Energy Efficient Lightbulbs: The Greenie's Have Gone Too Far

What is an energy efficient light bulb?

What is an energy efficient light bulb? And far more importantly, why should I care? I went to the shop the other day to buy a replacement bulb for one that had blown but I couldn't find a "normal" i.e. incandescent light bulb. Instead all I could find in several shops were "energy efficient compact fluorescent light" aka the CFL or "energy efficient LED bulbs".

Now that's not what I wanted - a wanted a A$0.50c 60W light bulb to go into our WC. I didn't want anything fancy, nor did I want anything pretty, I just wanted a cheap light bulb. There was no point buying a long-life bulb because that particularly light fitting is faulty and blows bulbs quite frequently and also we will leave the rental apartment in a few months so I didn't really want to save the future tenant money.

But I couldn't find any - where on earth had the normal old Edison light bulb gone - it had been around for over 100 years why suddenly couldn't I buy one?

Australia Bans Normal Light Bulbs

Yes you read that right, the Australian government back in 2007 decided to lead the world on something and decided to ban incandescent light bulbs by 2010. And now it looks like most of the supermarket chains have got rid of them. (By the way if you are in Australia you may want to check out IGA - they had a lot of proper lights bulbs and are selling them off real cheap).

Even the green bastion of treehuggers thought the Australian move was a bit radical at the time, and I can tell you I am furious! Because unbelievably for the Australian governent -they are actually implementing something they promised!

The Enemy! Not Allowed In Australia
The Enemy! Not Allowed In Australia

The Argument For Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Apparently it will save the planet from global warming blah blah - but that's a whole other hub. According to wikipedia "it is estimated that greenhouse gas emissions will be cut by 800,000 tonnes (Australia's current emission total is 564.7 million tonnes), a saving of approximately 0.14%"

Wouldn't it work just as well as we turned off the odd light? Or maybe even, and this is radical, built houses which didn't need to have air-conditioning running half the year?

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The Argument Against Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

I can't quite believe that this one has stuck through - in 2007,when the decision was made, we had a boom - now we have a recession and suddenly I am paying A$8 for a light bulb that used to cost A$0.50c - that's little bit of a price hike.

Oh apparently it will save me a significant percentage of my power bill. I don't think so - my total power bill is A$40/month - I suspect about A$2 of that is lighting - the rest is hot water, laptops, TV, fridge and stove! Sure your figures may be higher if you have 5 bedroom mansion with ducted aircon - but I still think you'd save more power by turning off the aircon than the lights!

So on my A$40/month power bill I might save 50c - there are say 10 light bulbs in the house- replacing them all would cost around A$80 - so the payback period is 160 months, or 13 years - seriously you have to be kidding me! Maybe I should just turn off a few lights in rooms I'm not using - wouldn't that work better - at no upfront conversion cost? Except that wouldn't work because if you turn off CFL's within 5 minutes of turning them on e.g. in a cupboard, WC or similar, you reduce their life expectancy back down to that of incandescent bulbs!

But CFL's Last Longer

The hype is that CFLs, LED's and other energy efficient light bulbs last longer. Well frankly I don't give a damme to paraphrase Rhett! I rent! I don't care to save the next tenant money - or perhaps I should take the lightbulbs with me to the next place? Even if I owned the house, the average Australian moves houses every five or so years - an energy efficient CFL lightbulb is supposed to last 7 - again do we take the light bulbs with us?

Compact Fluorescent Lights Produce Horrible Light

My biggest problem is quite simple CFL's give horrible light. I have them in the lounge and its like being in a commercial office. The "F" stands for fluorescent - most of us choose not to have fluorescent lighting at home because its harsh and flat and plain ugly.

You can get LED efficient bulbs too - but again LED's are totally different light - fantastic for task lighting above the kitchen bench or in a study light, but you need an awful lot of them to light a house - and the energy efficient version take about a minute to light up - seriously dangerous

Incandescent Bulbs To Be Banned in Your Country?

Well New Zealand was going to ban incandescent bulbs, but that decision was reversed with a change of government last year. California looks set to follow Australia and Europe too seem keen on CFL's

What do you think - try the poll and drop a comment below!

What Do You Think?

Do you think Australia has made the right choice to ban incandescent light bulbs?

See results without voting

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Comments 50 comments

DonnaCSmith profile image

DonnaCSmith 7 years ago from Central North Carolina

I have replaced almost all my old timy light bulbs with the CFLs. I got the first ones for my porch and carport lights, which blew out everytime it rained. I was tired of climbing on a ladder to change the bulbs, and I haven't had to change them since I got the CFLs.

They save about $10/month on the electric bill according to reports. The good news is they are becoming much less expensive as more folks use them. I also think there has been improvement on the light they give off.

I do think I would take exception to a law requiring me to use them, though.

Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

Yes I've seen the $10/month figure quoted too -but what size power bill are we talking about there? I rather think they won't be getting cheaper in Australia - why would they - they have a captive market - meanwhile I am thinking of stockpiling incandescent bulbs for resell on eBay!

I can see the appeal with difficult to access light fittings but there are also plenty of reports here of people having to replace light fittings because the new CFLs dont fit!

dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina

I've been going to the energy effecient bulbs too, starting wth those hard to reach/aggrevating fixtures. I haven't changed any fixtures but I do have some where they don't fit - one of the ceiling fans, in particular. But I hear ya Lissie, I'd be annoyed if I couldn't choose the cheap ones in a pinch!

Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

Yes I believe they need special dimmers too - not all dimmers work with the CFL's. Yeah that's what made me mad the local TV is running budgeting tips series and suddenly I paying $8 for a bulb!

BirteEdwards profile image

BirteEdwards 7 years ago

There is no doubt that the change over is painful. Some people may actually pay a higher price for the change over than others. And it seems you right now are one of them

It seems little that is being save, but saving on electricity for lighting is only one source. Yes, we should all use airconditioner much lees, make sure the fridge is properly insulated, have power switches for appliances with those awful green lights or clocks. All of this takes tremendous amount of power.

If we all did all of those things, the saving would be great.

I did not answer the poll, as I think the questions are biased in the first place, and the choice is bad.

steve 7 years ago

We designed our house with energy efficiency in mind; insulation, passive solar, thermal mass and energy efficient lighting. We installed commercial fittings that use a seperate ballast where the CFL is just a bulb, with no built in electronics. The fittings are designed to reflect almost all of the light downwards and can only take a CFL with a G24D base. They warm up very quickly and apart from a few faulty bulbs that failed within 3 months (replaced under warranty), the rest have been in use for 4 years. The light quality seems fine.

The key to the success of our experience was that we designed the lighting around energy efficiency. Simply retrofitting cfl's does not give a pleasing result. Long term, new houses with properly DESIGNED lighting around energy efficieny is where we all need to head.

Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

Brite - the poll is biased because I am angry about having my choices as a consumer being restricted by my government! BTW we don't have aircon - that makes us one of about 5% in Perth! Frankly there is little to save on a $40 / bill about $30 of it is fixed charges!

Steve - if I was building a new house I would probably do the same - just because a naturally insulated home is more pleasent to live in than one that needs a/c or heating on 24/7. My point is that few people are ever in that position - even most new builds in Australia are in sub-divisions where the orientation of the house is determined by the abiilty to get the largest house on the smallest block - and I believe its the orientation is the the single one thing that makes for an efficient house.

Even with light fittings - why would the landlord want to replace fittings because I want a a warmer light :-)! I am really glad New Zealand canned the same legislation because we did thoroughly renovate a home there and re did all the lighting while the ceilings were out - if we have been restricted to energy efficient bulbs we would have had major issues because they don't work for downlights (too slow to light up) and/or are ugly and don't fit!

marcofratelli profile image

marcofratelli 7 years ago from Australia

Yikes, I didn't know we'd gone that far in this country of ours.

Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

Yeah seriously Marco - I am really surprised that there is no debate in the media about it!

marcofratelli profile image

marcofratelli 7 years ago from Australia

I am too. We should get Monika Kos onto it...really.

agrande profile image

agrande 7 years ago from Oregon, USA

My main problem with CFL's is the chemicals used in the manufacture and to create the light. You can't just throw them away because they contain mercury and that is bad for everything, (except rocks I suppose).

I think this is another marekting scheme to get the Greenies or Tree Huggers to make decisions based on emotion not science.

Where I come from there are a lot of forests and these forests make great boards for constructing houses, schools, hospitals, etc. But the Tree Huggers have shut off a lot of the forest to use. So instead of a great natural resource that regrows within 25 - 35 years, the builders are using steel studs. Have you ever seen an iron ore strip mine (iron is what steel is made of), or coal strip mines (coal is used to melt the iron and as an ingredient in steel)? And these massive, ugly scares on the face of our planet do not heal themselves. Entire ecosystems are devasted by this type of mining but the Tree Huggers don't want to talk about that. They are making emotional desicions instead of using science and good sense.

The environmental movement has forgotten there is no free lunch. I am all for saving the environment, it's the only one we have, and I really do believe Global Warming is real. But let's attack the actual problems like over-population instead of feeling good because we bought an $8 bulb that probably is worse for the environment than Mr. Edison's invention.

J D Murrah profile image

J D Murrah 7 years ago from Refugee from Shoreacres, Texas


I deplore the CFL's. The quality of light they put out is pathetic. I have visited nations where CFL's are the rule and the lighting is poor. In the evenings I tried to read, but found the lighting poor for such activities.

Besides poor quality of light, the flourescent lights irritates my eyes and at times leads to headaches. There are many people who experience irritation from such bulbs.

I also deplore the fact that a majority of those pitiful bulbs are produced in China. It is economically foolish to underwrite other nations rather than purchase items made in your own nation. Whata monies are saved in electric costs are wasted in shipping the revenues to China.

I applaud you for taking a stand against such crappy products. It astounds me at how many people are being duped by such bulbs. They fill their homes with the bulbs thinking that they are reducing their carbon footprint, but at the same time creating a potential hazard with all the mercury they are brining into their homes. I wonder if homeowner policies are going to cover visits from Hazmat to clean up broken bulbs?

It is wrong that so many nations are strong arming thier citizens into underwriting the Chinese economy, having the freedom of choice taken away and being told that they need to be happy to do it. Whatever costs is saved will be spent on health related issued due to the flourescent lighting and hazardous materials. They may reduce their carbon footprint, but they are increasing thier mercury footprint and supporting oppressive regimes in China.

I agree-The Greenies (aka underwriters of the oppressive slave labour communist regime in China) have gone too far. Sadly, this is only the tip of the iceburg.

The hypocricy and joke of the matter is that although lowering the carbon footprint is the claim behind the bulb is the claim. In two of the nations I saw that had CFL's, they also purchased old Chinese authomobiles that spewed more pollution into the atmosphere creating more of a carbon footprint than was saved with the incandescent bulb. (HA! HA!-That is the sound of the Chinese government laughing at those nations who fell for the CFL scam)

I wish you the best in your light bulb business.

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SteveAngeles 7 years ago

The light quality may be off, but they do save moneyin the long run, they do save the environment. I guess even though they might not be as good, the more people buy CFLs and Energy efficient stuff, the lower the price will drop. Then those become obsolete, possibly forcing companies to make even better bulbs. It's an endless evil game of supply and demand, but at least earth wins.

Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

@agrande - I agree the whole environmental thing is replacing religion as something that must be obeyed rather than having any rationality applied to it. I believe the amount of mercury in each bulb is tiny - but you still cause a problem in the landfill don't you? Yes I've seen an iron ore mine (ex-geologist) - not pretty but neither is the Pilbara, I take your point though coming from New Zealand which has huge plantations of renewable pine. You know in the recent bushfires there is now some serious debate going on because someone who survived -where all the houses around him burnt to a crisp - had been proscutted by the local shire because he had cut the trees down around his house - he thought they were a fire hazard!

Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

JD - I have heard of people having an epiletic type reaction to CFL's - I can understand that - it will have something to do with the light frequency. Actually the bulb I was forced to buy were from Slovenia of all places - the old ones came from China -the cheap ones that is! I don't agree re free world trade - if I country can manufacture and item and ship it half way around the world for less than the locals can its called capitalism and the free economy!

The real joke is that the causes of climate change are far from proven - I dont for one minte believe that human production of CO2 is killing the planet - we'd all be dead if there was no CO2 in the atmosphere - we need it to survive

@Steve - saving money in the long term is no good if you can't afford this week's groceries. And no it won't save everyone money - my point in the hub. And in Australia no the price won't come down because there is no competition the government has mandated that!

BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol

I must say that this hub is like a red rag to a bull for me and so I apologise if I come out slightly harsh or offensive - it isn't my intent I am just someone who cares about the environment and has even signed petitions to ban filament bulbs in the UK/EU. Also in the UK the price of 5 energy saving bulbs is now down to 50p (about 75 US cents) due to a major increase in demand from consumers and also retailers. This is almost identical to the price charged for conventional bulbs. As for the argument by one of the other commenters that these bulbs are manufactured in China whereas conventional bulbs are manufactured domestically - this certainly isn't the case in the UK.

Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

But the incandescent one's are banned in UK are they? This is all about consumer choice? The cost will never drop down here in Australia because there is no reason for it - people have no choice so they end up spending around STG2 for a light bulb! The bulbs I see here are all manufactured in the EU (Slovenia in the EU) - I think saving the plant is nice but not at the expensive of people ...

No your comments are in no way harsh compared to some of the stuff I get on my blog :-)

mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 7 years ago

I think it's ok if they want to phase such things in, but it seems wrong to dictate it for everyone. They need to consider the cost for consumers who would rather feed families etc. than switch sockets, lightbulbs and such. Not everyone lives in a new house. Perhaps they should just mandate that new homes are built with this in mind.

I hate fluorescent lights too, but the few bulbs I have have been ok, so far. I only have them in lamps with shades so they don't hurt my eyes. (unfortunately they generally aren't recommended for lamps due to the likelihood of them getting knocked over) Of course they do have mercury so there is a small health risk there, and some extra effort needed when cleaning up if they break. Of course, they didn't do much education when they started touting them to cover this.

Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

I agree mulberry - I have no problem with requiring them for new houses - cause then you'd have the right light fittings! I can see renters starting to insist that landlords provide light bulbs and change them though!

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Erick Smart 7 years ago

I do not mind buying the CFL bulbs but I also am really against light pollution. If you are not in the room, turn off the light. And outside of your home at night it does not need to look like a runway at the airport.

Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

Erick that's a new one on me- I'm not in the habit of turning off lights I must admit but in winter I do close curtains

Herald Daily profile image

Herald Daily 7 years ago from A Beach Online

Lissie, I couldn't vote in your poll because my answer is, "No, people should be free to choose their own lightbulbs". I can understand why you are ticked off about it.

I saw a news report on TV that claimed that those bulbs actually increase your energy costs. Apparently, they give off less amount of heat that is normally thrown off by an incadesent bulb, thereby lowering the room temp and requiring more effort from the furnace in winter. I suppose though, that you don't have that concern in warm, sunny Australia. :)

Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

Actually in Tasmania, Victoria and parts of NSW there are snow fields at it can be bloody cold. We don't have furnaces - reverse cycle aircon is popular (is heating in the winter apparently the most efficient electrical option) or portable gas/electric heaters. Here in Perth the coldest day was 7C ! So no I don't spend much on heating LMAO In fact Perth uses more electricity in the summer not the winter - so that acutally might be an arguement for CFLs as it would reduce the aircon bill!

Herald Daily profile image

Herald Daily 7 years ago from A Beach Online

Well that's for you but shoots my argument right out of the water. :)

BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol

I believe that they are not presently banned, but there is EU legislation which says that they will be soon. However, most of the larger retailers have already started to phase out conventional bulbs, with some stores already only selling energy saving bulbs. Also going of tangent slightly absorbion cooling is the way forward to reduce the demand for air conditioning. It utilises thermodynamic principles to allow solar panels to cool a house. The best bit is it produces maximum cooling when the sun is strongest, and this is also likely to be the point when there is the greatest need for cooling.

Herald Daily profile image

Herald Daily 7 years ago from A Beach Online

I meant to say, "That's good for you". Oops!

someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

Energy efficiency is only clearly seen if we take all of the energy used not only to replace the energy currently used,but the energy used to create those enegy efficient replacements.

Agrande is correct when he says it doesn't make sense to replace lumber with steel studs etc.. unless the energy used to produce that steel is supplanted by a greater quanity of energy saved over time. As he says it takes 25-35 years to replace trees used as building materials.If the steel used as a replacement is not of a quality sufficient to last for at least 25 -35 years,plus another 75 years after that,without having to be replaced,for a lack of durability,rust,and stress fatigue due to a lower load bearing ability.I'm not an accountant,building engineer,or architect,but I know that the left hand of an equation must equal the right side for it to work out to a zero sum gain. the quality of the steel stud must be at least be equal to 1wood stud in all respects then all things being equal there would be no difference between the two.but if the energy used to produce one steel stud including mining the iron ore needed to make that steel stud. was more than the energy to produce a wood stud the steel stud would be need to be at least as durable as a wood stud to last longer than a wood stud.How much longer ?I'll let the energy techies figure that out!

Agrande mistakenly says tree hugers don't care about strip mining destroying the environment.That couldn't be any more untrue.We would do better to calculate the total energy used for the value we are getting for that energy,environmemtally as well as economically.

J.D.Murrah is right on concerning our economy and china's.we have been giving up jobs,to them and other countries,in exchange for low priced goods,not all of the best quality.About the only winners in our country were to some extent were the buyer's ,of those goods.The employees sure weren't getting much out of the deal,except for the low cost for imported goods.Short term vision,cheap goods in exchange for less good paying jobs.Was it worth it?We got cheap electronics,that fill our landfills,with all that toxic waste.Our Health was not being safeguarded,just exploited by the "sick" care industry.Don't get me wrong I know we would have still need the so called health care industry,but we wouldn't be as unhealthy as we are,were it not for the poison's in our environment from all the toxic waste in our landfills.The only short term good healthwise that came from all the imported goods ,is we have less local air pollution. That is just short sighted ,when we export our pollution,and our money!

Lest we forget their is also electromagnetic pollution from these cfl's and cellphone towers,and any electronic device at close range,such as microwave ovens. All disreguarded by the general public ,not to mention the environmentalist's.

Agrande,I particulary liked your mention of the individual who had the sense to cut the trees around his house,for fear of them being a fire haszard.People in California's forested hill's would do well to learn from that lesson!

Lissie, I have to disagree with you when you say that too much co2 in the atmosphere is not dangerous. Too much of anything is dangerous,even too much oxygen.If the percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere were more than 35 percent there would be spontanious combustion of flammable materials such as wood ,to balance the oxygen. The same is true of co2 ,too much co2,would cause us to breath in less oxygen,leading to more health problems,and even death if the oxygen level goes below 15 percent. We need to lower the level of co2,it is getting too high ,from using fuel from oil,pumped out of the ground.We should grow plants,that take co2 out of the air,and change it into ethanol a clean burning fuel for engines.What pollution we put in has to balance what plants take out of the air.Balance is the key! Look at Brazil ,all vehicles use ethanol instead of gasoline.They make their own ethanol from sugarcane.We can make it from all that dead wood,just waiting to be burned up in forest fires,as well as other fast growing plants and wood waste materials that just go into landfills anyway.

Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

wow thanks for you long comment. It was me that mentioned someone cutting trees down around their house in defiance of the local laws - its all about balance and at the moment as a developed world we are fixated on the assumed effect that humans have on global change - my reference is someone who comes from the same educational background as I Ian Plimer And no we don't need to lower the level of CO2 - the atmosphere is way too big and complex for our current levels of technology to significantly alter its compesition in anyways.

BTW I grew up in New Zealand in the1970s where you could only get a new car by going on a waiting list for years and paying more than most people earned in 6 months. We had the most protected economy in the world - the is mantling of that in the 1980s was nasty with high inflation, unemployment in the teens, interest rates over 20% - but now NZ may be the country that whethers the current recession the best : why because we are one of the least regulated, most open economies in the world - its an interesting case study

someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

Hi,lissie I'm not a scientist ,but why is the northpole ice melting,if their isn't too much co2.The way I hear it our oceans are absorbing the excess co2,but that can't continue indefinitely.i've also heard that the reason we have global warming is more energy  coming from the sun. But,the fact istill remains that if, more co2 is going into the atmosphere than is being taken out,by the oceans or plants needing co2 it will cotribute to warming.I may be wrong.I hope I am!

Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

Why is the Antartic ice sheet growing if we have global warming? Things change all the time.

The climate has always varied - its likely that North America was initially settled by europeans in the 10/11th centruy in Newfoundland during an earlier warmer period - they didn't survive. There is always sunspot acitivity - but the earth itself "wobbles" on its axis meaning that sometimes its closer to the sun than others. The whole science of the oceans and the atmosphere is still poorly understood even by specialists.

The reality is that the media know very little science and that there is an awful lot of money to be made in research that supports global warming - do not believe for one minute that politics and science are separate beasts! The issue is whether there is SIGNIFICANT amounts of extra CO2 in the atmosphere and that I think is the debate - Plimer has a new book out on it but I am not sure whether its available internationally yet

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3cardmonte 7 years ago

Ha! well said, they don't work as well and it would be simpler and more economical (in that not as many would have to be produced) to switch off the damn light!

joer4x4 profile image

joer4x4 7 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

Follow the money trail - it leads to General Electric then back to politicians.

These things are toxic. How can anyone profess they're for the environment using CFL's?

Mercury levels are so high the US EPA classifies these as hazardous material and has procedures for disposal and breakage.

Yet the same Greenie Wackos who are forcing these down our throats will just toss them in the trash to build Mercury laden landfills. The same people will of course require more money to clean the landfills up years from now.

So go ahead - be a drone and believe what your government tells you! Or you can take time to educate yourself, ask hard questions, and do the right thing. Do you really want to poison your children?

When has government done anything right? It's your world - be responsible!

Turns out the wackos are pretty smart. There making more money from you at your expense. Turns out you don't mind at all!

someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

I'm definitely not for cfl's and the toxic murcury that comes with it,and I''m aware that there is a conspiracy,to keep everyone under control all parties pro and con on the energy crisis,from the top down,However,my take on the way it's being done is that were getting hit from all sides.The Republican's who are represented by most business ,and Democrat's who are supposed to represent the people,but represent special interests as well as well as Third parties are discouraged in my mind because the powers that be don't want the competition for power is to give the populace the illusion that they have freedom of choice.Third paries are sometimes used to take away votes from the two main parties.Business makes money from selling us cfl's,and the cost of energy going up,is pushing us in that direction.It may be true that the cost of energy is more exspensive,but are the power companies really trying to keep the cost as low as possible and If,not why? Some say it is to get us ready for the future,which is a convient truth for,them if,they make more money as,a result.The contraversy around this subject on this hub reminds me of,the frog who was sitting in pot of water that eventually got hot enough to ultimately boil and kill the frog.Or an a long necked bird that can't fly,who puts his head into the sand.Probably to keep it away from the sun,even though the sand is hot enough to burn it's brain! Sorry if, I sound like a radical,but why should the liberals and conservitives have all the fun !

J. Kumm profile image

J. Kumm 7 years ago from Washington

Old bulbs are slated to be outlawed in the US as well. I don't mind; I rent and just take the bulbs with me.

Costs will and are coming down so this is wil be a non issue in a few years.

C.Ferreira profile image

C.Ferreira 7 years ago from Rutland, VT

These lightbulbs will definitely save you boat loads of money in the long run, and if you are so worried leaving so quickly, why not take them with you?

On the other hand, I am a firm believer in the pay-it-forward theory. If you leave these lightbulbs for the next tenant, perhaps they will do something nice and beneficial for the tenants after them. This world would be better off if everyone treated each other more kindly. Why so bitter about a simple light bulb?

Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

Oh I'm over it now - but I wrote the hub because it was still annoying me 2 days later! I'm annoyed cause I don't like my freedom erroded - even if its just the freedom to buy what I want in the shops.

Its not the norm for tenants to take lightbulbs - I'd have to check the tenancy agreement but I know in the properties I rent out I'd be taking the cost off the bond money if someone took all the bulbs in one of my propertiers :-) More likely it will become the landlord's responsiblity just like the plumbing or other wired in appliances.

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

I switched to the new energy efficient light bulbs and stoped using my clothes dryer and cut my electric usage in half! And the electric bills in my area are quite high.

It seems like every new idea has a coresponding problem. There is mercury in the new light bulbs so disposal is a problem. You really shouldn't throw them out in the regular trash.

2patricias profile image

2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

I think that it will soon be impossible to buy 'old' lightbulbs in the UK. Maybe it already is - Wonderful Husband is the lightbulb buyer in our house (we believe in division of labour). Anyway, he recently bought so many of the new lightbulbs at 10p per lightbulb that I could hardly close the cupboard door (putting things away is part of my list of tasks). What I don't like about the new bulbs is that they take a little while to brighten up. So I turn the lights on before I would have done with the old kind. And sometimes (gasp) I leave them switched on when I go out of a room because I don't want to go through the brightening up stage again. Also, sometimes when I am reading I switch on 2 lights when in the past I would have used just one. Maybe that's because my eyes are getting old and dim, maybe it's because the new lightbulbs are a bit dim.

I really do want to cut energy use, and save money. I have cut right back on using my tumble drier, I have actually unplugged my second freezer and am thinking what to do with the thing, I have turned down my heating, I open the windows when I feel warm (it is very rare to feel hot in England). I drive my car less, I think about fuel consumption when I am driving, etc. But I'm not convinced by these lightbulbs.

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Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

@Dolores - my thought is that the dryer made the difference - they are notorious power hogs.

@2partriicas I am living in a set of flats in Perth - where its 27C today and hasnt rained at all for 6 weeks and only slightly then. Out of the 9 flats that have access to the common clothesline - there are only 2 of us that use it! In the summer it takes about 30min for towels to dry on the line, now its slow - it takes about 2hours LOL

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2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

re clotheslines. We live by the English Channel, where it rains frequently, but is also very windy. Even on a misty day it is possible to get clothes dry enough to iron because the wind is usually blowing! But many people don't bother because it take a bit more time than sticking them in the dryer.

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Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

Iron? Oh know I gave up ironing years ago - obviously only to save electricity :-)

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Nelle Hoxie 7 years ago

I do hate the light they give off. But my husband has replaced every old-fashioned light bulb with the new kind as they wear out. They were on sale here, 1 sold for about $1.50 US. Don't know what that is in Australian money.

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Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand Author

Thats about A$2.20 - they will never be that cheap here becaue they don't have to compete with the cheap bulbs anymore

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RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

I have yet to see the savings on my bill. I think the officials have some kind of investment in the bulb companies.

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Doc Snow 7 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

I have switched most of our lights to CFLs. They work fine for me, except that you can't use them with a dimmer or in fan lights-the vibration will do them in.

It's hard to do the cost analysis as there are too many other variables confounding the problem, but given that the power required is reduced by more than 75%, and that lighting is a very pervasive use, it's hard to believe it isn't helping our bill out.

Al 7 years ago

I`ve found the new bulbs do`nt last,i have changed 3 that have been in for only 6 months . A verry expensive exersise

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MikeNV 7 years ago from Henderson, NV

Finally some logic. I have researched the issue and in my opinion the technology is simply not ready.

First off the average person has no idea how toxic CFL's are... they contain Mercury. If you break one you want to be very careful how you clean it up. Mercury is the highest toxic metal on the planet. Mercury can pass the blood/brain barrier and is extremely toxic to the body.

CFL's eimit noise. They have actually been proven to cause epileptic seizures in susceptible people.

CFL's are very expensive - you know this. But they do NOT last nearly as long as manufacturers claim. I have tried different brands (But refuse to buy them now that I know about the Mercury Problem) and have yet to have one last more than a year.

People jump on board the "Green" bandwagon without truly understanding what the downside to a technology is all about. I read the first comment here and that person has no idea how dangerous a product CFL's are to the environment.

When you buy a CFL bulb all you do is shift the profit from an energy company to a light bulb company.

All these mandated "laws" are simply taxes on the people. It's okay to bring new technology to help save energy, I'm for that... all for that. But the technology has to make sense. And CFL's do not.

Global Warming is a total SCAM! Only 3% of all the CO2 emissions are created by man made activities! Forest Fires, Volacanoes, and rotting Vegetation produce the rest. The Planet NEEDS C02 to support life! Plants need it.

Real scientists are exposing this scam. At the bottom of my article on why Hybrid Cars are not a solution you'll find real evidence on why Global Warming is a scam. Pollution is for real, Global Warming is NOT caused by man.

There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example, during the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm -- about 18 times higher than today.

People need to wake up and investigate what the Governments of the World are Force Feeding them. Dig to the Truth.

When LED's or some new technology is available that will not pollute the earth then we should embrace them... but now is not the time with the current available technology.

Mandated "Green" Policies are not about saving the environment they are about raising "hidden taxes" for profit. Just look at the "Green" Technologies. Most create their own set of pollutants in the manufacturing process.

Wake up!

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sawboyrick 6 years ago from Kaysville, Utah

FYI - my kitchen fixture has three sockets, so I put one CFL up there with 2 60w bulbs. It blew out in two days. Combining them is not good. and they are so dim that three are not enough light to see well. I like turning them off when not in use. It is so much more sound an idea.

Think about it 5 years ago

"First off the average person has no idea how toxic CFL's are... they contain Mercury. If you break one you want to be very careful how you clean it up. Mercury is the highest toxic metal on the planet. Mercury can pass the blood/brain barrier and is extremely toxic to the body."

With the above information in mind picture this:

An average of 10 CFL's in a home. Every time there is a natural disaster, say like Japan's disaster, if there were 1000 home destroyed with an average of 10 CFL's in each home, that comes to 10,000 CFL light bulbs releasing mercury into the eco system. People touching, breathing, eating it, babies animals, plants, etc. etc. nice thought.

donna 4 years ago

I haven't read through all of the comments, however, these LED light bulbs contain mercury and have to be disposed of properly, which I doubt your regular consumers will take the time to return them to "Home Depot", et. Also, How and where will these light bulbs be disposed of? We are creating a bigger problem with toxic waste from these light bulbs. The government is not thinking ahead. We must do something to reverse this atrocity.

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