A controversy on low-energy light bulbs

cfl.jpgI have been reading and enjoying for some months the Business of green blog from the IHT. The RSS feeds of this blog are displayed on my sidebar.

Today I was reading their latest article “Do low energy light bulbs work?” and I felt like giving my humble opinion on that matter and posted a comment.

After some time, my reaction is now online and I got to admit that it is a thrilling sensation to read myself elsewhere than on this little blog.

According to the article from James Kanter, some readers of the Daily Telegraph (a British newspaper) reported that low-energy light bulbs lasted only short periods of time.

This fact puzzled me as I am using some of them at home and never had a problem with any of them after a year or so. I thus wanted to express myself on that matter.

incandescent_bulb.jpgTo go a little bit further than I did on my comment, I believe that traditional incandescent light bulbs will remain in use in places like corridors, hallways and other places where light goes on and off often.

But for many uses as in the kitchen, the living room and similar places where a light bulb stays for hours.

To read this article and my reaction to it, I invite you to click on the link above. I hope you will enjoy both.

2 thoughts on “A controversy on low-energy light bulbs”

  1. I realize you made this post six years ago, but I think it’s interesting to note that as of this year, 2013, I’ve replaced all the light bulbs in my house with LED lights (new very affordable CREE bulbs) that not only use half the power of equivalent compact fluorescents (CFL) but don’t have the drawbacks you mention as reasons to continue using incandescents (turning off and on frequently, the life span of a CFL bulb can be reduced by as much as 85% under normal use due to switching on and off.). There is also the problems of using CFL’s with dimmer switches. CFLs contain an average of 5 mg (range of 0.9 to 18 mg) of mercury. Breaking a single CFL bulb in a room can result in mercury vapor levels 300 times in excess of what the EPA has established as safe for prolonged exposure. The life span of a CFL may vary widely due to manufacturing quality and that’s reflected in the warranties. All the drawbacks of CFL’s don’t occur with the new LED light bulbs. Having lived with LED bulbs only for a couple of months now, it’s become very clear that CFL’s are obsolete and that incandescents will give way to LED bulbs more and more in the next five years.

  2. Thanks Craig for your comment. It is true that since this article, LED have become more affordable. I should try them one of these days.

    While I am at it, I found the comment I had left back then. Since the NYT could one day delete their blog altogether, here it is :

    The French government, via its energy efficiency agency, recommends to use low-energy light bulbs only to replace the most used ones (ie. bulbs that are on for hours everyday)

    Personally, I switched from my incandescent bulbs to low-energy ones only in these cases and after a year or so, not even one failed.

    Still to what we learn here, even if the compact fluorescent bulbs are quite expensive, the invesment is paid back within a year if they are on for three hours every day, based on the low French price of electricity.

    Furthermore, on this kind of use, their lifecycle is of five years. They enable each year to save up to ten euros as they consume five time less electricity to provide the same amount of light.

    Conclusion : compact fluorescent light bulbs are not suitable in all cases but only when they are used hours and hours. This still represents quite some money and energy savings.

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