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Do you even like CFL bulbs?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Do you even like CF bulbs?

I've seen lots of discussion about these bulbs and it seems people either love them or hate them.

Do you prefer the old lightbults despite them not being as energy efficient?

post #2 of 15


I TRULY DESPISE THEM! It seems I'm changing them much quicker than I should be. The ones in my bathroom have been changed periodically over the last couple of years.





Edited by hippiechick - 6/15/2009 at 06:39 pm GMT
post #3 of 15

Personally I'm totally disgusted with them!  They really do NOT last longer.  I've had to replace the CFL's in my kitchen fixture at least 3 times in the few years I've used them whereas the regular ones before them last over 10 years. 

post #4 of 15

Call CFL's a biohazard? Maybe you mean all flouescents?


Uncle George passing gas at a family function is probably more dangerous! Many things around the house surpass the danger of that small amount of mercury by far. When I was a kid we would play with the stuff - using it to polish coins - not recommended but no big deal.


Analyzing iron ore for metallic iron was done with mercuric chloride & still is. Free mercury is found in the flask when you are done - years past it went in the drain though I hope people are more aware today. 


If I break one I clean it up and be done with it. People who put out that scare apparently have never looked at what they are working with. The vac is probably not the best choice if one is worried as possibly some of the particles will become airborne.


I have standard incandescants in locations where they are switched on for short periods of time - such as the stairwell motion activated lamps. Everything else is CFL with no problems - either life or light quality.


The light pools are T5 tube type dimmable flourescents  - again no problem.


Maybe you have voltage or installation problems. Flourescents are not meant to be constantly turned on and off. 


hippiechick - I guess you don't recycle anything else either than?


post #5 of 15

I have used them for years in home and industrial use. Anywhere they may build heat such as some "can lights" have been reported to have issues.  Also check the life expectancy of the bulb. some are rated for 10,000 hours, some much less. The lesser bulbs are the ones that usually give more problems.


In any application where there is some vibration due to machinery etc, the CFL will outlast the incandescents many times over. 


I agree that the mercury issues is well overstated.  There is less mercury in the bulbs than there is introduced into the atmosphere by the power plants producing the increased amount of electricity to light a comparable Incandescent.

As far as recycling, many stores such as Ace Hardware will recycle them for free.


The use of CFL's has allowed me to put the cost savings in other energy savings items. I love them.  Also, one other thing, many people don't know but they come in 3 or 4 colors (warmths) so makeup should not be an issue under the right color.

post #6 of 15
A bit of data as regards the mercury in CFL lamps from the editorial section of the eco-web site:

"Benefits of Switching to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs"

"Using Energy Star qualified CFLs results in less mercury in our environment. Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of human caused mercury emissions in the U.S. A coal-fired power plant produces 13.6 mg of mercury to power one 60 watt incandescent bulb, but only 3.3 mg to power an equivalent CFL."

"The second reason why many consumers are hesitant to switch to energy-efficient CFL bulbs is because of the mercury content found in CFL bulbs. What people need to understand is that CFL bulbs contain a miniscule amount of mercury, approximately 4 milligrams, which is the size of the period at the end of this sentence. This small amount cannot even be compared to the amount of mercury that is released into the environment from using incandescent light bulbs."

The URL follows: 
post #7 of 15
I switched to cf bulbs about a year ago and haven't changed one yet.  My old bulbs would go out every time I bumped my lamp.  The fiber would just break.  The cf's are much more durable, output the same amount of light, and use less energy.
post #8 of 15
I also have never changed a CFL yet and I have been using them for years! However, I have had incandescent bulbs die in days....
post #9 of 15
I have no incandescent bulbs in my house.  I have one fixture in my kitchen with those miniature halogens, because that is the only room I need a lot of light in, everything else has cfls.  I have never changed one before, in fact I have moved 3 times and each time taken the bulbs with me.  You have to get the right ones though, I have had a bulb that was awful, it took minutes to get to full brightness and it was so white that it made me sick.  But the cfls that I use are the best, they have a soft glow, and for sitting around at home, you don't need much light anyways.
post #10 of 15
I have a further rant in Climate Change - Myths on this. 

My failure rate of CFLs in the home has been five CFLs burned of 14 bulbs changed when we bought the house four years ago.  Of the 21 incandescents we left, the only one I have changed was the one I hit with a ladder as I was going to change a CFL.  The incandescents are hot, but I pay for heat nine months a year anyway.

When the incandescent is censored, legislated off the market, I am going to buy about a hundred of them to deliver me from the damn CFL.

post #11 of 15
I replied to this on another one of your posts - you are totally wrong. 
post #12 of 15
Well, Russ, it is actually the Dollarama CFL that has been doing yeoman's service in the range hood for four solid years plus  That light is on every morning from wake-up till of-to-work, and every evening from arrival to sleepy-time.  The last one I changed was a $9 Sylvania unit, and I have changed several other name-brands as well.

They also do not work outside when it's -30C degrees.

I have a box for my vermicomposter in the unheated sunporch with an old mechanical thermostat hooked to a 25w incandescent bulb - the worms are a toasty 25C all winter long.  I have another 15w in a sensitive piece of equipment in the garage.  Try to find an equivalent setup with a CFL.

If the CFL is truly a better bulb, why not let the free market decide?  Why does it have to be supported by Big Brother legislation?

post #13 of 15
I've used CFLs for over 5 years, and haven't replaced any of them since.  We've moved a lot, and I've always changed out the lightbulbs (it's a routine as with changing the toilet seats).  I always left the "used" but working bulbs for the other apartment dwellers if they wanted them.

The newer ones also turn on immediately (the ones from 5 years ago tended to be dim at first).

We've gotten ours at Home Depot--a pack of 4 for $2.88; the price really isn't that different compared to traditional lightbulbs. 

Since there are remain a few of the older lightbulbs from our recent move, I will probably use one in the "greenhouse" we built out back to keep it warm during the winter, or to test its usefulness as a minibake oven-type light.

Seriously, if you hate them, don't use them.  I'm happy with the ones I've used.
post #14 of 15
The only thin with CFLs is I feel they give off a weird kind of light.  It is either too bright or not bright enough. But I haven' had to replace any so far and its been about 3 years.
post #15 of 15
With CFL's there are several different colors (CRI) and color temperatures (CTI) available.

One's best bet is to go to a showroom where many types of lamps are on display side by side. Home Quarter's, Lowes or that type are likely to have such a display. You can get a better idea of what you will see at home.

A 'warm white' lamp is often touted as the most similar to the old incandescant bulb. I prefer a slightly brighter lamp myself.
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