Compact fluorescent light bulbs are great for energy savings, but their other stated benefit–lasting longer than incandescent bulbs–often doesn’t live up to the half-decade advertised on the package. Sometimes that’s the user’s own fault, for using bulbs in a way that diminishes their lifespans.
Philips and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a few weeks ago the recall of about 1.86 million compact fluorescent floodlamps sold under the EnergySaver and Marathon brands between 2007 and 2010. The reflector around the lamp can come unglued, shattering on the ground or floor. This actually happened to a Consumerist reader, who sent in photos of the glass-shard carnage.
Now that you’ve replaced every bulb in your home with those twisty compact fluorescents, you can relax for a while, right? They last 10 years, so by the time you have to change another bulb, you’ll be ready to replace them with LEDs. Not so fast, says California utility PG&E, which insists that CFLs don’t last nearly as long as claimed. But our brighter brethren at Consumer Reports state that some of them really do, and they’ve got test results to prove it.
IKEA has done away with energy-hogging incandescents ahead of federal legislation that would mandate more efficient light bulbs starting in 2012.
Rick bought a light bulb at Home Depot that turned into more of a geography test. The question it poses: is there anywhere in the world that has an average of three hours of darkness year-round? The answer: no. Which means that the claims on the front of this light bulb package contradict each other.
Reader Fiona wants to know if the people calling from “Con Ed” offering “free light bulbs” are running a scam.
No doubt “taking” the backlash “seriously,” the Maryland power company that sent customers unsolicited CFL lightbulbs, and then silently charged them $.96/month for it, has apologized. The company will appear before the Maryland Public Service Commission tomorrow for a hearing. “We stand ready to take whatever corrective actions are deemed necessary by the commission,” Allegheny Power President said. Yes, they’re probably going to tell you to refund people’s money, you jackasses.
An electric company in Maryland, Allegheny Power, sent its customers some CFL light bulbs as part of a consumer education program. Sounds nice until you find out that they customers were charged $0.96 a month (about $12 a year) for the two light bulbs.
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.
If you have an IKEA store near you, give them your old CFLs and they’ll recycle them for free. CFLs contain small amounts of mercury and should not be thrown away or recycled with glass bottles.
“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.
Blogging Away Debt made this graph to show how much their family reduced energy consumption by installing compact fluorescent light bulbs and unplugging a freezer in the basement. The chart shows a decrease of around 2-3 average kilowatts hours per day, resulting in electrical bills that were about a half as much as before.
If you’re interested in switching to “green light,” check out this comprehensive but digestible CFL buying and use guide. [Danny Lipford]
There’s been much talk of CFLs replacing traditional incandescent bulbs, but it may be LED lightbulbs that take the spotlight.
A woman in Maine broke a CFL and, rather than carefully cleaning the mess up herself, she called Home Depot. They told her not to vacuum, and directed her to call Poison Control. Poison Control directed her to the Maine DEP, who then sent an agent. The agent told her to call in a toxic waste team to give an estimate. Naturally, they told her it was going to be around $2,000. She heard that number, walled off the bedroom and alerted the local media.