Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shining a light on hazards of fluorescent bulbs

Article: MSNBC

I loathe fluorescent light. Anything that stalls this transition is fine by me.

I'm also a lot more worried about mercury in the water supply than I am about a few extra kilotons of carbon. Pick your poison.

I haven't owned a car in 13 years, save me some incandescents.

Or come up with something better.


Alan Evil said...

Far more mercury is released by burning coal to light an old fashioned incandescent bulb than is contained in a compact fluorescent, and you have to replace the old fashioned bulbs every few weeks. I only have five incandescent bulbs in my entire house: one in the stove hood, two in the refrigerator (there's a leeetle one in the ice and water dispenser), one in my lava lamp, and there's one outside on the side porch that I just haven't gotten to. Since I started using them in the mid 90's (when the colors were still pretty off) I think I've had to replace three or four (I have at least 50 in use if you include my shop). That's one gone bad every five years or so. As a matter of a fact, the oldest one I have (which I think I bought in 1995, only just stopped working. I still have two of the dead bulbs, waiting to go to the toxic materials dump when I think of it.

At this point the good quality bulbs are indistinguishable from incandescents (other than the few seconds it takes them to get up to full brightness) and I even have some specialized bulbs that mimic daylight. Now those 60hz tube style flourescents are a whole other story, but the cf bulbs are a great thing.

Another nice thing about cf is how much less heat they put off. A 100watt lightbulb can seriously raise the temperature in a room while a 13 watt compact fluorescent barely gets warm with the same brightness.

I'll be an early adapter of LED replacements as well as soon as they even come close to the proper color balance (which they have yet to do). For them to be their most efficient you need to wire the house with DC so they may wait until I buy something more like a dream house.

John M. said...

I don't like the hum, they make me feel listless and sleepy when I spend a moderate amount of time under them and I don't like the way things look in their light. If these newer bulbs solve those issues, I'm all for them.