Our resident Technobabbler, Dan Gray, has been on a mission to uncover the light of compact fluorescent light bulbs. Are these types of light bulbs better than the rest? Energy saving or not, I can tell you that Ponzi has been a believer in light therapy since I got her a compact desk unit for Christmas. She doesn’t use it every day, because it says you have to use it at certain hours according to your Circadian rhythm. A Gnomie (named Stan) has had experiences with compact fluorescents; he submitted this bit of feedback today:

You have better luck than I do with compact fluorescents. We have a four bedroom house, and if we used all incandescents, there’d be 68 inside and 14 outside. Where we do use compact fluorescents, I’ve almost never had one last much more than two years, a couple have died within a day or three, and several have only been good for a few months. Some have even died with big loud popping noises and spit out small pieces of stuff and smoked and smelled up the place. I’ve found that with big brand name lamps, that if they don’t last as long as it says on the package, the manufacturer will replace them. I’ve called both GE and Sylvania and complained that bulbs only lasted a year or so and they usually send replacements (or a check).

I’ve also found it’s good to buy them at Costco. They come 4 or 5 or so in a plastic blister package. Whenever I install one I write the date on it in black marker. When it dies, I write the date of death on it, and put it back in it’s original package. When the package is full, I take it back to Costco, with the receipt. The package (usually) say they’re good for something like 7 years, and they refund the price I paid for them. I then go back and buy more. As I’ve bought more over the past few years, they’ve gotten better and last longer. The big American brand names last longer and have a nicer color light. Those made in Hungary, Singapore and Korea do not last very long, and don’t have a consistent light color.

I’m all for them. even though our electric bill is still to high, I’m sure it’d be higher without them. I’ve even installed compact fluorescent fixtures in a couple of places. It’s a bit strange, that a compact fluorescent bulb, made to go in a compact fluorescent fixture (that does not accept a screw in bulb) sometimes costs more than the compact fluorescent bulbs that have the built in electronics/ballast. I’m waiting for economical LED lamps to come out. They use much less power, last much longer and don’t have to bother with the electronics the compact fluorescents need. I’ve looked for them, and even found some… But a LED lamp that would replace a 100 watt incandescent is very expensive.

I did a search for LED household, and found standard Edison screw base 117 volt lamps for over $200, and they only put out 408 lumens (a typical 100 watt incandescent puts out 1600 lumens; a 60 watt incandescent 820 lumens). Other Power says: “Incandescent lights are basically electric space heaters that give off light as a byproduct. They are VERY inefficient, wasting most of the power they consume as heat.” Very true!

[tags]energy saving,efficiency,compact fluorescent,fluorescent,light bulbs,light,light therapy,edison,volts,lumens,lamps,incandescent,circadian rhythm[/tags]