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38 comments

Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

Posted June 27, 2011 2:49 PM

There is renewed pressure on consumers to swap out their old incandescent light bulbs for the newer, energy-saving, longer-lasting, and more environmentally friendly lightbulb solutions. What factors, if any, would cause you to replace your incandescent lightbulbs with CFL or LED bulbs? How do you make your choice between CFL and LED lightbulbs? Do CFLs fall short of your expectations? What features of solid-state lighting are the least attractive to consumers?

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#1

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 1:01 AM

If incandescent lamps are not required for any application, then the factories making it should stop making the same. Need of the hour is to save energy, however small may be its application. May be some old cars will continue to have them, but replacements in same sockets are also available now. I do use LED and CFL at home. Later I use for general lighting and former for some focused lighting.

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#2

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 8:02 AM

I have yet to see a CFL or LED that I can put in my oven or refrigerator. Many people in my area have a pump house for their well. In winter, they burn a 100 W light bulb to keep the pump from freezing. I've seen where LED traffic lights didn't get warm enough to keep snow melted and the colored lights got covered with snow and made intersections hazardous. We in South Carolina are considering legislation to continue manufacturing incandesent bulbs in our state for use only in SC, thus avoiding the dreaded "Interstate Commerce" clause of our US Constitution. I can see people smuggling our light bulbs north like they do cigarettes.

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#3

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 8:09 AM

There is renewed pressure on by consumers to swap out keep their old incandescent light bulbs for instead of the newer, energy-saving, but longer-lasting exploding, and more environmentally friendly dangerous light bulb solutions such as CFLs.

(There, fixed the lead-in for you.)

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 8:18 AM

And just who is renewing this pressure on consumers? Duke Energy sent me 12 CFL's for free. Are any of these made in USA? or China? I think I'll stock up on 75 & 100W made in USA incandescent bulbs (if I can find them). I wish the busy-body powers that be would leave me the hell alone!

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#5

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 9:11 AM

Apparently, GE has closed the last 100W incandescent bulb manufacturing facility here in the US and moved it to China (I presume to service the rest of the world).

There is legislation on the Texas governor's desk that will nullify the Fed's mandate and allow anyone in the state to manufacture, sell and use the bulbs.

If that gets passed into law I will probably get friends to ship me bulbs if my personal stock runs out.

IMO, cfl's are our (mercury and disposal problems) and $50 100W equivalent LED's are way beyond my semi-retired needs. LED's are not yet ready for prime time.

Plus, being my cranky old self, I will resist other people telling me how I should live my life.

Hooker

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#11
In reply to #5

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 12:06 PM

Hooker, technically that Texas law would only apply to bulbs that do not cross state lines and stay within the state of texas.... Not that anyone will give a crap, but just sayin...

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#15
In reply to #11

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 2:32 PM

Well, I have already committed to myself that I will go to jail before I submit to mandatory federal healthcare so the chance of going to jail for receiving incandescent light bulbs doesn't bother me a lot. And I don't think my veteran friends in Texas give a crap, either. We're an ornery bunch, us veterans.

Besides, are the postal officials really going to inspect all packages leaving Texas for other states? This is just like all those other unenforceable "feel good" laws our ill-informed pols pass.

Hooker

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 2:36 PM

Oh gee! What a hero!

A vet here too but that does not mean one should not think once in a while.

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#19
In reply to #16

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 2:50 PM

So not only do you know better than me but you offer insults to boot?

I think very well, thank you. The difference between us being that I think on the side of individual choice and personal responsibility, not on the side of the nanny state.

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 2:59 PM

Love the confusing of the 'nanny state' with helmet laws -

I personally could care less if someone's brains are all over the street but I don't want to pay for the health care for the 'person'.

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 3:31 PM

With that mindset you should just have us all strapped to our beds for our own safety and for the monetary benefit of our fellow citizens.

Let the market determine health care costs, not the Feds and you won't see me in your wallet.

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 3:55 PM

Besides, if there is no socialized medicine, you won't be paying for his injuries anyway.

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#25
In reply to #24

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 4:34 PM

Naw, those who want subsidized/socialized medicine claim that everybody else's injuries drive up their costs.

They drink the cool-aid and don't bother to research the health market dynamics, like frivolous lawsuits and malpractice insurance costs, for example.

A little study of what's been going on in Texas with health care controls can be very enlightening. Must be a bunch of smart politicians in Texas.

Hooker

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 10:11 PM

Must be a bunch of smart politicians in Texas.

No such animal!!

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#29
In reply to #26

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/29/2011 12:18 AM

Ok, how about "less than totally self-serving idiots", as we normally find in Washington, DC?

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#34
In reply to #29

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

07/02/2011 10:29 AM

there ya go.. you got it in one!!

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 2:37 PM

There's always FedEx, and they aren't likely to break em all in transit either....

Simply designate them as high temp special purpose bulbs and away you go!

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#6

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Light bulbs?

06/28/2011 9:13 AM

I have no intention what-so-ever of ever putting CFL's in my home because they will inevitably be replaced by future versions of LED bulbs which are by far superior to CFL's.

I also have no intention of running out at this time to waste $4 each on LED bulbs hoping to save $0.15 per month on my electric bill because it would take about 26 years to see a return on investment.

When the price of LED's drops to less than $1.00 per bulb I will purchase a pack and use them to replace incandescents in my home as they fail.

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#30
In reply to #6

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Light bulbs?

06/30/2011 8:10 AM

<.....$4 each on LED bulbs hoping to save $0.15 per month.....>

.....represets a crude ROCE of.....<tap, tap>....er.....<tap, tap, press equals key>....er....45% or a payback of 2 years 2 months or thereabouts.

What was the bank interest rate again?

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#31
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Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Light bulbs?

06/30/2011 10:19 AM

Not $4 per bulb, $40. Please multiply by ten,

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#7

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 9:50 AM

I bought my first LED bulb as a trial this last weekend for $40 and in general I would say that it is equivalent to the incandescent it replaced in terms of light color (although it is noticeably brighter). The light is also more focused since it is beamed out of the bottom "dish" of the bulb rather than the entire bulb like an incandescent. I'm planning on slowly phasing these bulbs into my house with the high frequency lights being replaced first (kitchen, family room, stairway). The main thing for me is that they have to last long enough and consume little enough power that they are a wash compared to incandescents and sadly, that analysis has to wait 3 years according to the package. They offer a replacement or rebate if the bulb burns out before 3 years though so that is good.

I think CFLs are terrible, they take forever to get to steady state light output and then the light is cold. This wouldn't be bad if I lived in a lab but since I live in a house I would prefer the light to be warmer and when I hit the switch I want the light to be on. The LED bulb is at steady state within a couple seconds.

I think the main drawback to solid-state lighting, at least for US consumers, is that it is being painted as "socialist lighting" which is only partially true (at least in my opinion). The government set new efficiency standards and the current incandescent bulb can't meet them. If the incandescent can be designed to meet the efficiency standard then it can come back, there is no one forcing the incandescent off the shelf.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 10:35 AM

What ever happened to education?? Why do we have to have these alternative lights shoved down our throats by self-annointed stewards? Why can't I decide what works best for me? After all it is my money.

By the way, most of my fixtures have CFL's in them where it makes cents. A light in my attic or basement that I turn on once or twice a month?? It's an incandescent.

I wish these pious A-holes would stay the hell out of my knickers !!!

Rant over. Phew.

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#9

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 11:20 AM

I just want to know how you can say "environmentally friendly lightbulb" when speaking about a product that contains mercury? Or are you referring to another environment that we don't live in?

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#10

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 12:03 PM

Nope, and I'm not gonna either. And thanks to a new law passed in the Texas legislature, i won't have to.

No Mercury to worry about.

No Ballast catching fire.

no worries whether the bulbs are compatible with the dimmers/electronic remotes.

No RFI issues.

no Squinting because the color is wrong.

Food and wife no longer look dead.

and best of all, the bulbs are 1/10th the price.

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#12

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 12:41 PM

Energy efficiency? T5 florescent lamps

Mercury problem - that is total smoke - I expect there are a thousand everyday items you could find a similar chemical problem with.

Color problem with CFL lamps? Many different colors are available

Incandescent lamps for special use - will be available for a long time. Hot and cold applications

CFL lamps slow starting or flickering? Buy descent quality lamps and it will go away

Actually the government is forcing the manufacturers to make more efficient incandescent lamps and the companies are doing so.

Exploding CFL lamps - an old wives tale for the most part repeated by barbers, bartenders etc

Worried about CFL lamp technology becoming outdated? You bought a computer didn't you?

The entire story reminds me of when laws forced bikers to wear helmets - what a bunch of whining and crying but it all soon went away.

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#18
In reply to #12

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 2:44 PM

I was doing just fine ignoring your message including the "mercury problem" put down until I got to the end. (For the record the EPA has warnings and steps for the proper disposal of cfl's. Apparently, even the Feds recognize the dangers.)

"The entire story reminds me of when laws forced bikers to wear helmets - what a bunch of whining and crying but it all soon went away."

Apparently you aren't keeping up. It hasn't gone away.There are movements here in the US to continue repealing mandatory helmet laws and we have been successful at getting several states to repeal them. We introduce legislation annually here in Virginia to recover our freedom of choice. Eventually we will win. The "whining and crying" will continue until our leaders give up trying to limit our freedoms in the name of "public safety".

I suppose you're one of those who would have applauded had the Virginia state legislature passed the mandatory motorcycle seat belt laws that they tried in the '70's. 5000 bikers ringing the state house dissuaded that effort.

Hooker

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 2:57 PM

I still think the helmet laws were correct. Doesn't surprise me that riders are still whining and crying really. 'Our freedom choice'? Your choice maybe but I doubt there is much sympathy in the general population.

Seat belts very silly.

Have you ever read the warning on a reagent bottle for say powdered iron ore? Very dangerous stuff according to the warning. The mercury in a florescent - not enough to worry about in the real world as anyone who has ever worked with the stuff is well aware.

Do you want to play with it like we did when we were kids? No - but the last CFL I broke is still in the same sack in the utility room - nothing was ever cleaned or will ever be cleaned due to one broken lamp.

Like I said - better stay from many fish as the flesh has far higher concentrations.

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#22
In reply to #20

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 3:25 PM

Are you a rider? I don't want sympathy, I want to stop the incremental erosion of freedom of choice. I'll make a stand where ever I can, not just with helmets. I'll most likely wear them, laws or no.

Powdered anything can be very dangerous under certain conditions. "Warnings" on the containers are one thing as warnings are not bans.

My complaint about cfl's is that the environmental types that have influenced the feds to ban 100W light bulbs speak with forked tongues; wanting to conserve energy, bemoaning the evils of mercury in the environment and then pushing low energy cfl's anyway. Personally I don't think the mercury issue is much of an issue, either, but I don't like the doublespeak I hear from people who supposedly know better than me (according to them).

And, another old wives tale you bring up; eating fish because of mercury. Moderate ingestion of fish with reasonable levels of any heavy metals is generally not a problem (for adults). The body can process and reject heavy metals according to reports I've read. Those same reports say that the average person would have to eat two or three helpings of the typically contaminated fish daily for a year or more before there would be any health issues.

Can we all say, "The sky is falling!". Follow the money trail to find the facts.

Hooker

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#27
In reply to #12

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 10:12 PM

Exploding CFL is NOT an old wive's tale! I had one short out and blow up in my living room. Scared the $#!t out of me, and I am not an old wife! It was a GE light.

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#28
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Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 10:16 PM

Had one catch fire on me as well... and yep it was a GE one too...

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#13

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 1:25 PM

Not to mention that the coal power plant making the electricity puts out a decent amount of mercury to power whatever light bulb you are using.

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#14

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

06/28/2011 1:36 PM

I'm going to be in the US in a few weeks, so I'll take orders for light blubs now, does anyone know if there is a Customs limit on the number of light bulbs one can bring into the "States"?

If it's going to be a problem, then I'll post them and declare them as Christmas tree lights!!

Now don't email me all at once!!

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#32

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Light bulbs?

06/30/2011 12:57 PM

The most important thing to me is visual comfort. I want to see clearly and read for hours without infuriating my eyeballs!

Early CFLs gave me piercing headaches. The new ones seem somewhat better, but I'm not buying any yet.

LED bulbs, I suspect, will eventually become the norm. At present they are irritating, especially to peripheral vision.

Count me in with the other "old fogeys" who will hoard incandescent bulbs & pay extra to use them until the new ones measure up.

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#33

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

07/02/2011 10:20 AM

I've been using cfls for over 10 years: not explosions; avg life span 7 years; read daily no problems with the light; and cost compared to savings well worth it. We shaved an avg $135 a year off our electric bill compaired to incandescents.

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#35

Some of them

07/06/2011 10:11 PM

If I could spare the cash I would replace the ones in the bathroom, too.

Everything else is either CFL or LED. For the LED lamps I have a Phillips regular bulb, a re-purposed Ikea two-lamp thing, and a raw high-brightness LED in a DIY box.

All the lamps I have on the most (at my desk) are LED.

I want to know that higher-efficiency light sources are possible. Part of this will probably be better focusing of the light so that a room has darker areas that aren't used for reading, etc.

We need to save energy any way we can.

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#36
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Re: Some of them

07/07/2011 8:06 AM

I think the most efficient is a microwave pumped sodium light that the DOE has been playing with, problem is that the light is very yellow... efficiency and color spectrum are competing problems.

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#38
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Re: Some of them

07/09/2011 12:45 AM

Yes! And as more pedestrian, present day sodium, quicksilver high pressure lights used in street lights everywhere are the efficiency leader. High pressure halogen arc lights are coming up too, with much improved color rendering. Since all must run hot, lower wattage versions are not produced, yet. All these lights are a bulb within a bulb construction, hence safer, than single glass CFL's.

And yes, I very much respect heavy metals in milligrams and tens of milligrams amounts found in CFLs. The EPA's take on remedial action is expensive and extensive. Similar amounts used by your dentist are rated as hazardous materials. Have to be kept under water, disposed of specially. There is quite a whiff of hypocrisy: fish with ppm (parts per million) Hg is no good, but some 10 milligram spilled in your kid's bedroom is no problem??!?? But, do not throw it into garbage: it will contaminate the groundwater!! How utterly schizophrenic are all these contradictions!

Come again?!?

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#37

Re: Have You Replaced Your Incandescent Lightbulbs?

07/07/2011 10:07 PM

My take...

> CFLs have substandard lumen output

> LEDs are either short-lived (import) or Expensive (domestic)

> Nobody mentions what zero-crossing dimmers do for both efficiency and longevity of incandescents. My 1300 sqft house has burned out fewer than 5 bulbs in 20 years. I put ZC dimmers Everywhere when I bought it.

Incandescents get the bad press for using switches instead of dimmers. Dimming CFLs and LEDs has its' own issues.

I'm just old enough that I'll never replace my incandescents. I may have to stock up, but not too many given my failure rate.

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