Hate CFLS?

halogen-e26The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, signed into law by Pres. Bush, set efficiency standards for lighting.  Yes, this is the “incandescent ban” you may have heard about.  It doesn’t actually do that, it just sets efficiency standards that incandescent bulbs don’t meet.

If you simply can’t stand CFLs, and can’t afford LEDs, there is a 3rd way.  Halogen bulbs (pictured above) are about 25-30% more efficient than their standard incandescent counterparts.  The ones in the picture are from IKEA, and are $2 each.  GE makes some too [amzn] currently about $2.50 each.  Fully dimmable, normal light spectrum, etc.  I didn’t actually know such things existed, until I heard that IKEA would stop selling incandescents and took a look at their site.

Some are just terribly upset about this requirement for a meager improvement in efficiency.  About 1 in 3 disapprove.  Chief among them, it seems, is one Fred Upton, new chair of the House Energy Committee.  He’s so upset that he is planning to undo it.  Who the heck co-sponsored that bill anyway?  None other than Fred Upton.  Talk about government inefficiency and waste!  Way to go, Fred.

Edit:  I should be clear; I don’t hate CFLs.  I use them in every fixture in my house that accepts them, other than some par20 gimbals that now have LED bulbs.  I find their light quality to be lacking in some instances, but overall it’s not too bad and a small price to pay for the massive efficiency gain.  I posted this in a feeble effort to dissuade those who, based on their dislike of CFLs, want to roll back the provisions of the above bill and keep burning heat-bulbs.  Just wanted to point out that there are alternatives.

30 thoughts on “Hate CFLS?

  1. To be fair the article linked to does state that the extra cost of sending people out to sweep the displays doesn’t outweigh the savings in electricity. You shouldn’t really rely on a secondary effect (heating) of your lights to keep things functioning. Maybe traffic lights will in future have heaters that only come on when the temperature drops bellow a certain level.

    I’ve never really had a problem with CFLS and have them in pretty much every room in the house. You can moderate the light with appropriate fittings or shades. The only exception so far in the kitchen which I’ve recently switched to LEDs as they are the most used lights in the house. I’ve got a mix of traditional blue-ish light LEDs and some nice yellow light ones which give a nice natural light.

    Halogens have their place but they are pretty poor in efficiency and they are a pain to dispose of (you shouldn’t put them in the trash, certainly over here, as they need special disposal).

  2. I am one who hates CFL’s (even though I also have them in most of the rooms in my house – I’m certainly hoping for some good alternative soon (LED?)). Performance sucks. Longevity is nowhere near what is commonly advertised if they get cycled frequently (turn out the lights when you leave the room anyone?). They take too long to come up to full brightness and get worse about this as they age. They barely work where it’s cold at all. Experience quickly taught me to go with name brand bulbs over cheap ones of course but even the name brand bulbs have performed only incrementally better. I hate having to light up a room 10 minutes before I want to use it.

    I’m sure I’ll be stocking up on incandescents for some places – especially outdoor areas.

    But I’m not sure the savings are as much as advertised anyway. With the lighting patterns at my house there isn’t much light usage in summer hours. Of course in the summer the heat savings is nice when they do get used. But in the winter – where lights *are* used for significant numbers of hours – the heat is welcome. If it isn’t generated by the lights then my furnace (or the electric baseboards in a couple of rooms) have to do it anyway. I don’t see a savings there (esp with the baseboard rooms).

    I have to admit that wouldn’t mind a repeal at all. In cold areas the savings aren’t all they’re cracked up to be and the devices are miserable IMO.

    Also, if we can get alternative power more affordable, plentiful and reliable then the amount ‘wasted’ on incandescents isn’t as significant either. I’d like to see Thorium based nuclear to be honest.

    I also admire your solar project. I don’t know how effective it would be in Michigan US (and it is unaffordable for me anyway) but that would be what I’d like to do if I had the choice.

  3. I’m no fan of CFLs — mostly because I’ve had the same cycling/lifetime issues mention by mike. Add the mercury to the mix, and I’m wondering what the net effect on the environment is. However, even small amounts of energy saved by individuals can make a big difference on a macro-scale, as Eric has noted in other entries on this blog.

    Just to grab some numbers I’ve crunched for my web site, based on the idea of each American household turning off 1 100-watt bulb, or the equivalent, and using it to show how far the kWh saved could go in terms of powering electric vehicles (solar + EVs is my gig):

    – One 100-watt bulb x 24 hours X 365 days = 876 kWh
    – 876 kwh = 3,504 miles in an electric car
    – 115 million American households x 876 kWh = 101 billion kWh
    – 101 billion kWh = 404 billion electric car miles
    – 404 billion miles / 15,000 miles per year = 2.7 million EVs driving U.S. annual average miles (15,000)

    • Regarding the mercury, coal plants emit mercury as well. There have been several studies which show (mercury in lamp + mercury from coal generation to run lamp for 8000 hours) is less for CFLs than for incandescents. And you can capture/recycle the CFL mercury much more easily than that which comes out the smokestack…

  4. If we lived in a true democracy then none of this regulation would be necessary. People would just choose to use more efficient light bulbs if they thought it was worth it.

    Until you understand that the objection is not against more efficient light bulbs, but the use of institutionalized violence to enforce a political agenda against the will of a significant portion of the population then you will continue to make obvious mistakes in logic as indicated by this post.

    I personally like CFLs because I leave my lights on. They last a long time and save me money so that makes me happy and I use them. I think that incandescents bulbs are old fashioned and are expensive.

    I still object to the use of force to force people to purchase products that meet arbitrary efficiency standards.

    If you do not understand why I say things like ‘institutional violence’, ‘use of force’, and ‘true democracy’ then imagine what would happen if I manufactured bulbs, distributed, and sold them to individuals against the law.

    I would be fined. If I ignored the fine and told them to go fuck themselves then they would get court injunctions against me. If I ignored those then they would send armed men to my home and business to shut me down and take me to jail. They would threaten me, threaten anybody that tried to assist me, take away my business, take away my savings, and probably put me in a concrete cage. Effectively destroying my business, my carreer, my family, and take away everything that I valued in the world.

    That is the weight behind the law. That is what forces people to comply with the regulation.

    Is this worth it to force a portion of the population to purchase products they don’t want?

    Sure in terms of seriousness it’s not a big deal. It’s not holocaust. People are too easily intimidating and only a few people will get risk smuggling in light bulbs illegally so it won’t amount to much. Just like only a minority of people engage in black market 3.5 gallon toilets and underground unpasteurized milk markets. So the amount of people paying the fines is going to be small.

    But it’s a serious moral and ethical WTF. It makes no logical sense at all.

    As long as people behave peacefully they should be able to use whatever toliet design they want, whatever lightbulb technology they want, and be able to drink unprocessed milk if they want.

    Laws like this are completely unnecessary. If ‘the people’ care about having a slightly more efficient light they will respond by simply stop using the older technology. THAT is a democratic society. It’s ethical and morally correct society.

    Of course this is all just a symptom of a much more massive problem. Namely that elected democratic government is not enough if your goal is to preserve freedom.

    • Nate, to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of doing this as a mandate either – I think it would be better if the cost of energy reflected the true externalized costs of producing and using it, and then maybe the market forces would work better. But that will probably never happen, so instead we have these weird proxies. Too-cheap energy, and then mandated efficient use of that too-cheap energy.

      For stuff like milk, I’m with you, as long as it’s labeled. If you are ok with a little potential elevated risk for what you consider a worthwhile gain, go for it, you’re taking on risk for yourself. For energy efficiency, a bit less so, because if (as I do) you think that fossil fuel burning is a big problem for the world, one person’s choice is affecting everyone, long term, and more or less irreparably.

      I’m not a great political debater, but there are plenty of similar examples; we have laws that don’t let 8 year olds drive, and if you did constantly let your 8 year old drive, you would probably face the same “institutionalized violence.” Some things don’t work out for the best when left to a lot of little individual choices. Light bulbs are innocuous, and a focal point, but the larger question of energy use and associated pollution is something which, IMHO, is reasonably tackled above the individual level because the results of those actions have impacts beyond the individual.

      (FWIW I tried to find penalties in the law, and wasn’t able to, it’s a dense read of course; I wondered if you’d really run the risk of incarceration & ruin for selling incandescents…)

  5. Eric,

    Your’e missing the point though. They are NOT lasting as long as anticipated. There’s hundreds of anecdotes on this. I was subbing in an elementary school where the Janitor was replacing a CFL (the THIRD ONE in ONE WEEK) with a GE incan because the constant on/off cycle from the kids was killing the bulbs in as little as three days.

    On mercury, the amount of mercury in ONE CFL can contaminate 6,000 gallons of water.

    Here’s the numbers-


    On power plants, the whole logic that removing incandescents will remove plants is false.

    Pwr gens have to keep a certain amount of reserve online to handle spikes and insure stability. That never changes. Here’s why. Take a hot summer day in the south, pwr gens ramp up during the afternoon to handle the a/c load, then ramp down again during the off peak hours. Lighting, especially residential, is used during the OFF PEAK hours, when the demand is the lowest. <—read that again.

    How is it that something that's actually used during lowest demand time of day, is actually going keep plants from being built, or taken off line? Especially when they have to ramp up again the next day to handle the load? Residential lighting makes up about 6% of the total draw on the grid.

    A study done by BC Hydro (Canada) shows that the savings might more illusional in colder climates because the heat lost by incans has to be made up with whole house heating systems.


    From an electrical engineer



    British authorities have determined that the bulbs are detrimental to pregnant women and babies-


    • I had a more eloquent reply but WP ate it. So in brief… (or not) :)

      I have an anecdote to match your janitor anecdote; I switched to CFLs several years ago, and have replaced maybe 3. Energy Star rated bulbs are now tested for 6,000 hour lifetimes.

      As for the coal usage reduction – as you say, lighting is nighttime activity, which is not peak, but base load. What handles base load? Coal and nuclear. How does cutting base load requirements not therefore lead to less coal generation?

      If these things didn’t reduce power use, the utilities would not push them so hard.

      And on to the mercury…

      Your water contamination is a bit off; per your link, at a limit of .002mg/L, 4mg Hg in a CFL would contaminate about 500 gallons of drinking water. So don’t dispose of your CFLs in the water treatment tanks.

      The Daily Mail tabloid link says:

      Scientists at the Fraunhofer Wilhelm Klauditz Institute found that they released around 7 micrograms (there are 1,000 micrograms in a milligram) per cubic metre of air.

      Per cubic meter of air? I guess that must be in some enclosed room of particular size, they don’t say how big; at any rate, .007mg/L is 7% of the OSHA limits cited on wikipedia. So yeah, don’t put your baby in a closed room and break a bulb.

      The breakage concerns are easily remedied by the bulbs which are enclosed in plastic globes, readily available in my area, at least.

      And I tire of the same people worrying about 4mg of mercury in a CFL, and at the same time fighting to dissolve the EPA, which is working to reduce the 50-100 tons the US puts into the environment annually. You can’t eat many fish you catch in my state, and I’ll tell you what – it’s not because of CFLs.

      The BC hydro article claims that we will lose the beneficial heat output of incandescents. That’s ridiculous; assuming you have preference for expensive resistive heat in the first place, the net result is that your building heater runs more if you swap to CFL. So 60W for light + heat from an incan, vs. 13W + 47W for CFL + heater after the fact, so you don’t freeze. Same end result, right? And when it comes time to turn on the AC? (Ok, in their unique situation, they are assuming hydro electricity generation, and fossil fuel heat. Maybe there’s some merit in that case.)

      Then the Electrical Engineer – “CFLs emit electromagnetic radiation, a type of energy that can make us very sick.” This, I presume, is why these people also rail so hard against cell phones, laptops, and microwaves in letters to the editor.

      CFLs aren’t perfect; I can’t wait ’til we get decent LED lights. But I’d have a lot more respect for people arguing against them if they just said “I don’t like them and I don’t want people telling me what to do.” Bending over backwards to complain about power factor, EMF, and heating efficiency just doesn’t go very far with me.

      Anyway; again, the point of the blog post :) was that even if you do hate CFLs, there are other options which still gain on the efficiency front.

  6. Eric,

    Fine schedule for individuals in UK


    It’s 5,000 pounds or $3,143. Unlimited for corporations.

    What’s even more interesting is that a company out of Dallas, Tx, 1000bulbs.com, have been directed by their legal department that they cannot sell dimmable CFL. (I been doing some business with them because I needed specialized 300 watt industrial incan lamps for an antique ceiling fixture I’m restoring)


    On mercury, you can’t really have it both ways. There’s about as much mercury in CFL’s as the dot at the end of this sentence. Multiply that times a thousand for these bulbs that won’t be recycled, and then you have a real problem. Plus the mercury from coal plants can be scrubbed, where the mercury from these bulbs is going directly into the landfills. The greens need to get their head out their collective asses and realize that a realistic large scale recycling program for these bulbs is simply non existent. That guy that lives out in the country, 15 miles from Home Depot sure the hell is not going to drive back into town for a stupid light bulb. That bulb is going into the trash, or worse yet, burned.

    One thing I keep seeing is that this is not a ban. BS, it’s a restriction against a certain class of product. If this isn’t a de facto ban, then why are bulbs disappearing from shelves? 75 watt clear has dissappeared from all Home Depot, and there’s reports that Target is not restocking incans.

    CFLs (according to the package) can’t be used upside down, in ceiling fans (vibration) in enclosed fixtures, in recessed cans, in cold weather, in timer controlled fixtures, in security fixtures with motion sensors, in bathrooms because of moisture. So, exactly where are we supposed to use these bulbs?

    On/off cycles, basically normal use for incans, shortens their life span by 90%, same for bathrooms where there’s moisture. There’s reports that incans have outlasted cfl’s two, sometimes even three to one.

    Another thing I’ve seen over and over is “buy better bulbs or your’e not using them right” and then mention some website to purchase bulbs. This is pretentious and show a complete lack of understanding how human nature works. First of all, that aforementioned rural guy, sure the hell is not going online to buy bulbs. It’s the same story for almost 90% of Americans. They are going to buy where they normally buy, and Home Depot and other big box stores, only carry mid to low range bulbs. So it’s a triple shot, high initial cost, low quality bulb and frequent replacement because they only last two months at best. So the better bulbs are more or less out of reach for most.

    On dimmers, I’ve caught the damn things on fire using a non dimmer bulb in a dimmer test rig. I have a ceramic socket connected to a typical off the shelf dimmer, and a plug. This rig also has a 2 amp in line fuse to protect the house circuit. Basically I put the bulb in the socket, dim it about 20%, sit back and wait. In about 8 minutes, the base of the bulb starts to smoke, then a few minutes later, the base then catches fire. The two amp fuse NEVER BLEW.

    This type of mistake is very easy to make. And those who have whole house dimmer systems, called X10, are screwed. There’s millions of houses built in the 60’s and 70’s have these systems.

    End of life for these bulbs usually includes base melting and foul smelling smoke from melting plastic.

    Dimming on these is a joke at best, and dangerous at worst (see above mentioned fire hazard). CFL’s will NEVER be fully dimmable simply because the electronics in the base and how electricity/current works. A CFL in a dimmer is about the same putting a VCR or DVD player on a dimmer. The effect is the same. The power supply is not linear and must have a certain amount of power to operate. For a bases for comparison, old tube type radios (even tube type televisions), both transformer and transformerless, CAN BE used on a voltage reducer (this is a common troubleshooting technique), because the power supplies on these are linear. In other words, if the power transformer is designed to put 350 volts out at 110 volt input, if the input voltage is dropped to 100 volts, the output drops to 320 or so. Switching power (non linear) supplies cannot do this.

    Anyway, I digress. This whole boondoggle is about greed. Nothing else, again, it’s greed. The major players couldn’t make enough money off incans, and want them gone for a better profit margin.

    Also, once the government subsidies are removed, which is already happening in Europe, CFL’s could triple in cost.

    • Well, not going to respond point by point, but a few things.

      I disagree that this is about greed. I think people mean well. 100W to 23W for the same amount (if not quality) of light is significant.

      Regarding mercury from the coal plant; it can be scrubbed, but it’s not. Or if it is, it’s far from complete. We still put many tons annually into the environment via smokestacks:

      EPA estimates the U.S. is responsible for the release of 104 metric tons of mercury emissions each year. Most of these emissions come from coal-fired electrical power.

      and by the time a bulb is used up & discarded, most of it is not going to get into the environment:

      Most mercury vapor inside fluorescent light bulbs becomes bound to the inside of the light bulb as it is used. EPA estimates that the rest of the mercury within a CFL – about 14 percent – is released into air or water when it is sent to a landfill, assuming the light bulb is broken. Therefore, if all 290 million CFLs sold in 2007 were sent to a landfill (versus recycled, as a worst case) – they would add 0.16 metric tons, or 0.16 percent, to U.S. mercury emissions caused by humans.

      End result?

      … a 13-watt, 8,000-rated-hour-life CFL (60-watt equivalent; a common light bulb type) will save 376 kWh over its lifetime, thus avoiding 4.5 mg of mercury. If the bulb goes to a landfill, overall emissions savings would drop a little, to 4.0 mg.

      This is from an EPA fact sheet on mercury in CFLs.

      I agree that dimming sucks. But as for other problems, I’ve not encountered them, personally. I have CFLs throughout the house, and they work fine in all my fixtures. Fans, upside down, outdoors, you name it. (Ok, outdoors takes longer to warm up).

      I don’t think there are government subsidies involved in the US; at least, not federal. Utilities do subsidize them, because, as I understand it, it’s a bit cheaper than building a new power plant…

      Oh, and the whole point of my original post was that if you hate CFLs (as you certainly seem to!) there are other options which seem quite palatable, such as the Halogens pictured above…

  7. I have an anecdote to match your janitor anecdote; I switched to CFLs several years ago, and have replaced maybe 3. Energy Star rated bulbs are now tested for 6,000 hour lifetimes.

    ^irrelevant because the main statement was that when these bulbs are used as a normal incandescent with frequent on/off cycling, it kills them much much sooner. There’s more reports of early bulb failure than longetivity, and some spectacular bulb failure at that. Again, it’s nature of the beast and basic electronics.

    The BC hydro article claims that we will lose the beneficial heat output of incandescents. That’s ridiculous; assuming you have preference for expensive resistive heat in the first place, the net result is that your building heater runs more if you swap to CFL.

    ^talk to me about the industrial school lamp I just restored. This ceiling lamp is currently using a 1950’s vintage 300 watt silver bowl GE ican. This lamp designed to throw light against the ceiling and it reflects back down. (it replaced a lamp that used 150 watts)This lamp effectively adds 1.5 to 2 degrees to the room in a well insulated house. (Original building was a school built in 1911).

    Essentially, I can run this lamp, and turn the main house thermostat down. And this is with the temps lately averaging in the teens and 20’s. I keep the furnace (which is electric resistance heat) at about 66-67 to protect the pipes in the house, the “comfortable” warmth, comes from various lamps. With around 360 watts, the room is comfortable.

    As for the coal usage reduction – as you say, lighting is nighttime activity, which is not peak, but base load. What handles base load? Coal and nuclear. How does cutting base load requirements not therefore lead to less coal generation?

    ^Residential lighting makes up about 6% of the entire draw on the grid. It’s all about HVAC, cooking, clothes dryers and water heaters, and large industrial complexes.

    Because once again, lighting is used during off peak hours, and the gens have already ramped down for the evening. The load from residential lighting is minuscule and considering that they have to put everything back online the next day to handle the load for A/C.

    As for the power factor and other issues, my ceiling fans are 60 to 70 years old, they use transformer based speed controls. (todays fans used capacitor/inductance based controls (not all inductance such as transformers). The light kits are integrated into the bottom of the fans. CFL’s cause the transformers to overheat. And forget about using vintage radios around them.

    My Sylvanian Family collection happily resides in the corner of the garage. At first it was I don’t want to the government telling me what to do, but because I actually understand the science, it’s a different story. Incans are being removed because of greed and false science. GE and Phillips ADMITTED that it was all about profit.

  8. Apart from affecting people’s product choice,
    the actual switchover savings are not that great anyway =
    less than 1% of overall energy use, and 1-2% grid electricity is saved,
    as shown by USA Dept of Energy, EU statistics and other official information
    with alternative and much more meaningful ways to save energy in
    generation, distribution or consumption.

    Light bulbs don’t burn coal or release CO2.
    Power plants might.
    If there’s a problem – deal with the problem,
    rather than this token ban on simple safe light bulbs that people
    obviously still like to use.

    • I think the problem needs to be attacked on all fronts. Yes, of course the pollution comes from the power generation, not the bulbs themselves, but as we try to clean up our mess, it is much easier to meet our demand with cleaner energy if we can reduce that demand as well.

      I won’t speak to the data; I’m no expert. ceolas.net clearly has their own agenda, which is fine.

      Most numbers I see cite numbers for lighting as a percentage of residential use, not total US grid use. For example from this 1996 paper from Lawrence Berkeley Labs:

      Residential lighting in the United States uses about 138 billion kilowatt-hours per year, accounting for between 10 and 15 percent of total residential electricity use3. Every year this costs U. S. citizens some $11 billion dollars … (EIA) puts residential lighting at 15% of total residential use.

      I understand that those numbers are for % of residential use, not total grid use.
      Still, switching to CFLs or LEDs would put about 3/4 of that money back in consumers pockets for something more fun an useful than lighting a hallway. (EIA) puts residential+commercial lighting at 13.5% of total US grid demand.

      And I doubt those numbers take into account the increased cooling load (or conversely, decreased heating load).

      If your 1-2% of total US grid electricity is correct, we have over 600 coal plants in the US. Reducing the need for 6 or 12 of them sounds like a fine goal to me.

      Thanks for your post, though – I think we may have to agree to disagree on this point.

  9. One thing I simply don’t understand is why people are so upset about this particular efficiency standard.

    I cannot buy a 70% AFUE boiler for my home, or a .50EF water heater. I can’t buy a 5gpm showerhead. I can’t buy grossly inefficient refrigerators or dishwashers. There are many minimum standards for all kinds of consumer products which limit our choices. The standards and the products move forward towards a more efficient future. But for some reason it’s the light bulbs that have people all up in arms.

    Yeah, incandescents are cheaper to buy, although a CFL will easily pay for itself over its life.

    A boiler with no flue damper would be cheaper too, I’m sure, and I could watch all that heat go up the chimney and pay higher gas bills for the next 30 years. Is that really the kind of energy use we hope for? “Cheapest up front cost trumps all, lifetime and externalized costs be damned?”

    When did wastefulness and inefficiency become a core American “freedom?”

  10. Thanks Eric,

    Re Savings,
    the 15% of total residential use issue is also covered in that link,
    and why the net savings end up much less

    There are also reasons the Money savings don’t hold up,
    regardless of what the energy savings are, whether for light bulbs or for Energy Efficiency standards in general

    Besides, even if the bulbs (and cars, buildings, washing machines etc)
    had to be targeted,
    taxation -unlike regulation – gives Govmt income and could be used to lower prices on energy saving alternatives, equilibrating the market, while still keeping choice
    eg Light bulb example http://ceolas.net/#li23x

    Re Standards,
    Industry setting showerhead 5gpm, or paper sizes, or CD norms,
    or indeed stopping to use say radio tubes (which are related to incandescents) is not the same as banning them for those who want to use them
    (any guitarists out there ;-))

    Government (via standard definition as said) banning incandescent technology is very different –
    Banning a safe-to-use product is extraordinary, and should be seen as such.
    Also, “old obsolescent” technology is also well known and safe technology,
    compared to newer , less known, and more complex alternatives

    All types of lighting (etc) has its advantages
    We can welcome the new – it does not mean having to ban the old

    In the case of light bulbs,
    there are also manufacturer profit motives which led them to be involved from the start in these standards

    Energy/electricity saving is all well and good,
    but as the first part of that site describes,
    there are many better (and more relevant) ways to do it,
    than token regulation-based bans on popular consumer products.

    • Does ceolas.net pay you very much for exclusively citing their data? ;) (Or are you the owner of the site?)

      I would be fine with a tax on incandescents; better yet a tax on carbon. Will never happen in this political climate.

      On savings, I am going from personal experience as much as anything. “Banning” incandescents in my home was a big part of cutting my bill almost in half a couple years ago.


      We could debate it all day, I suppose, but regardless of what we say here, it looks to me like incandescents are going the way of the dodo.

      • Thanks,
        Collection of good relevant official links on Ceolas.net, at least in those sections.
        I agree that it might be better to give the links directly

        You are right too that it seems they are going to be banned (in most places),
        but the point is also that whatever the energy/money savings, there are other reasons for liking different types of lighting – and that there is no limit on energy sources for electricity to allow a free choice,
        ie there are many more relevant ways of saving energy, and unnecessarily limiting the choice of a simple safe and popular product is not one of them.

  11. Let’s just face the facts of what this ban actually is: Environmental crazies want to force their agenda onto everyone else. But the truth is that the real impetus behind this legislation came from the big 3 lighting companies themselves (General Electric, Philips, Osram Sylvania). By getting the government to ban the regular cheap incandescent bulb, they could secure a monopoly selling the much more costly alternatives. This legislation was insidiously designed to be piece-by-piece phased into effect over several years AFTER the law was already passed, that way consumers would hopefully not notice a sudden change and huge price jump. Being that the regulation has not been fully phased into effect yet, I have my doubts about whether any incandescents will be available on store shelves at the final stage of the phase out, or at least any normal incandescent bulbs that people will want to buy.

    Plain fact is that the alternative options do not give off the same type of light as incandescent. Many of you may not be aware but CFLs leak out UV radiation. I am actually one of the small number of people very sensitive to this, sitting under a CFL bulb makes my skin feel irritated/sore after 10-15 minutes, but I cannot imagine all this UV is good for everyone else either.

    I also want to point out that incandescent bulbs consume only a tiny fraction of all the energy that is used for lighting purposes. The vast majority of energy is wasted in lighting empty parking lots at night, on street lighting, and commercial buildings.

    • Mmhm, thanks for your comments. I see from your postings all over the internet that you’ve made CFL opposition your life’s work. ;) Thankfully LEDs will make this go away, but:

      YOU MISSED MY POINT: If you hate CFLs, there’s another option: Halogen.

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