Friday, December 11, 2009

A Downside of CFL Bulbs

A Downside of CFL Bulbs

I discovered when we first moved in, and tried using compact fluorescent light bulbs in our exterior fixtures that they didn't work, at least not reliably. I assumed at the time that it was because there were brightness levels to the fixtures. I now am told that CFLs don't work at low temperatures.

Some of the CFLs that we tried to use at the time outside, and which didn't do very well, went back into the storage cupboard. So I pulled two of them out to use in my overhead light fixture in the office--and they did not work at all. Neither did the other two. It appears that trying to use them outdoors may have permanently damaged them. I also not quite sure where to recycle them--they do have mercury in them.

I suppose that we better stockpile incandescent bulbs while they are still available, as replacements until the reign of environmental lunacy/rewards to the People's Republic ends.

UPDATE: A reader points me to this, which indicates that certain specialty incandescent bulbs will continue to be available. He also tells me that short cycling of CFLs (on and off, on and off) tends to kill them. This may explain what happened to the bulbs we tried to use outside. They were in motion detector light fixtures so they were on for several minutes and then off. Ironically, I specified these light fixtures for the new house to save energy and reduce light pollution.

UPDATE 2: Another reader reports:
We also soon discovered that their expected life for us is very short since we almost never leave a room without turning out the lights.

Come to think of it; I see no reason to use them at all in our home.
That hasn't been my experience. I think that I have only replaced one CFL in the 3 1/2 years that we have lived in this house. But even that seems a bit short. Is it possible that CFLs only make sense for people that don't turn off the lights?

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