So good of you to share this, Nicole! I agree with other commenters in that I have several CFLs that I've had at least since before I moved to this house nearly nine years ago. In my opinion, the "research" in the video is faulty and unscientific, despite the impression the lab coat and clipboard are designed to produce. I think CFLs are a good deal!
I do think, though, that, because of the mercury involved, we need to be very careful about not breaking them, and proper disposal is essential. Just having been used for a long time does not make fluorescent bulbs safe for the environment unless care is taken with disposal! Thermometers filled with mercury were used for many decades. Back in the 1980's I worked for several years in a health department testing laboratory where very large mercury thermometers were used routinely, and frequently broken. Now we have better understanding of the health damage mercury pollution can cause, and people wearing hazmat suits work on cleaning up such sites. (I occasionally wonder about the building where that lab was located.) CFLs should not be put into landfills, in my opinion.
My understanding also is that most of the cost of running a fluorescent bulb is in the startup, and the starter is what is likely to wear out.
If we are to go on living together on this Earth, we must all be responsible for it. ~ Kofi Annan
To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival. ~ Wendell Barry
I will note one thing about CFLs vs. incandescents. CFLs run much cooler. This makes a noticeable difference in the indoor temperature in the summer; especially if you don't have air conditioning. Also, I notice the guy focused on short uses of the bulbs. The temperature issue is more likely to come during long uses. I wonder how much effect that has on air conditioning costs in summer and heating costs in the winter, and do they cancel out? That would be kind of hard to study.
Oh, and as regards his rant about how long it takes a CFL to come up to full brightness. I suspect my father would've found that an advantage. My father hated bright lights first thing in the mornings. Come to think of it, I'm not too fond of them either. A CFL coming on dim would suit him just fine, and by the time it came up to full brightness, his eyes would've had time to adjust.
Also, how flinking bright do you need lights in places like closets to be? Aside from walk-in closets that could double as rooms that is. My answer to that one is bright enough to be able to find stuff, but not necessarily bright enough for reading. So, a relatively low power bulb should suffice. At that point, I think it would be worthwhile to put LED bulbs in those locations where the light is unlikely to be on for any great period of time. (Also, that energy auditor is an idiot).
I got my first CFL about 20 years ago when I was living in a studio apartment. I made the decision because I'd gotten sick of replacing the incandescent bulb every few weeks. Apparently there was enough vibration transmitted through the building to break the filaments on a regular basis even in relatively new bulbs. That bulb lasted me over 15 years before had to replace it and I had it on for hours/day.
I would add that any bulb that's only on for a few seconds a couple of times/week should last for years between purchases. It's also not going to make a significant contribution to the electric bill. I do wonder though, if that rapid cycling set up shortened the lives of the tested CFLs more than the normal usage of a closet light would. I remember reading about the effects of turning fluorescent lights on and off on the lifespan of the bulbs years before I ever heard of CFLs. The article in question recommended not turning them off if you expected to need them again in some minimum time period. Alas, I don't remember what that period was.
cfl's are nothing more than a florescent light bulb with a small starter. Florescent light bulbs came onto the market about 10 years after standard bulbs. by the mid 1950's they were being produced in greater numbers than the incandescent, so where are all the health problems. they have been around almost 100 years. led bulbs are great and will be the future, but this guy's video says nothing about the history of the bulb, and i think it's because he wants you to think they are something new. this video must have been paid for by a coal mining company. my cfl's last years.
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