If all of the new lightbulbs — CFLs, LEDs and more — have left you wondering whether switching technologies is a bright idea, the government is here to help. Sort of. Starting next year, the Federal Trade Commission plans to mandate new labels for all lightbulbs, modeled after the nutrition labels on most packaged foods. There’s just one problem: If you don’t know what a lumen is, or how it relates to a watt, the labels may not shed much light on the subject.
It’s good to have an Easy-Bake Oven around for those times when you want to serve a tiny, partially baked cake-like product to your parents or little sister. The last thing you want, though, is another appliance cluttering the counter. Kenmore has solved that problem with a built-in fridge model with light bulbs that stay on even when the door is shut—and explode when you try to unscrew them! Okay, the exploding glass part is maybe not so convenient.
It took an Executive Email Carpet Bomb to convince Best Buy to replace Bryan’s Panasonic LiFi LCD Projection TV after it ate through four lamps. Bryan had purchased Best Buy’s extended warranty, which contains a no lemon clause that promises a replacement after three failed repairs. Best Buy conveniently insisted that replacing the broken lamp did not count as a “qualified repair.” Bryan first escalated his complaint through normal channels; when he had no other choice, he launched the mighty EECB.
Say goodbye to wasteful incandescents. Congress’ recently passed energy bill bans stores from selling the inefficient bulbs starting in 2012. We know you love incandescents and their warm glowing warming glow, but compact fluorescents are vastly superior—their takeover was inevitable.
“The introduction of our Great Value bulbs make CFLs a more accessible option for our shoppers as we strive to sell 100 million CFLs by the end of 2007,” said Wal-Mart General Merchandise Manager Andy Barron in a statement.
Popular Mechanics compared an incandescent bulb to seven compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to see which was brightest performer. The light emitted was rated after participants examined “colorful objects, faces, and reading materials.” The good news? Every CFL outperformed the incandescent bulb.
The results surprised us. Even though the incandescent bulb measured slightly brighter than the equivalent CFLs, our subjects didn’t see any dramatic difference in brightness. And here was the real shocker: When it came to the overall quality of the light, all the CFLs scored higher than our incandescent control bulb. In other words, the new fluorescent bulbs aren’t just better for both your wallet and the environment, they produce better light.
Compared to incandescent bulbs, CFLs use up to 75% less electricity, last ten times longer, and save up to $30 over the life of the bulb. Though each CFL had its strengths and weaknesses, the overall winner was the N:Vision Soft White bulb. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER