..) notice the bulbs in their light fixtures? Light bulbs give out... light. Bright lights. Lights that I can't stare at for long enough to figure out the shape of the bulb.
written by Nyal Williams, February 03, 2009
I have burned out several CFLs in lighted ceiling fans; they don't last very long there.

I have discovered that some manufacturers are making a more squat base and best place to buy viagra in canada that their bulbs are too short to fit into some sockets (but not all). The Sylvania micro-mini is a case in point; their bulbs will not fit into my ceiling fan.
Anything new comes with problems
written by Joe, February 03, 2009
There were complaints when incandescent bulbs were introduced. CFLs are an interim step but still a very justifiable option in many situations. Let's not forget that the vast majority of lighting in commercial and institutional buildings like schools are florescent.

LED's will soon some down in price, gain mind share and market share, and replace much of the single socket bulb fixtures. But then there will be complaints about them too ... the world goes on.
CFL's are worse than incandescents overa
written by kbeatty, February 03, 2009
I live in a cold climate. Natural gas rates have climbed to the point where heating with electricity is no more expensive. What bugs me about the efficiency calculations is that it doesn't take into account what the wasted energy does. As far as I know, the energy used in a light bulb either goes to producing light, or producing heat. So what if an incandescent bulb gives off tons of waste heat - I heat my house with electricity anyways! The climate is so cold in Manitoba that we heat our houses 9 months of the year. So use CFL's the other 3 months. The element in an incandescent bulb is very similar to an element in an electric heater. One other thing: people who shoot down criticism of the toxins in CFL's because they can be recycled seem to be ignorant of the fact that at least 75% of population is lazy and will just throw them in the garbage. Until you can throw them in your recycling bin, and much more than 20% of the population starts recycling, it will be a problem down the road.
One more comment...
written by kbeatty, February 03, 2009
The local electric company, Manitoba Hydro, is pushing CFL's and LED Christmas lights like crazy. Why? Because any electricity we don't use gets sold to other provinces and northern US states at greater profit! Their brochures and campaign for CFL's is so biased it is sickening. And they have the Manitoba government in the palm of their hands and are trying to legislate a ban on incandescents. No research, no logic, just ignorance. Sickening.
Poe Soul
written by MajorAluminumm, February 03, 2009
I have had the same cfl's for 14 years.They were made in the USA.What would Ted Poe say about that.
written by Adie, February 03, 2009
You missed the category that are uptight about the amount of 'dirty' energy that is emitted by cfl's....(this would be the category I place myself in personally) because they're really bad in that aspect! LED's are starting to look better and better...
written by Ivan Bronsoiler, February 03, 2009
Yes, the future may be LED lighting and it may not be to far away. I am testing 10W LEDs made in China and tramadol 1200mg prices are dropping considerably, +-US$20/ea. They claim a life span of 10,000hrs. We'll see.
written by Rick Hantz, February 03, 2009
The bad news is, is that most CFLs used by home users and small businesses end up in the landfill, and not collected as hazardous waste as they are supposed to. It costs $.50 to $.75 to recycle each CFL or 2'-4' long tube. I checked with a number of recyclers in the greater Seattle area, and they see very few CFLs brought in...
written by Freeflydude, February 03, 2009
Alright, I did some research for all you nay sayers. First CFL's do not have to be on for 15 minutes to be more efficient, but if they are on for less than 5 minutes the life can be reduced. Energy star recommends about 15 minutes (some people like to twist the facts). Second, although CFL's do contain mercury since they use less energy and most electricity comes from coal power and coal spits mercury into the environment (which is much worse than being contained in a glass tube) incandescent bulbs are actually worse for mercury contamination indirectly. CFL lasts 6,000-15,000 hours where incandescent lasts around 1,000-1,500 hours. In the end you pay more for incandescent than CFL because your buying 5 times as many bulbs (even though cheaper) but also using 3-4 times as much energy. CFL light output is now comparable to incandescent, but you have to know what to buy (whether incandescent or CFL) if you want a certain type of light. I'm all for LED over CFL when they become more affordable and light output/color are comparable. They will get there soon but until then save some energy and switch to CFL's, recycle them when they're dead and do more research before bitching about the negatives of new technology.
written by Megan, February 04, 2009
Do not touch the bulb of ANY lightbulb, CFL or otherwise. Touching the bulb with your skin can shorten the life of the bulb. It's got something to do with the oil on your skin affecting the coating of the bulb. My husband just grabs a sandwich baggie and covers his hand with it when he has to install a bulb. We have been using CFLs (cheap brands and name brands) for 5 years and have had maybe one or two burn out in 20+ lighting fixtures. I suspect a lot of those who are complaining about CFLs burning out quickly, just grabbed the bulb and pawed it all up while installing it. Try a rubber glove or plastic baggie and see if you get better results. Can't hurt!
some generals about "the battle
written by Sandy, February 04, 2009
1) to Ian Gerrett:
the "incandescant bulb costs $ 1.50 myth"
if you do the math, use real numbers, like 4@.99!

2) how do all you "Opposers" like the FACT, that incandescent bulbs are not longer sold in the European Union after 2010 (as in: OUTLAWED!)

Maybe they are up to something, like:
We are all in this together, and it has been long enough that 5% of the world population uses up 96 % of the resources, including wasting energy like there was no tomorrow!(heck, maybe there isn't...!!!)
P.S. they are considering outlawing 52" TVs too, due to obscene energy consumption.
First Step...
No. No flicker
written by Steve Bergman, February 06, 2009
And the cheaper CFLs do last longer. But they have a 60hz migraine inducing flicker.

No. That is a myth. It used to be true. But modern CFLs... even the ones I buy for $1.81 a piece at WalMart, have electronic balasts and operate at 40KHz. No flicker. whatsoever.

Mercury mania
written by Steve Bergman, February 06, 2009
CFLs have never carried very much mercury. But since mercury has become such a hot topic, Walmart has manhandled manufacturers to reduce it even further. Most bulbs, like GE's, contain about 2mg of mercury.

Imagine an inch. Now imagine a tenth of an inch. Take that tenth of an inch and devide it into 5ths. Take one of those 5ths or the tenth of an inch and imagine a cube of mercury that length on a side. That is how much mercury we are talking about.

However, over the life of the bulb, the mercury ends up bonded to the walls of the tube. At the end of the tube's life, about 90% of the mercury is bonded. So about 1/10th of that tiny cube of mercury is *potentially* available to wash out and contaminate the environment.

If you live in an area which uses any coal at all to produce its electricity, which means most places, then more mercury than that is belched right into the atmosphere that you breath by the coal plant when it generates the extra energy to power an incandescent. (As an aside, those coal plants also emit more radiation, in the form of the radioactive uranium they emit, than a nuclear fission plant.)

This whole topic of mercury is *just plain silly*. Intelligent people should all know that by now. This is true of most of the folk wisdom circulating regarding why CFLs "aren't really green". And yet the phantoms persist.

If it still bothers you, get one of the ultra-low mercury bulbs that has 1mg or less.
written by Steve Bergman, February 06, 2009
You missed the category that are uptight about the amount of 'dirty' energy that is emitted by cfl's....(this would be the category I place myself in personally) because they're really bad in that aspect!

What in the world are you talking about? This makes no sense at all.
re: Need clarification on a rumor
written by Steve Bergman, February 06, 2009

Like most "CFLs aren't really green" rumors, this one if a bunch of hooey. It is related to the "CFLs don't last long if you turn them off and on" myth, I think. At short duty cycles, the total hours of life does decrease. But at current prices, unless you sit and turn them on and off every 1 minute or so, the hardware itself is still cheaper per hour than incandescent, without even figuring in the energy savings. And if you turn them on and off every 5 minutes, they still use about 75% less energy than incandescent. You can check this for yourself with a kill-a-watt, or similar, monitor:

I have observed mine carefully, and CFLs actually use slightly *less* energy over the first minute than they do after they have warmed up.

Enjoy your new CFLs! :-)
written by Steve Bergman, February 09, 2009
Let's be honest. There are many more legitimate reasons for people to avoid CFL's, unfortunately.

Let's be honest. You have presented some reasons that might deter the use of CFLs in certain special instances. Fine. Does that mean that they should just give up the idea of using CFLs at all? I've yet to see a home completely lighted by weird 3 way configurations and viagra rx ceiling fan fixtures.

Besides, 50-100-150 CFL 3 ways are available most anywhere CFLs are sold. And the fan vibration damaging the solid state electronics sounds a bit bizarre. Vibration is actually harder on incandescent filaments than on IC chips.

The real problem is that CFLs have to be hands-down superior in every way... and all the disinformation about them will have to be debunked over and over again for a while longer, before the huge inertia of incandescents can be eroded.
Re: We're saving money
written by Steve Bergman, February 10, 2009
I'm a big believer in recommending that people buy one size up. I've noticed in looking over studies that the studies which use brighter bulbs get more positive feedback from the subjects. It's only about 4 extra watts to go from a 60W equivalent to a 75W equivalent. Insignificant compared to the savings over an incandescent.

I'm giving out bulbs in laundry room at the apartment complex where I live, and am only distributing 100W equivalents. They are rated at 23W, actually draw 21W, and are quite bright and cheery. I think it makes a better impression upon people. If the bulb is too dim, they think they "don't like the light" CFLs put out. If it's too bright, I think they realize they should just get a lower wattage CFL. Strange psychology, I know. But I do think that it's the way people think.
Medical concerns
written by Erin, February 11, 2009
Many people have issues with headaches and migraines from CFL's and I personally have a more severe reaction, I can only spend a maximum of about 3 hours in fluorescent lighting of anykind before my motor functions begin shutting down, as I have a form of epilepsy that makes me extremely light-sensitive. I am also a biologist, and so I can see both sides of the debate. I do believe that there is a happy medium, and I am hoping it is LED technology.
written by Steve Bergman, February 12, 2009
I can only spend a maximum of about 3 hours in fluorescent lighting of anykind before my motor functions begin shutting down,

Fluorescent lighting of any kind? What is your proposed mechanism of action for this?
written by Steve Bergman, February 12, 2009
[q]if you ever have woken up a baby you're trying to sneak into bed by turning on a light or by tripping over something in the dark, you will understand why. This is a non-trivial issue[/q]
I'm proud to say I have never done so, human overpopulation being the World's #1 problem. Please stop having all these babies. And then you will not have to worry about tripping over them in the dark. Also, you will then be free to install reasonably efficient lighting in your home. Use condoms, or whatever works for your situation to make it (not) happen. But don't use your fecundity as an excuse for not acting even more irresponsibly.
made in China
written by Cindy, February 15, 2009
Yet aother reason some of us don't buy cfls...they are made in China. There are soooo many problems with this I won't list them all, but for some of us this is real moral issue. And yes, you can buy alternatives with enough research and care. so, until someone else makes them (and they don't have to be made in USA) they won't be in our home.
written by Brian, February 24, 2009
I have a lot of friends who rent, and move every 6-12 months. They're not going to spend the money to buy a bulb that's going to last years when one that will get them through the rental term is good enough.

And replacing every bulb with a CFL is too much work... even if they use less electricity, they don't pay close enough attention to their energy usage anyhow to notice.

Btw, have to laugh at all the commenters who are bringing up the mercury content when you clearly covered that. Especially as CFL recycling is popping up all over the place.
written by alan, March 20, 2009
great article. but there really is no need to compromise with regard to CFLs. There ARE bright ones out there you know! i got these and they were great. fast, compact and bright, with 75% less murcury...its a no brainer. some people are just lazy and don't wanna take note of massive savings!
A few more questions to work on.
written by Jerry, April 22, 2009
what do you plan on telling people who understand the danger to their pets? Or the people who read the EPA hazmat rules for treating them as toxic when they break? Will you be selling the needed hazmat items on the list they should keep nearby after they clear the area and cheap prices for viagra get all living things out of the apartment due to one broken light bulb? I was also wondering what you plan on saying to migraine sufferers who are triggered by the initial flicker. Nevermind.
Missing Category
written by Beth, April 26, 2009
You are missing a category. That would be the I'm tired of driving store to store to find the right kind of CFL. We took inventory of our light fixtures, in order to replace many with cfls. I have candelabra types, fan types, ones that are odd shaped, etc. I spent hours going store to store because Menards sells the Fan type with the regular base, but not candelabra base, so some lights were taken care of. Home Depot sold the dimmable ones I needed. Lowes sold a third type. Eventually I gave up. The cost saved from the CFLs is quickly out weighted by the cost of gas and emissions of driving store to store. It would be nice to find all types in one place.
written by Steve, June 04, 2013
Another category would be Logical and Lucky I guess I got lucky the first two CFLs I bought burned out within 60 days. I've been using incandescence all my life they work just fine I'm sticking with them.
Hate CFL'S
written by liz, June 16, 2013
I changed over my whole house to CFl bulbs 5 or 6 years ago. Its really a hit and miss deal with those bulbs. Some last a long time while others will last only a couple months. or they will last 2 months then go out the third and then come back on in a week or so and then die all together. I can't stand the inconsisency. Also broke one while changing it out and that was an ordeal in itself. Airing out the whole house for 3 hours while hoping you didn't inhale the murcury and throwing out the bulb while wearing gloves and tring to get a glass container to hold the broken bulb. YES people that's what you have to go through to clean it up . its like a silkwood incident! Not to mention, you aren't supposed to put them in the garbage. I have a box full of used bulbs sitting in my garage to be recycled somewhere?????? yeah,last long?? how come I have a whole box of them?? oh yeah, and they are not supposed to be used upside down. makes them overheat.

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