IKEA No Longer Stocking Or Selling Incandescent Light Bulbs

IKEA has done away with energy-hogging incandescents ahead of federal legislation that would mandate more efficient light bulbs starting in 2012.

Other options IKEA offers include halogen and LED lightbulbs, in addition to the most popular choice –CFLs. CFLs last from 6-10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs and use 80% less energy. IKEA’s LEDs use 70% less power, and the store’s halogens cut energy use by 30%, according to a statement by the company.

Have you stopped using incandescents yet? Or are you stockpiling them like “the sponge?”

IKEA stops selling incandescent light bulbs in US [Bloomberg]


Edit Your Comment

  1. ReaperRob says:

    I switched to CFL five years ago, I have a lot of electronics and the incandescent were contributing too much extra heat.

    • MrBeetle says:

      You’d be pissed @ my grandpa. Seriously – the guy’s house bulbs are 300 watts.

      300 watt bulbs.

      Where the ‘ell does he find those things? Stockpile them from the 60’s?

  2. Red Cat Linux says:

    Dimmable CFLs that can occupy standard incandescent sockets are what Ikea needs to start selling.

    The only incandescent bulbs left in my house are in dimming fixtures, and dimmable CFL are hard to find.

    • Cosmo_Kramer says:

      And dimmable CFLs suck. I’d love it if everyone used CFLs wherever possible, and without legislation a lot of people simply won’t do that for whatever reason. But there are applications where CFLs aren’t capable of replacing incandescent yet. People will be smuggling incandescent into the country in the tanks of 3.0 GPF toilets.

      • Veeber says:

        The biggest problem I found with the dimmables is that it’s not linear. They seem to work a lot better if you get the CFL dimmer switches.

      • Red Cat Linux says:

        Oddly, I got rid of all my 3.0 GPF johns back in 2007-2008. I thought I’d hate the new ones, but surprisingly, they flush better, have never clogged, and never needed repeated flushing to do the job of the old 3.0 gallon toilets.

        I’d always heard the horror stories of repeated flushing and all manner of unpleasantries, but they have failed to come true in the 2-3 years of 1.something GPF ownership X 4.

      • AnthonyC says:

        They’ve gotten dramatically better, even in just the past year or so. Advice: go to a real lighting store to figure out which bulbs to get. A lot of what is out there is crap. No CFL dims as well as an incandescant- you’ll have to wait for LEDs to get that kind of performance again- but they’ve gotten much better.

      • sparc says:

        agreed on the dimmable CFLs…. i got some GE versions that turned out to be terrible. very dim, extremely expensive, and they really didn’t change levels that well. I probably won’t buy them again unless there’s some leap in technology.

        Worst case is that i wait it out a few more years until LED replacements start dropping down in price.

      • stonny9 says:

        I bought dimable cfl’s from Lowes over a year ago. They work perfect and are very bright.

    • zzyzzx says:

      Make the switch to all non-dimmable.

    • Rachacha says:

      Same here, Where I can, I have switched over to CFL bulbs, however there are several fixtures that I have on a dimmer or that are special bulbs (candelabra or clear decorator bulbs), or are used outside or in the garage that I have not switched away from incandescent yet either because there are no alternatives that I can find yet, or the alternatives are fairly new and extremely expensive.
      When I first started switching over to CFL, bulbs were dying within a few months of installation, while the incandescent bulb in the same location went a year or more. Thankfully quality has improved and CFLs are now seem to be living up to their expectations.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i have a similar problem. sams club carries dimmable CFLs but they are around $20 a bulb

    • Mom says:

      I saw dimmable CFL’s at Home Depot last week. Finally.

      They were about $7/bulb.

      • doctor.mike says:

        Dimmable, or don’t dim if you don’t want to, incandescent bulbs (40,60,100w) are .25 each in four-packs at Dollar Tree. That’s a 28:1 cost ratio. No CFL will last as long as that many incandescents. I didn’t try to calculate, but here in NYC, with electricity last month at .2423/kwh, incandescents win, and the extra heat reduces heating cost.
        I’m stockpiling

        • gman863 says:

          Non-dimmable CFLs are available at Home Depot or Lowes for about $2/each when purchased in a 4-pack. My experience is they last 8-10 times longer than incandescents.

          Your savings on the heating bill are cancelled out on summer AC costs.

          Reconsider your thoughts on this. The “green” factor will likely be an extra $10-$20 per month in your pocket; not ConEd’s.

  3. c!tizen says:

    Good, I hated putting those stupid things together.

  4. Bsamm09 says:

    Are there any that provide decent light when you turn them on? All mine take a while to “warm up”

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I’m not aware of any. On a cold day, the fluorescent fixtures we have in our attic and garage take several minutes to fully warm up.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      This is why we haven’t switched to CFLs. I hate that buzzing noise and the fact that it takes time to warm up.

      • Firethorn says:

        You can hear them buzz? Strange. How long has it been since you’ve tried one? The new ones are all electronic ballasts that should kick the frequency to WAY above audible.

        Personally, I tend to like warm-up times on my larger bulbs – gives my eyes time to adjust.

      • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

        i have 3 (non-dimmable) CFLs on a dimmer switch (haven’t gotten around to swapping it out for a switch yet. only been 3 years or so…) even though the dimmer switch is on full power, the switch itself seems to be humming. i wonder if i somehow managed to fry the dimmer?

    • nbs2 says:

      I installed some in our garage, and I keep meaning to swap them back to incandescent – I’m not in there long enough for them to warm up. Massively frustrating.

    • krom says:

      You basically have two choices right now — instant-on with gradual warm-up, and delayed-on (half a sec or so) with full brightness. I find the delayed type annoying — I like a light to come on the instant the switch is flipped — so I prefer the instant-on.

      Also as others have said make sure you’re using new bulbs and not ones from e.g. 10+ years ago when the technology was in its early stages. I can remember very early CFLs from about 15 years ago that were the size of a grapefruit and took ten minutes to warm up from a dim, muddy beige to a bright white. There are certainly better ones now.

    • XianZhuXuande says:

      You may have old or crappy CFLs. I use them across my entire home (except, as mentioned by someone else, in certain cases, such as in a dimmable switch). All turn on near instantly and any warmup period is not apparent to me. I have noticed that poor brands, and the occasional dud, may not live up to this standard.

      I just buy the cheap multi-packs at Costco.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        How old is your house and how hot do you keep it in the winter? The ambient air temperature plays a huge role in the warm up time of a CFL.

        • qwickone says:

          I didn’t know that, thanks for the info! We keep our house kind of cold because I’m a cheapskate, I mean frugal.

          • cash_da_pibble says:

            Oo, good point!
            This definitely explains the Garage’s fluorescent light’s brown-to-white lighting first thing in the AM.

        • MadameX says:

          Interesting–I noticed a light in our bedroom taking a longer time to reach full brightness than normal, but it was definitely colder in the house last night than it has been. That explains it…

    • AI says:

      LED’s come on instantly. And none of the CFLs I use take more than a couple of seconds to reach full brightness.

    • kc2idf says:

      LEDs are instant, and so are halogens. CFLs vary by brand, but I have had great luck with Home Depot’s house brand, nVision, especially in the last two years or so.

    • centurion says:

      I HATE, HATE, HATE the CFL bulbs. ALL of the ones in our house take time to warm up and come to full brightness. NONE take “seconds” they are all 30 seconds to minutes. Even the so-called “instant on” type. Not a good thing when you use them to light a stair way. They suck.

  5. SerenityDan says:

    I switched everywhere but my living room which has a dimmer switch. You can’t use those fancy energy saving bulbs with a dimmer switch. It causes it to buzz very loudly.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Yes you can, but you have to find the right ones.

      • SerenityDan says:

        well as I don’t actually do the light bulb purchasing in my house I’m not going to stress over finding the right ones as long as incandescent are readily available.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      They are hard to find. The last ones I came across I found in a supermarket. I bought all they had. Perhaps as the sun sets on incandescent lamps, dimmable CFL will re-emerge.

  6. BannedInBrittan says:

    I don’t like the color temperature of the cheap CFLs. I do find the reveal CFLs to be acceptable. I’m also converting my halogen GU10s to LED lights I found on eBay which have good color temperature.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Yeah, that was one of the problems I had with them too. The light was really harsh. Some of the newer kinds are much better. I haven’t tried the GE reveal ones, but I might have to if I can’t stockpile incandescents cheaply.

      • nbs2 says:

        The Reveals are nice, but still not good enough. I bought a pair for our living room, and ended up going back to incandescent. They still just feel too cold and harsh for what should be a warm environment. And I’m the guy that swapped the rest of the house with contractor pack CFLs.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I don’t mind the light from typical, named brand CFL lamps. However, when it comes to my reading light, I absolutely can’t stand it. I prefer the yellowish hue of an incandescent.

      • BannedInBrittan says:

        See I’m a bit of an oddball. I don’t like overly yellow light. In my office I even use ‘daylight’ CFLs which are way up on the color temperature scale but work well for me in a work environment.

      • Red Cat Linux says:

        Ditto that. In my hallways and dining room I have the bright white temperature, but in the lamps over my reading nooks, and in the lamp currently on my desk at the office, I have a incandescent temp CFL bulb.

    • Mom says:

      I was in Home Depot last week, and the cheap CFL’s they had came in 3 different color temps. The “soft white” ones were 2700k, which is the same as incandescent. I bought a pack of them, and they were really quite good. They came on instantly, got bright fast, and were the right color. Much better than the last time I went shopping for CFL’s.

      This is not an ad for Home Depot, just a comment on the increased quality and availability of CFL’s. I’m sure the other guys have the same stuff now.

  7. El_Red says:

    Why? New bulbs are a lot more harmful. We do not have any way to recycle them yet.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Do we have a way to easily recycle incandescent light bulbs? I don’t remember ever putting them in the blue bin.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Home Depot has free CFL recycling.

    • El Soze says:

      Read the safety procedures for what to do if a CFL breaks in your home.

      • phil says:

        The procedure doesn’t always work out: My home’s first CFL breakage happened due to a child’s thrown toy. What do kids do when they break something? You guessed it: They get quiet and leave the area quickly.

        I discovered it many hours later, after feeling something crunchy under my feet as I walked across the room. The official safety procedure didn’t seem to address this situation…

      • TooManyHobbies says:

        Here’s the ACTUAL procedure used 99+% of the time: Sweep up the glass, open a window, carry on.
        I have a friend who’s a chemist and a safety expert. He says with the amount of mercury that’s in a CFL, just a normal cleanup and leave the area to vent for a couple of hours while you’re not in the room is fine.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I definitely can’t switch to CFLs because I have giant windows…that don’t open.

          • TooManyHobbies says:

            Or you could just, you know, not break them. We’ve been using them almost exclusively for 15 years now and I have not yet broken one.

        • shthar says:

          leave the area to vent for a couple of hours?!?!

          What’s in these bulbs? Tear Gas? Zyklon-B?

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      New CFL bulbs contain a lot less mercury than they used to, and way LESS MERCURY THAN A STANDARD FLUORESCENT TUBE, WHICH HAVE BEEN USED FOR YEARS and nobody bitches about.

      A lot of places are accepting CFLs for recycling, here’s from Home Depot: http://www6.homedepot.com/ecooptions/pdf/CFL-RecyclingProgramRevised.pdf

      …and there’s a lot of scare stories about “Hazardous Cleanups” like this one:
      Last month, the Prospect, Maine, resident went out and bought two dozen CFLs and began installing them in her home. One broke. A month later, her daughter’s bedroom remains sealed off with plastic like the site of a hazardous materials accident, while Bridges works on a way to pay off a $2,000 estimate by a company specializing in environmentally sound cleanups of the mercury inside the bulb.

      Debunked on Snopes.com:
      The EPA’s cleaup info is here:

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        People didn’t like the harsh light of flourescents, so they weren’t very popular for household consumption. This of course, means that CFLs are very different than fluorescents, which yes, have been used for years, but not by households. Most fluorescent tubes are in office buildings or other industrial settings.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          That must be a regional thing. In my area, fluorescent tube lights are very common in basements, family rooms, and any room with a drop ceiling. They were all the rage when I was a kid (1970’s) and were a symbol of modernity — they were almost standard in rooms with wood paneling.

          • delicatedisarray says:

            This describes my parents house. Built in the 70’s wood paneling in the kitchen, dinning room, and back porch. All three of these rooms have florescent tubes- or did when they moved in. Dad pulled them out of every room but the kitchen.

            • Bativac says:

              You just described my game room… our house was built in the 1950s but I guess the add-on was circa 1970s. Wood paneling, fluorescent lights, shag carpeting, you name it… It’s like a timecapsule of stuff nobody should have saved.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            My grandma’s house had fluorescents tubes in the basement, but most people don’t want them. They don’t exactly scream “elegant.”

    • kc2idf says:

      Level of harm is kind of dependent on how you get your power.

      If you can get your power from cleaner sources like wind, hydro and natural gas, then there may be some truth to this. On the other hand, if your power comes from a coal-fired power plant, then the additional release of mercury into the atmosphere from the burning coal to power your incandescent bulb will be more than the mercury in the CFL you could have used. Use your own judgement if the local power is from nuclear plants.

      Regardless, the CFL will cost you much less money in the long run.

  8. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I use them except for my hanging light fixture in the living room, which has globe-style light bulbs that are incandescent. That usually stays off unless I’m doing something in that corner, though, so it doesn’t use that much extra electricity.

    They do last longer, I’ve noticed. The quality of the light isn’t that much different either, especially in the newer bulbs.

  9. Baxterjones says:

    Something about the CFLs triggers migraines for me. Do not love.

    • full.tang.halo says:


      CFL’s can go jump in a lake. They are the snobbish, stopgap, non-green, expensive, bulb.

      Until LED’s get their $#(*^ together, I’ll keep the the good incandescent light bulb fight up

      • Baxterjones says:

        Stay strong! Do not give up the good fight!

        Honestly, I’m good with halogens once they come down in price and are more readily available. LEDs seem good, but driving around this winter and seeing “double” on houses with LED Christmas lights gave me second thoughts. (It would have been totally trippy and fun, but my night driving vision is sketchy to begin with; instead it was just distracting to drive along and see what I thought were two bulbs where only one LED actually was.)

        I f*ing hate CFLs, with the fire of a thousand white-hot suns. I can deal if they’re in a high light fixture on a ceiling, but put them in a table lamp where I might chance to look directly at the bulb and my brain goes all wonky.


        • redskull says:

          THANK YOU! I thought I was going nuts or needed an eye exam this past Xmas. I’d walk past a decorated house at night, and the white, red and green LED lights would look nice and sharp, but the blue ones looked double to me, like they were slightly out of my range of vision or something. This only happened with the blue ones though.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            That’s a really interesting observation. I noticed the exact same thing on the indigo LED Christmas lights. I assumed it was some kind of distortion caused by my glasses but my eyes just can’t focus on them.

      • SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

        thats fine until you have to replace the bulbs ever 3 months.

    • Etoiles says:

      Ditto. I have tremendous problems with headaches and fluorescent lights. Always have.

    • MrEvil says:

      You’re probably sensitive to the 60hz flicker that all Fluorescent lights have. Its the same reason the old CRT monitors probably gave you headaches if their refresh rate was set at 60hz. Incandescent bulbs don’t suffer from this flickering effect because the filament retains residual heat while the current alternates directions.

      LED’s on the other hand have no flicker because they run on DC electricity.

      • Etoiles says:

        My old workplace had me set up with a damn near antique CRT monitor right under a fluorescent light with a bad flicker. After 6 months we moved offices and a month after that I got an LCD monitor, and my headache incidence dropped by about 90%. It was amazing.

      • Baxterjones says:

        I love that you know the science behind it (and your username). Science nerds FTW!

      • sp00nix says:

        LED’s on the other hand have no flicker because they run on DC electricity.

        Most cases when they have a proper rectifier and filter caps. My LED Xmas lights had nothing but what looks like a 5w resistor on the end, a quick spin of the head will have you seeing broken streaks of light :)

        • Red Cat Linux says:

          The LED Christmas lights are irritating to my eyes, I’m sorry to say.

          Some, I can see a flicker. Others are just so painfully white that they make me sad, missing the old yellowish incandescent lamps. I’ve seen yellow (soft) tinted LEDs, but very often they do the flicker thing.

          I would have long since replaced my tree and outdoor lights with LEDs if were not for these problems.

    • We Have a Piper Down says:

      CFLs can also bring bouts of dizziness and trigger panic attacks in people prone to them. I have to wear lightly tinted glasses to filter out some of the effects or it gets really bad for me.

      • RickN says:

        >>CFLs can also bring bouts of dizziness and trigger panic attacks in people prone to them.

        I used to have that problem, but only at the register when I was paying for them.

    • golddog says:

      Yep that wavelength of light is killer for migraineurs. Instant aura.

      When they figure out how to make a CFL that gives off a wavelength of light similar to incandescent I’ll switch. I’m sure there’s a scientific reason that’s preventing it, but until then…

  10. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    I’m going into business selling light bulbs for all the fixtures CF bulbs DON’T fit, or don’t work well, in.

    I like CF bulbs for a lot of things, but they just don’t work for a lot of applications. Dimmable? Yea, $10 each, and they kinda-sorta work in a noisy way. Try to find a CFL to fit non-standard base, too!

    And LED bulbs are NOT ready for prime time except for night lights, flashlights, and emergency lighting.

    • nbs2 says:

      For your list of problems – the daughter has a three way torchere in her room, where a CFL won’t fit. That means using an extender, which makes the 3 way meaningless. So it’s either CFL or 3 way incandescent.

      Also, another use for LEDs – the oversink light in the kitchen. I like the harsh white right there.

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        If only LED lights were bright enough at a reasonable cost – the over the sink light would be great, because ours is on a lot.

        And the 3-way CFL bulbs are too big for our 2 bedroom lamps. They still have standard 3 ways.

    • The Moar You Know says:

      So wrong. The EcoSmart LED bulbs from Home Despot, while expensive as hell at $18 each, are bright as any 75-watt bulb, have a fantastic nice white color, are dimmable and noiseless, and use only 8.5 watts each. I’ve replaced almost every bulb in my house with ’em as the wife likes leaving all the lights on, and I don’t like paying the electric bill for that.

      LEDs are ready. They could be cheaper, and will be, but they are ready now.

  11. Coupon says:

    Can’t you die if a CFL breaks?

  12. obits3 says:

    Makes me think of this:

  13. Jerry Vandesic says:

    I stocked up on incandescents last summer at Lowes. I should have enough to last me 10 years, and by then the LED lights should be cheap and reliable.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      Ironically in many applications, that would be about three CFL bulbs.

      How many incandescent did you have to buy?

      • phil says:

        Sadly, long CFL life isn’t a given. My first batch of CFLs died in 2 to 3 years of use – about the same life as the incandescent bulbs they replaced. My solution: Avoid the cheap no-name-brand CFLs commonly sold as mass retailers. I’m hoping the next set last longer…

    • El Soze says:

      I still need to do this

    • Baxterjones says:

      “Wake me when robot wives are cheap and effective.”

  14. jrs45 says:

    CFL’s don’t work as well, are much more expensive, and, ironically, far worse for the environment (toxic ingredients).

    Time to stock up on good old-fashioned incandescents while I still can.

    • sparc says:

      all myths

      1) some brands of CFLs work better than others. Plus there’s a lot more options in terms of color temperatures for CFLs these days.

      2) They’re not that expensive if you get them on sale. Plus the energy savings in the long run would pay off many times over.

      3) The mercury amounts are tiny.

      • RobbyA says:

        Millions and millions of tiny amounts of mercury leaching into landfills doesn’t sound good to me. I know, you’re supposed to recycle them, but I bet most people don’t, or even know where they can.

  15. ALP5050 says:

    Way to fix a problem that never existed. The new bulbs have mercury in them and will do more damage to the environment than “global warming” ever could. People will just throw them out and get into ground water. Way to go liberals!

    • spanky says:

      That’s a disingenuous argument.

      CFLs do contain small amounts of mercury, but the overall amount of mercury contamination is much smaller from CFLs than it is from incandescents because of the reduced energy consumption. Even if every CFL was disposed of improperly so its mercury content was released into the environment, mercury levels would be significantly reduced simply as a result of the decreased power consumption.

    • TooManyHobbies says:

      As has been pointed out, since we get most of our electricity from burning coal, and coal releases BOTH significant mercury AND uranium (radioactive) into the atmosphere when burned, you could break open every CFL at the end of its life and dump it into the river and you’d still be releasing less mercury into the environment than an incandescent, because it will have caused less coal to be burned over its lifetime, and therefore far less mercury to be released.

  16. krom says:

    I have replaced most of the lights in the house with CFLs. Note that I haven’t had to replace a single one (except due to outright breakage).

    There are a few cases where CFLs don’t quite cut it (yet?). For example, candelabra and other fixtures that were designed for incandescent-shaped lights, and CFLs don’t fit. Also certain fixtures simply don’t seem to spread CFL light as well as incandescent or else the CFL light is inadequate. A good example is over the bathroom mirror or in rooms where a mirror is used frequently. Incandescent light is closer to sunlight than CFL, and those who do makeup in the house prefer the former as a result.

    • Mom says:

      Daylight balanced (5000k) CFL’s are much closer to the color of sunlight. But daylight is very, very blue, and looks sickening indoors. Tungsten balanced (2700k), or “soft white” light is the same color as incandescent bulbs, and is much warmer and more flattering.

  17. rpm773 says:

    I use incandescents. I like incandescents. I think CFLs look like shit. I don’t care what anyone else says. Every 6 months or so I’ll try a CFL that is supposed to be comparable to an incandescent, and it still looks like shit.

  18. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I really don’t understand how people are making assumptions about the politics of CFL users. I consider myself very conservative but we gradually switched to a combination of CFL and LED lamps over the course of around 5 years.

    The reasons we upgraded:

    1) Reduced electricity consumption (rates typically go up about between 5 – 15% a year).

    2) They produce much less heat, which can be a big deal for an older house with old cloth-sheathed Romex and fixtures that were likely subjected to 100+ watt bulbs for many decades.

    3) I don’t consider dropping used CFL lamps off at Home Depot to be a big inconvenience. I’m already used to core charges at auto parts stores and drop off used fluids from our cars.

    • zzyzzx says:

      CFL’s and LED’s ideal for an older home where you have one 15A circuit feeding an entire floor of the house! Means more electricty on my top floor for everything else.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        We definitely have that problem too. It seems like in old houses, especially those which at one point had a “high tech” 4-fuse fuse box, always tapped into lighting circuits when adding new receptacles. This is just one of the many messes we’re currently fixing up in our house.

        Incandescent bulbs can really draw a lot of power from a 15 amp circuit. Ten 100 watt bulbs can draw over 8 amps if they’re all on at once and doesn’t leave a lot of room for other high draw appliances like vacuums, TVs, or hair dryers. You’re really not even supposed to draw over 80% capacity on any given circuit, which only leaves 12 amps on a typical lighting circuit.

    • psm321 says:

      I don’t see assumptions about the politics of CFL users, but rather about the politics of those forcing CFLs on us

    • krom says:

      Haven’t you heard that saving money is socialism? The economy requires you to spend, man!

  19. KyBash says:

    Incandescents Forever!

    CFLs cause too much pollution, contain a deadly substance, and just aren’t practical in many applications.

    LEDs aren’t/will never be good for area lighting due to their very nature.

    Halogen? What perverts still use those? I know the reports have all been hushed up, but still . . .

    A 4-pack of cheap incandescents follows me home after every trip to the store. If necessary, I have a mostly-empty room in the basement that can be turned into a bulb vault.

    • Mom says:

      Way to not let facts get in your way.

      • KyBash says:

        For CFLs:
        1) mining and purifying the mercury for CFLs creates pollution which cannot be remediated effectively by any means known.

        2) it takes so much more energy to create a CFL than to make a standard incandescent that it would have to run continuously, and without replacement, for more than 34 years to make up the difference.

        3) CFLs contain toxins not present in incandescents. Those toxins will wind up in landfills.

        4) The simple acts of making recycling containers for CFLs, transporting them to a center for proper disposal, and rendering them harmless/sequestering the toxins all adds up to far greater energy use and pollution than the CFLs save.

        For LEDs:
        It is the very nature of their dynamic principles which makes them unsuitable for area lighting. Since I don’t care to teach anyone basic physics, I leave it to the individual to educate themselves.

        For Halogens:
        The less said the better!

        • TardCore says:

          lol owned.

        • AnthonyC says:

          The first is true, but applies even more to the coal and gas for the extra energy needed to run an incandescent.

          The second is patently untrue. Running a 100W incandescent for 34 years would require 30000kWh of electricity. Anywhere in the world, that would cost >$1500. I can buy a CFL for

          The third: the only extra toxin in CFLs is mercury. The amount is several times less than what is released into the air and soil when burning coal to provide the extra energy incandescent bulbs need. More importantly, the mercury is contained within the bulb, and recovered when the bulb is properly disposed of (say, at Ikea and Home Depot, which collect the bulbs for disposal for free).

          And the fourth: a round-trip drive to a drop-off point is maybe 5 miles for me, 10 depending on where you live. That takes about a third of a gallon of gas- which in a power plant means ~3kWh of electricity. Over the course of it’s many0-thousands-of-hours lifetime, a CFL saves several hundred kWh compared to an incandescent. Of course in reality I’d combine it with a trip to Ikea or Home Depot to buy the next round of light bulbs, so the additional distance traveled is 0 miles. Oh, and because CFLs last several times longer, I’ll be making fewer such trips.

          Good try, though. Thanks for playing.

          • KyBash says:

            Still can’t see past the phony tree-hugger hype, huh?

            1) The pollution from coal/fossil fuel mining and use can be remediated, and much of it already is.
            There is no known method of economically mining or processing mercury that does not create multiple poison streams which cannot be effectively contained. Do a little research!

            2) You’re comparing apples and oranges — most of the energy which goes into making CFLs is coal or gas. It is not converted into electricity first, and the parts which are most energy-intensive are made almost exclusively where there are abundant supplies at low cost. (Also, they’re made in countries without the USA’s air standards, so there’s another way they pollute more than incandescents.)

            3) Mercury is only the most commonly mentioned toxin. Do a little research on how the ballasts are made!

            4) Consumer-end recycling is a tiny part of the energy equation. It’s manufacturing specialized containers to transport the material safely, trucking the waste hundreds or thousands of miles to a suitable recycler, and the process of separating the material and neutralizing it (the chemicals) or sequestering it (the heavy metals) which eat up energy.

            I’d say thanks for playing, but my win was too easy: you obviously came completely unprepared — you haven’t bothered to look beyond the manufacturers’ handouts, so you know nothing about the situation..

  20. billbillbillbill says:

    What about the 3 brightness lamp lightbulbs. We have 4 lamps that have the 50/100/150 watt lightbulbs in them to give lighting options. I have looked but never seen CFL’s that can work like the current bulbs I have in my in lamps. Do they exist?

    • phil says:

      Yes, there are now 3-way CFL bulbs comparable to the two-filament incandescent bulb. Google “3 way CFL bulb” for lots of suppliers.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Yes, they exist. I think we bought ours at Lowes.

      The only issue we encountered was that they don’t make mogul-sized CFL lights and we had to buy an adapter for our older lamps. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any mogul-sized CFL lamps or mogul-to-standard adapters that support 3 way switches.

    • shepd says:

      Like the other posters say, they exist. They just cost 6x the price of traditional tri-lights. You will save your money after about 10 years of typical use, though, so make sure you buy ones that last a long time!

      • AnthonyC says:

        A 100W incandescant bulb typically is rated for ~1000 hrs and costs maybe $1. In that time it will consume 100kWh of electricity, costing perhaps $12 (varies by location). Switching to a 26W CFL for $6 would save $9 worth of electricity in the first 1000hrs alone.

        Even if CFLs lasted the same amount of time as incandescents, they’d still work out cheaper. The fact that they’re actually rated to last several times longer is just a nice bonus.

        • grumpygirl says:

          Except I spend 10x that amount on medication from the headaches I get from CFL light.

        • shepd says:

          (Electricity is half that price here, but that’s not my big point)

          And 1000 hours is 41 2/3rds days of the lights being on, or the light being on for almost 3 hours of every single day. That’s fine, but all the tri-lights I’ve used end up in bedrooms, where they are used about 30 minutes of each day prepping for bed. To save that $9, that’s several years of waiting. We also need to consider the cost of losing your investment on the $5, since you had to pay it up front several years ago (in my case). If you get a decent rate of return (not available today, but available in periods past) that $5 will be $10 in 8 years.

          And that’s the issue with this sort of question. What is the typical use of the bulb? Well, it depends where it is, but from my person experience, lights that are switched on at the lamp itself (typical of tri-lights) are used very infrequently, whereas lights that are switched on with a light switch are used a lot (which explains why there’s the convenient switch). If your savings are outstripped by the investment, you shouldn’t do it.

          That being said, I do have CFLs in most places. Only places I don’t have them are where the cost of the CFLs doesn’t make sense (I have a light that turns on automatically with a wall switch motion sensor, that would require a dimmable CFL, which is $15 locally, I wouldn’t make the investment back on it; I also have two 7 watts bulbs in my home theatre near the seats so people can see to work the remote, I can’t find CFLs that low and even if I could, I doubt they’d be cheap enough considering the 5000 hour projector I’m using should last almost 10 years at my current usage rate).

  21. MrEvil says:

    My dad said he’d go back to Kerosene lamps before having CFLs crammed down his throat. I don’t personally mind them, however not only do we have to waste money recycling the damned things they’ve cost at least 200 people their livelyhoods.


    Way to go hippies, ship more US jobs to China.

  22. rbb says:

    On the plus side, I like the amount of light a CFL can put out. It’s nice being able to put a CFL into a fixture rated at 60 watts or less and get the equivalent of a 100+ W incandescent.

    On the negative side: They really don’t last that long (>1 year) when placed in a fixture where they hang down. I suspect the heat from the bulb rises and bakes the electronics/ballast. In cold weather, it takes them a looooooonnnnnnnnnngggg time to warm up.

    • psm321 says:

      Can you do that? I’ve had a home depot employee tell me that you have to go buy the “comparable to” wattage instead of actual wattage in obeying those limits. I was skeptical… but stuck with it for now. It would greatly help overcome my objections to CFLs if I could get 150 watt CFLs with mega-lumens :)

      • Raanne says:

        The rating on the fixture is a wattage rating. You should be fine going up to that wattage. The “comparable too” wattage on the CFLs is just telling you how much light it produces. Its purely a cosmetic number because people are used to associating wattage with light production.

  23. TonyK says:

    For people with visual issues, not all bulbs are created equal. My wife needs a LOT of lumins (bright light). Trying to get that in a CFL or LED is hard. Then there is quality of light. CFLs require time to warm up and during this period her vision is crippled.

    Halogens create too much heat though they do provide a good light source if you can keep them away from combustibles and deal with the heat.

  24. psm321 says:

    I’ve been moderately stockpiling… can’t stand CFLs but know I’ll be forced to switch eventually

  25. User314159 says:

    I believe each type has its benefits…

    For general lighting in areas where the bulb will be on “all night” CFLs are good

    For outside areas or places where I turn lights on and off frequently I use halogen’s (CFLs take a little while to get to the full brightness, especially outside in the cold, not good for seeing your way around icy stairs, etc…)

    I use incandescents in the garage door opener… (halogen’s are just too hot, and CFLs dont light being turned on / off frequently) …

    The new Phillips LED bulbs look interesting (Google “Philips 12 watt (60W equivalent) A19 Ambient LED”) when I saw the demo bulbs at Home-Depot. Not directional like typical LEDs, and they go full bright when you turn on the switch. Little expensive at $40, but it could take the place of incandescents, especially if the cost comes down a bit.

  26. Caffinehog says:

    Really, the mercury fear is overblown. The amount in these light bulbs isn’t enough to cause any injury. Old thermometers, thermostats, and light switches often contain more than 100 times as much mercury as is in one of these bulbs. Did the last owner of the house ever break a thermometer? Would you know?
    Additionally, burning coal to provide the extra power an incandescent light bulb needs puts FAR more mercury into the environment, so even if they are thrown in the trash, they are still better for the environment. Granted, it doesn’t put it into your home. But unless you are extremely careless, you won’t break these bulbs very often.

    I think the ban on incandescents is a bad idea, though. There are many applications where CFL bulbs fail, such as low or high temperature operations. (Think: Fridge, oven, outdoors in the winter.) A $1-$2 tax per incandescent bulb would get plenty of people to switch. It would also leave the bulbs available for necessary applications. For those who refused to switch, the bulbs would still be available, and the taxes could be used to offset the environmental damage.

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      I’d gladly pay a tax to get incandescents. I hate CFLs; they’re ugly as homemade sin.

    • psm321 says:

      I like ideas like this :) Let me choose to keep my light bulbs, or plastic grocery bags, or functional toilets, and charge me a tax to offset the supposed environmental damage

    • sparc says:

      from what i understand… specialty bulbs are exempted from the government rules

  27. El_Fez says:

    Man, I hate the idea of this legislation – florescent lights give me headaches like you wouldn’t believe. If this thing passes into law, I’m going to have to make trips up to Canada just to buy lightbulbs!

  28. Raanne says:

    Wow – the amount of people who think they know a lot about CFLs but spout off debunked “truths” is strong here….

    CFLs contain a tiny amount of liquid mercury if they have never been turned on. Once they are turned on, that mercury is vaporized. If they break, the vaporized mercury will be released into the air. HOWEVER – the amount of mercury released into the air through the increased electrical usage of an incandescent is more than this. Net effect: less mercury in the air.

    Also, less garbage – reduced electrical bill – fewer trips to the store to buy replacement bulbs.

    This is much less mercury than the standard T-12 or T-8 Fluorescent lamps that you have in your basement / kitchen / etc. Fluorescent lamps have been around for over 50 years. It is old technology. That being said, the current iterations, with instant-start electronic ballasts are light years beyond what they when you first saw them appear in you local store. I still have the first CFL I bought – it has an annoying delayed start, but works fine for a lamp that doesn’t get used much. And I bought it over 5 years ago.

    • YoorCriptonite says:

      Aren’t they all turned on during quality testing prior to leaving the factory?

      • Raanne says:

        You can see the little ball of mercury rolling around inside of a CFL that hasn’t been turned on. So I would guess no. More likely one is tested from each batch, and the one that is tested doesn’t go out for sale.

  29. stlbud says:

    I can’t stand the distorted color rendition of CFLs and LEDs. Color temperature and lumens (or any other indication of “brightness”) does not provide a complete description of the quality of the light. Incandescent provide a “continuous tone” of color. CFLs and LEDs do not. They accent come colors, some are completely nonexistent, and exaggerate others. Search for CFL spectral analysis – read the articles. Here’s an example http://greenerlights.blogspot.com/2009/03/3a-cfl-analysis-light-quality.html

  30. Consumeristing says:

    As much as an environmental menace light bulbs pose, it’s freaking idiotic to ban it out right.

  31. larrycl says:

    Grrr… I hate CFL’s.
    1) They do NOT last as long as claimed. Using a sharpie, I write the installation date on the base of all my CFL’s. I’m luck if I get 9 months on average out of them.
    2) If you have them in sort of covered fixture, I find the additional heat causes them to wear out even faster (whereas incandesants work fine) Sometimes they even crack, which releases mercury into the air. (Don’t believe me? Check out http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/promotions/change_light/downloads/Fact_Sheet_Mercury.pdf)
    3) Don’t get me started on CFL’s in outdoor fixtures…. the temperature swings coupled with the additional moisture and wear cause them to burn out quickly.

  32. MinervaAutolycus says:

    I’ve switched almost all our fixtures to the CFLs. GE makes one that’s closer to daylight — bluer instead of the dirty yellow of the early ones. I do wish they made one that was a 3-way in the daylight color. I bought one that turned out to be dingy yellow and not bright enough. I returned it. I haven’t found suitable replacements for some of our decorative fixtures, such as the bathroom bulbs or in the ceiling fan. The ceiling fan CFLs burned out quickly, maybe because of the shaking. Our power bill is down since we switched bulbs.

  33. shepd says:

    This means I’ll have to now throw away my older Stranne, which used the replaceable non-led light bulbs, once enough burn out. Ikea stopped selling the replacement bulbs and I wondered why. Instead, I’ll have to replace the whole lamp.

    Well, as long as it means I’m saving electricity, I can throw out as many lamps as I like, right?

    Just the same way I’m saving the environment by buying thick plastic non-bio-degradable re-usable bags every time I shop there because I forget to bring them with me, and I’m saving the environment by using their electric hand dryer for 10 minutes instead of 1 recyclable paper towel.

    Greenwashing pisses me off.

  34. balthisar says:

    I have to stockpile the incandescents. There are still no suitable X10 CLF’s (and no, it’s not enough that they merely be dimmable CFL’s). Also, what about the bathrooms and overhead lighting? There are no such things as clear CLF’s.

    Oh, I’ll use CFL’s in regular fixtures, no problem, but there’s still a legitimate need for incandescent bulbs.

  35. The Twilight Clone says:

    I will continue to buy incandescents because

    (a) it’s my damn choice what bulbs are in my house

    (b) I like dimmers and i’m not paying $7 for a crappy dimmable CFL

    (c) CFLs really don’t save money because my power company (Xcel Energy) is CONSTANTLY asking for rate increases because they claim they don’t have enough money for corporate jets for their CEO.

    So if I use a CFL to cut my energy consumption, the damn poco jacks up my rates.

    (d) I hate the look of CFL light.

    (e) although I’ve never had a problem with the existing CFLs in my house (that were there when I bought it), I’ve heard anecdotes of them failing spectacularly. No thanks.

  36. rushevents says:

    We go from Instant on to wait 30 seconds or pay $9 for an LED bulb that just doesn’t look quite right… We’ve gone backwards technologically to please some fringe movement to stop a nonexistent problem. Whoopidie doo!

    I’m feeling like every single country in the EU over here.

  37. mbz32190 says:

    I read somewhere the average mercury in a CFL bulb is the same size as a period (.) Hardly much of an issue.

  38. Willy_HSV says:

    Sorry, I am going to stock up on the old-fashioned and reliable incandescent bulbs. I tried the swap out from old to CFL about 2 years ago, and I have already replaced over 2/3rds of the bulbs (some even twice) and have gotten tired of it. They are overpriced, and do not last a fraction of the time stated. They do not last thru the on/off/on/off hell that kids put them thru, and they hate bathrooms (where I would benifit the most from). And dont get me started about the ones that take forever to get to full bright (let alone 1/5th bright). Hopefully LED will come in brighter and more affordable packages soon.

  39. Shane says:

    3-way CFLs do exist, but they are pricy and taller than a regular 3-way incandecent so they may not fit in a lamp with a shade.

    CFLs are OK, but have their own issues (slow to brighten, toxic when broken, special recycling, tend to interfere with AM radio)

    I like the LEDs I have so far, which are several night lights and a small table lamp. When I see the larger ones, I’ll buy them.

  40. TooManyHobbies says:

    We’ve been using CFLs since they were available, for 15 years at least. There have been very few incandescents in our house for the last 8 years or so. The outside lights are still incandescent because CFLs simply won’t work outside when it’s cold, and there are still a few specialty bulbs that we can’t replace.

    We don’t have any dimmable fixtures in our house so that’s not really a problem for us.

    • sparc says:

      i’ve experimented with CFLs in some outdoor lights in some enclosed fixtures on the garage. Still going strong after a few years.

      They technically say they won’t work, but mine have worked phenomenally well. Worth a shot if you have some cheap bulbs to experiment with.

  41. Amy Alkon says:

    I drive a Honda Insight hybrid (2004) and have been taking energy- and resource-saving measures for years, but it is no savings for me to have my house lit like a mental institution — especially since I write at home. (And believe me, I wanted to like these CFL bulbs and bought a slew of them from Home Depot…all of them cast horribly ugly light.)

    The one CFL-only fixture my landlord installed takes many minutes to come on and isn’t very bright. I keep a flashlight on a small table in that room in case I actually need to see something expediently. Very 21st century!

    Because California is phasing out the incandescent bulbs earlier, I made sure to go online before January 1 and buy 120 100-watt bulbs here — 33 cents each for 120 or more.


  42. stevied says:

    I love the incandescents for certain applications…. warming light in a mini-greenhouse or for use in a candelier


    (where the warm color and glow pattern of incandescents is more appropriate)

  43. LastError says:

    Converted to CFL about four years ago now. Ironically, I have tried many different CFLs and found the ones from IKEA to be the worst of them all. They look awful and burn out much faster than other CFLs. Getting bulbs at IKEA is a hassle anyway so it doesn’t really matter. Plenty of other places sell better ones for less.

    That said, I had to work under my house recently and found an old incandescent bulb still in the crawlspace fixture. After so many years of CFL, turning on this old wonder was kind of awe-inspiring and mystical. Got my work done and sat there just enjoying the old familiar glow. Never before ever wanted to spend even an extra minute down there but this light was so neat. Oh well.

  44. GeekChicCanuck says:

    I am hoarding incandescents because CFLs trigger my migraines. I have not had a chance to test LED bulbs because all I can find in my area are LED Christmas lights. Here’s hoping they don’t trigger my migraines…..

  45. TardCore says:

    I like the new CFL bulbs, but they simply don’t work outside when it’s really cold. I had to pull a few of them out and use incandescents. I guess I’ll buy 40 or so that will last until I’m dead or they make a reliable for all temperatures.

  46. DorsalRootGanglion says:

    Sort of selfishly: what am I going to use as a heat lamp for my turtle? I pop a regular 60W incandescent into a reflector light from Home Depot and that lasts me a year or so on 8 hours a day, every day, light. Do I now get to spend 20 dollars on the special “heat light” from a pet store?

  47. Jerem43 says:

    I started buying LED lights. The color is much closer to incandescent lamps and they use the same amount of electricity. The good part is that hey have a life double to CFL bulbs and no mercury. Expensive as hell though, the LED floods are much better than the CFL floods, no warm up time and real white light.

    They are dimmable too and can be bought at Loews and Home Depot.

  48. gman863 says:

    My house is now about 90% CFL – the exceptions being my dimmable chandalier and a bulb in the attic that is on only a few hours per year.

    Some of the arguments posted here against CFLs sound about as bogus at a Nun preaching the dangers of masteurbation. My guess is millions of people worldwide have broken at least one CFL in their home or apartment; I have yet to see or hear one verified story of illness, birth defects, hairy palms or blindness as a result.

    I use mainly GE and Lowes’ CFLs. There is one GE I leave on 24/7 in my garage for security, it took over three years for it to burn out. Since moving into my current house 4 years ago, I have not had to touch any others.

    Finally, a note for anyone who suffers from depression: Studies have shown that “daylight” (high Kelvin color temp) CFLs mimic sunlight to the point it helps improve mood. My shrink verified this. Although the light from these looks a bit harsh at first when compared to “soft white” bulbs, they can have a positive effect on your mood, esp. in Winter.

  49. zegron says:

    Hooray for Mercury Bulbs! At least Incandescent bulbs couldn’t POISON you if they broke…
    From EPA.gov/cfl/
    1. Before cleanup
    * Have people and pets leave the room.
    * Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.
    * Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning (H&AC) system, if you have one.
    * Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb.

    2. During cleanup
    * Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.
    * Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.

    3. After cleanup
    * Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly. Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.
    * For several hours, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the H&AC system shut off.

    • sparc says:

      on the spectrum of bad things we’re exposed to in our life, one broken CFL that you have to air out the room isn’t going to be the end of the world. The amount of mercury in them is miniscule.

      That EPA guide to cleanup is using an abundance of caution to even account for the remote possibility of harming you if the bulb broke.

      I don’t even recall ever breaking an incandescent bulb, so i can’t see myself ever breaking a CFL either. And considering we know that you have to be more careful with CFLs, you’ll probably be much more careful in handling them.

  50. jeffile says:

    So, what do we do in 25 – 30 years when the mercury within the tens of millions of CRLs disposed of in land fills seep into the ground water?

  51. u1itn0w2day says:

    I’d bet half the people using the CFLs are an enviormental hazard excuse are also throwing out their old tubular flourescent bulbs in the trash like a fast food soda cup. There’s a reason most businesses are fined for chucking old flourescent bulbs in the dumpster. And I bet when a tubular flourescent bulb breaks not many take any special precautions when cleaning it up including not placing the debris in a seperate bag. So envio hazard doesn’t cut it.

  52. DragonThermo says:

    I hate hate HATE CFL. The cold industrial blue light is barely tolerable at work where I have no choice, but I refuse to use them at home. I prefer the warmer color spectrum of incandescent.

    I have not tried LED bulbs, but of the “white” LED flashlights I’ve used, the light looks pretty “blue” to me.

    Halogen bulbs are a good way to burn your house down. No thank you.

  53. Dacker says:

    I have a love-hate relationship with CFs. I bought my first ones in the early 90s for about $20 each; they had magnetic ballasts!

    However, I mark the install and replacement dates on every CF bulb I use. I’m getting HORRIBLE life from most of them — often less than six months, shorter than incandescents. The shortest life comes from the recessed flood lights in my kitchen, which get turned on-and-off several times each day.

    I know this is rough on CFs, but what Is one to do? More expensive CFs with mercury but sip power vs. cheap, mercury-free incandescent bulbs which suck power.

    I’m hoping LEDs come down to a reasonable price and become available in 75-120 watt equivalents and preferably in a floodlight-style form factor. It’ll be pretty costly to install them in the seven fixtures in my kitchen alone.

  54. Rhinoguy says:

    I have been using CFLs since they hit the market. They are very easy on the energy usage but the claim that they last six to ten times longer than incandescent is sadly wrong. They last half as long, unless you never turn them on and off. Doesn’t seem to matter where they are made either, my rare USA bulbs blew just as fast as the much cheaper Chinese.
    No, my local voltage is not too high, it’s 119 volts almost all the time except when it drops a bit.
    Oddly, the ones that have lasted the longest are the ones installed base UP in overhead fixtures. That’s just weird.

  55. Rhinoguy says:

    A CFL bulb should not cause headaches. The electronic ballasts in them use high frequencies to keep the bulb from flickering at the power lines’ sixty cycles per second. Old style fluorescents that use magnetic or resistive ballasts DO flicker, making you ill.

  56. Andy S. says:

    Compact fluorescent light bulbs do not work in my Sears garage door opener. Only incandescent bulbs work. What to do when incandescent bulbs are pulled from stores?

    • DrLumen says:

      There will be replacements,. Perhaps not an ideal replacement but something.

      It is a common misconception that all incandescent lamps will be banned and it is not true. Most of your typical 60/75/100/… A19 lamps will stop being made but other lamp type will continue to be made. For example, the appliance bulbs in your refrigerator or oven will still be made because there is not a CFL or LED type lamp that would work in your oven. A majority of the old skool stage lights are incandescent and will continue to be made.

      Anyway, in your situation you could use a 40 w appliance bulb. While not ideal it would work. Perhaps maybe a twofer so you could put to appliance bulbs in the same socket.

  57. Serenefengshui says:

    This is a sad, sad day.

    I hate CFLs.

  58. Mandrake says:

    Fluorescent light is efficient and horrible.