Friday, November 12, 2010

Incandescent Light Bulb Stockpilers

From the Daily Caller some reasons for stockpiling:
[1.] ". . . Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs), have a tendency to burst into flames."
. . .
[2.] "There’s also an aesthetic component to it. 'It’s the color temperature,' Smith said. 'The quality of light is just nowhere near what incandescents can do.'"
. . .
[3.] "Moreover, Smith . . . feels that the claims of energy savings associated with CFLs are unsubstantiated. In part, this is a function of how they are used. Energy Star, the certification program for 'green' products, suggests that a CFL should be left on for a minimum of 15 minutes to achieve maximum energy savings. This makes CFLs unsuitable for certain applications. For instance, Smith cited the example of the bathroom at an elementary school where he teaches as a substitute.

"The constant turning on and off of the lights meant that, at one point, the janitor came in and 'he was replacing that same bulb for the third time in three days, ‘cause the on-off cycle was killing them.' The janitor, Smith said, 'was also stocking up' on incandescent bulbs.

[4.] "Another issue Smith cited is that CFLs contain mercury and need to be recycled properly. The little amount of mercury on its own isn’t really enough to cause a problem, but if enough people throw out the bulbs with their normal trash, eventually, it’s going to add up to a lot of mercury in landfills.

[5.] "Then there’s the fact that CFLs are substantially more expensive than incandescent bulbs. 'Basically what this is doing is removing affordable lighting for the poor,' Smith said. . . . 'I mean, if you’ve got someone that’s barely feeding themselves, they’ve got a light bulb that goes out and, they’re going to have to go to the store and get a three dollar light bulb versus an 89 cent light bulb.'"
The 100 watt bulbs are due to be phased out in January of 2012. But, I was at a couple of stores today and noticed how limited the incandescent light bulb selection is becoming. No cheap bulbs anymore. Almost all the "regular" light bulbs are "soft light" coated bulbs--going for a bit less than 40 cents each in an 8 pack with bulbs supposed to last twice as long as the old kind. The "natural light" bulbs (e.g., Reveal) are going for about 60 cents each with a new version supposed to last two times longer than the original but costing more than twice as much.

I picked up 5 boxes of four for my own stockpile. I get frustrated at the dim lighting from the CFL's, and have replaced them in all the single bulb overhead light fixtures. We still have the CFL's in one light fixture that has four bulbs. It gives off enough light, but takes four bulbs to do it--not much of an energy savings. However, it does give us a place to use up the CFL's we bought in the experiment to "save money".

Here's a humorous look at the dangers of CFL's along with the sad news that GE closed its last U.S. incandescent light bulb factory in September. This also means more U.S. jobs moving overseas.

No comments: