Friday, June 13, 2014

This little light of mine

Since I am a big fan of recycling, alternative fuels, and zero-emission electric cars, you would think 
that I'd also be a fan of CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs, but I'm not.

I found the earlier version of the CFL bulbs to be annoying because they took 30-60 seconds to fully illuminate.  When you open a closet door and flip on the light switch to find something, you really don't want to have to stand around waiting for the light in order to find something.  The more recent version is better, with a 10-15 second warm-up period, but are still not ideal for places where you need light quickly, like a dark closet.

Another irritating thing about these bulbs is that they don't last as long as incandescent light bulbs.  We moved into our house 7 1/2 years ago and began gradually changing the incandescent bulbs over to CFLs.  I have already had to replace several of the CFLs because they only lasted a couple years.  Meanwhile, the incandescent bulbs that never got switched out are still burning strong after more than 7 years.

Oh, and did I mention CFLs are like 3 or 4 times more expensive than incandescent bulbs???

And when the CFLs burn out, you're not supposed to throw them in your regular household trash because they contain mercury!  You're supposed to drop them off at Home Depot or Lowes to recycle them.  What a pain...

But despite these irritants Spouse & I continue to replace bulbs with CFLs because they allegedly use less electricity.  How do you feel about CFLs?


anne marie in philly said...

we replaced all our old light bulbs about 2 years ago with the "twisty" bulbs (as I call them). we have not had to replace one yet.

Ur-spo said...

They are a pain but a good thing to do.

wcs said...

I agree with you. They take too long to get bright and they don't last as long as they're supposed to. But, I have found the alternative: LED. IKEA sells LED bulbs that look just like standard bulbs. They light instantly and use even less energy than CFLs. They're also expensive, but I have yet to replace one.

AZ said...

I dated the General Electric CFL bulbs I installed and most of the bulbs I installed 7-26-05 are still going strong. I don't notice a delay when I switch on the lights, but maybe our Arizona dry air has something to do that. Our bulbs came with the instruction to wear gloves when installing bulbs because oil from your hands will cause early bulb failure, so I did wear gloves, perhaps that's why they've lasted almost nine years.

I'm a frequent reader, but this is my first comment. :)

the cajun said...

No problem with instant on with mine. I even have one Panasonic (tall multi-tube kind) that I've had since 1998. It's in a lamp on a timer and is on every night. Still going strong.

I have only CFLs in my place sine 2009 and have yet to replace any of them. They don't work well with dimmers, but that's not a problem for me.

Recycling them at Home Depot or Lowe's is no more of a hassle than recycling old ink carts or toner carts at Staples. Good for the environment.

Harpers Keeper said...

We try to use them anywhere we would otherwise have a regular light bulb. The incremental cost is mildly annoying. What is more annoying is that one has to been special CFL bulbs for use with dimmers and those are even more expensive.

Anonymous said...

I like the CFLs and have used them for years, you get used to them. But recently I started using LED bulbs to replace any incandescent bulbs that I had on dimmers cause the new LEDs put out a nice light and can be dimmed. I love them. So I recommend trying a couple LED bulbs....but they are expensive. Shop around though they are getting cheaper, I just picked up one I really like at Ikea for a great price.
Oh and in the past year I bought a plug in hybrid Ford Fusion and had a full solar system installed on my roof. I've bought gas only twice since last July ( in over 7,000 miles) and as of this moment our electric company owes me money!