Shedding light on bulbs -- Energy

Shedding light on bulbs -- Energy

There are 45 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Mar 27, 2008, titled Shedding light on bulbs -- Energy. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers It's hip to be twisty these days. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are praised as energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

Robert

United States

#21 Mar 27, 2008
Regarding CFLs in different shapes: I've seen these sold lately in places like Home Depot in shapes like big globes, candle-flames, and others. Most use a translucent plastic shape over a CFL bulb.(I just realized this would take care of the mercury problem if the bulb was shattered - the plastic "shell" would contain the mercury. Hmmm.)

I use CFLs throughout my house. It's not because I'm a tree-hugger (anything but, thank you), but because they save me money. My electric bill dropped about $10 a month on average, alomost enough to pay for a six-pack of CFLs at Sam's Club. They're also easier on the ancient wiring in my old house.

Anything that helps save money and win energy independence from those who hate us is a good thing. But I will be glad when switchgrass replaces corn for ethanol use.
BillHill08

Lake Forest, IL

#22 Mar 27, 2008
former westtowner wrote:
I want to use more CFL's in my home, but here are problems I've encountered (and I haven't seen/read/heard of any "solutions" or explanations for why they can't shouldn't be used in certain lamps):
The packaging on the bulbs I've bought (the "regular" 60 watt "equivalent" bulbs as well as the 3-way (30-50-100 watt equivalent) bulbs say not to use them in very cold (minus 5-10,? degree) weather (so, there goes my plan of using them outdoors, year-'round in northern Illinois). Also, you're not supposed to use them with motion detectors, photo cell timers (on and off with varying light, sunrise, sunset).
Does this mean they WON'T work under these conditions/with these appliances? Or, will they wear out faster (how much faster?) and would end up costing as much or MORE than incandescent bulbs?
Then there are people (not me, thankfully, but I've seen TV news stories about some) who cannot tolerate the "flicker" of flourescent bulbs. This isn't just an annoyance with these people---they must wear sunglasses to minimize the effect. Some people suffer from migraines (or even seizures) due to flickering lights. Has the government even CONSIDERED these problems? What do they intend to do about them ("hope" that large profits will entice manufacturers to solve these problems and make CFL's more "consumer" friendly?)
Could someone tell me if it would be cheaper (under current Com Ed rates) to use CFL's, do away with timers and leave a porch light (for example) on for 10+ hours per night, or if using an incandescent bulb with a photo cell timer that turns off at dawn, on at dusk, year 'round is cheaper?
Also, I can't find every kind of bulb I need in CFL's----and who wants bare "twirly" CFL bulbs in, say, a chandelier (oh, you can't use CFL's with dimmers, either, I see). I can't find any in "big" globe bulbs (like I use in my kitchen---a very large diameter, not "vanity" bulbs).
Could someone do a more in-depth report on this issue (someone on the Trib staff), because the interest is THERE! If I'm going to be using my hard earned $ on bulbs I'm FORCED to buy (thanks to the government mandate), I want to KNOW as much as I can in order to make an informed choice (or revert to candles and kerosene and going to bed when the sun sets and waking at dawn).
I switched to these bulbs almost two years ago for my outside lighting at my townhouse. Two reasons were that I changed the old bulbs about three times per year because they would shoot. Secondly, I found the daylight bulb in the blue package gave me a brighter light and provided more security on the exterior of my home.

I have yet to change those bulbs once, so the winter weather issue has not been a problem. Also, because I travel frequently, I leave them on much of the time and still have had a noticeable reduction in my electric bills.
Mike

Chicago, IL

#23 Mar 27, 2008
These light bulbs new more research. Here we go again putting some new technology before it is tested. How long will it be before we realize we have mercury poisoning problem in our groundwater? Did we not learn anything from the past with hazardous waste disposal. Does anyone actually believe that most people will just not throw those bulbs out in the trash instead of repacking them and driving them to a recycling center? It is not going to happen. Maybe 30-405 of the population will do that. In the meantime hazadous mercury waste will be seeping into our groundwater and soil. Then if the bulbs break and yes people drop bulbs and they break, there will be hazardous waste in our homes and places of work, that small children can get at. Even if it cleaned up ther ewill be residue that can harm our children, us and pets. Think about that. Also you cannot put those ugly bulbs in chandeliers. WAKE UP US before we have another Love Canal
Sick and Tired

Monee, IL

#24 Mar 27, 2008
Boy, I guess the answer is just do nothing. I wonder WWGD?(What would Gore do?)
Otis Roast

Stamford, CT

#25 Mar 27, 2008
CFL's are great - but getting people to take the burnt out ones to a hazardous waste collection dropoff just won't happen. Only chance for proper disposal is to make it part of the recycleable program where people simply segragate and put out on the curb.
Pal

United States

#26 Mar 27, 2008
Bruce B wrote:
Well I just did a Google search for "hazardous household collection point". Guess what? There aren't any around. When the government gets serious about collection points, then will I get serious about not throwing the bulbs out.
I'm sure most people don't realize just how tiny 5 milligrams of mercury is. It takes about 140 CFLs to equal the mercury content of a fever thermometer.
You can take them to your local hardware store. Ace and True Value stores will take CFL's and also batteries for recycling. Most of us have one or the other of those nearby.

Since: Jul 07

Fairview Park OH

#27 Mar 27, 2008
Concerned wrote:
I have happily begun using these bulbs in my home. The one downside I have found is that they cannot be dimmed. So, you cannot use them in any area where you normally use a dimmer switch.
You also can't use them on a motion detector.

I don't fine that they really last the 5 to 7 years that is advertised. I have a few that have gone 3 or 4 years but at least 25 percent have failed in under a year. by then of course the box is gone so any guarantee is worthles. and NO I don't have the space to keep that many boxes & other such things....:-(
Mowog

Schaumburg, IL

#28 Mar 27, 2008
Otis Roast wrote:
CFL's are great - but getting people to take the burnt out ones to a hazardous waste collection dropoff just won't happen. Only chance for proper disposal is to make it part of the recycleable program where people simply segragate and put out on the curb.
LED lamps are the answer once they become cost effective.
BLD

Chicago, IL

#29 Mar 27, 2008
"Don't throw CFLs out in the trash. Drop them off at a household hazardous waste collection point."
==========
And how many freakin' miles is one supposed to drive (burning more fuel) to drop off one of these Al Gore bulbs?
Jay Leopold at Lumeys

Scottsdale, AZ

#30 Mar 27, 2008
Commercial grade LED lamps are now available and provide all the light of fluorescents, Halogens and Edison bulbs with 95% less electricity and no heat. It's real and it makes compact fluoescents the "eight track tapes" of the lighting world.
jjrg7

Raleigh, NC

#31 Mar 27, 2008
Recycling mercury bulbs is not free. there is a cost to someone associated with this.Either to the consumer or your municipality that accepts them (so either way the consumer pays).
Kevin

Park Forest, IL

#32 Mar 27, 2008
i use CFL bulbs in every socket in my house, and only because they do save money. you people are all thinking of the CFLs of a few years ago. Go to the store and look. There are dimmable CFLs. There are globe CFLs. These arent cheap, but its worth it to buy the name brand bulb. I even use one outside, in chicago, and it has never failed, even in below zero weather. i turn them on and off all the time, and use them in the bathroom, and i have yet to replace any bulb for the last year and a half when i put 'em in. as far as your mercury goes, yeah it's unsettling, but a coal power plant spews ten times the amount of mercury into our air from all the extra power neede for one incandescant bulb.
Jay

United States

#33 Mar 27, 2008
does anyone know the real danger of the mercury inside these bulbs? If the buld breaks at home, is there danger to children or others with this amount of mercury?
Robert

Edwardsville, IL

#34 Mar 27, 2008
The CFL's do not flicker. The old fluorescent bulbs with magnetic ballasts had a 60 Hz flicker, the newer generation fluorescent lighting and all CFL's use electronic ballasts that do not have the flicker. There is still a lot of the old magnetic ballasts around which is unfortunate because upgrading them is one of best payback energy projects available.
former westtowner wrote:
I want to use more CFL's in my home, but here are problems I've encountered (and I haven't seen/read/heard of any "solutions" or explanations for why they can't shouldn't be used in certain lamps):
The packaging on the bulbs I've bought (the "regular" 60 watt "equivalent" bulbs as well as the 3-way (30-50-100 watt equivalent) bulbs say not to use them in very cold (minus 5-10,? degree) weather (so, there goes my plan of using them outdoors, year-'round in northern Illinois). Also, you're not supposed to use them with motion detectors, photo cell timers (on and off with varying light, sunrise, sunset).
Does this mean they WON'T work under these conditions/with these appliances? Or, will they wear out faster (how much faster?) and would end up costing as much or MORE than incandescent bulbs?
Then there are people (not me, thankfully, but I've seen TV news stories about some) who cannot tolerate the "flicker" of flourescent bulbs. This isn't just an annoyance with these people---they must wear sunglasses to minimize the effect. Some people suffer from migraines (or even seizures) due to flickering lights. Has the government even CONSIDERED these problems? What do they intend to do about them ("hope" that large profits will entice manufacturers to solve these problems and make CFL's more "consumer" friendly?)
Could someone tell me if it would be cheaper (under current Com Ed rates) to use CFL's, do away with timers and leave a porch light (for example) on for 10+ hours per night, or if using an incandescent bulb with a photo cell timer that turns off at dawn, on at dusk, year 'round is cheaper?
Also, I can't find every kind of bulb I need in CFL's----and who wants bare "twirly" CFL bulbs in, say, a chandelier (oh, you can't use CFL's with dimmers, either, I see). I can't find any in "big" globe bulbs (like I use in my kitchen---a very large diameter, not "vanity" bulbs).
Could someone do a more in-depth report on this issue (someone on the Trib staff), because the interest is THERE! If I'm going to be using my hard earned $ on bulbs I'm FORCED to buy (thanks to the government mandate), I want to KNOW as much as I can in order to make an informed choice (or revert to candles and kerosene and going to bed when the sun sets and waking at dawn).

Since: Oct 07

Chicago, IL

#35 Mar 27, 2008
Bruce B wrote:
Well I just did a Google search for "hazardous household collection point". Guess what? There aren't any around. When the government gets serious about collection points, then will I get serious about not throwing the bulbs out.
I'm sure most people don't realize just how tiny 5 milligrams of mercury is. It takes about 140 CFLs to equal the mercury content of a fever thermometer.
Try your local Ace Hardware store.
feelings

Moline, IL

#36 Mar 27, 2008
justme wrote:
Supposedly saving energy, but they are full of mercury. Hypocritical. How many people are actually going to bother taking them somewhere safe to be disposed? Those bulbs can also cause problems for people with migraines or seizures. So you save energy, but some people are going to be sick a lot. Hmm.
Hello...we've been using fluorescent lights in retail stores forever & nobody mentions the mercury problems with those lights that are probably 10 times larger than the CFL's used in homes! Now all of a sudden there is a big problem! There is no such thing as a free lunch with anything...one thing always affects 10 others. If we went back to candles or lanterns there would be pollution from the flames.
I think using CFL's are a great idea but you will only save money for a short period of time before the Power Companies see a drop in usage & they raise your rates because they always have to make their money!
BobM

North Port, FL

#37 Mar 27, 2008
I have replaced almost all the bulbs in my house with CFLs. Most importantly in our kitchen where there are 11 spots that used to be 65 watts incandescant and are now 65 watt CFLs using about 25% of the previous power. The only bulbs I have not been able to replace are a 3 bulb fixture in the front hall and the dining room chandelier, both of which use small-base bulbs.

I have not been able to determine that I am saving any money from good old ComEd, even by comparing bills from two years ago. Perhaps rate increases have obviated my efforts.

However, i'm still glad I replaced everything.
LT in the midwest

United States

#38 Mar 27, 2008
The government (both sides of the aisle) is stepping over it's bounds again in taking away our freedoms. I too believe that global warming is a myth to control the masses. Here's a view from WND:
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php...
CUL8RDecor8R

Schererville, IN

#39 Mar 27, 2008
Can someone please tell me how to use a clip-on shade with this ghastly things? I haven't seen one yet that works with them!

“Constitutionist/ SAF”

Since: Mar 08

Location hidden

#40 Mar 28, 2008
James wrote:
<quoted text>
Dude, why don't you just get the wireing in your house upgreaded from 1930's technology?
Thousands of dollars, Dummy. My wiring is better with CFC bulbs.

CFC's work good; ignore all the rediculous complaints and reap the benefits of CFC's. Environmentalists are liars.

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