Why I won’t be using CFL bulbs
For this week’s “Change the World Wednesday” challenge, Small Footprints has asked us to replace at least one incandescent bulb in our home with either a CFL or LED bulb.
Currently we have a mixture of lighting here at Chez Green.
Downstairs is pretty much run on solar panels, so the obvious choice is LEDS; these use far less power than incandescent bulbs or even CFL bulbs.
Upstairs is a mixture of CFLS and incandescent bulbs using dimmer switches.
Over time I plan to replace all the CFLs in the house with LEDS because I think they are the work of the devil.
Yeah, who knew!
CFLs are now so cheap that you can get them for free or virtually nothing in many places. I ended up with such a huge pile of them sent by well-meaning companies that I had to Freecycle them all in three lots!
Why did I get rid of them? Each CFL contains a small amount of mercury that remains a potential contaminant for life…
Some incandescent bulbs have been phased out in the UK but it’s come too soon because we don’t have a decent alternative. The CFLs are an incomplete solution at best, a disaster waiting to happen at worst, and LEDs prices remain high due to a number of factors; not least consumer confidence regarding quality and usability.
My take? In 5 years time, when everyone wakes up and realises what has happened, we will have to go through the whole thing again in order to let the LED and OLED take their real green lead.
The CFL is a huge mistake with only one benefit: a lower energy consumption. After that everything goes rapidly down hill.
The LED has much better credentials, both in manufacture, energy use, safety, longevity RoHs compliance and after life recycling. Unfortunately, the best LEDs have not reached the mainstream market place. Fortunately I married an amazing man that knows his heat sink from his kitchen sink and is capable of building his own LED bulbs – I know, how cool is that!
We desperately need to get beyond the slow drip-drip of toe-in-the-water products. The next major step must involve political movement and marketing initiatives to make the LED the light of choice. Only this will accelerate quality development and bring prices down to an acceptable consumer level.
Hungry for more? Read my controversial article “Why I say Ban the CFL”
What about you – Are you happy to use CFLs?