Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

We’ve waxed poetic about the benefits of energy efficient light bulbs and their advantages are many. But the backlash from designers and consumers is coming to a head and although most people want to save energy and lower their utility bills, they also want their living space to be cast in the warm glow that fluorescent lighting just can’t reproduce. The New York Times House and Home section did an informal survey on “how pleasing the light is” from these energy saving bulbs and the results were not positive. Although the light from these bulbs is getting “warmer” there is still quite a gap from the incandescent bulbs. The halogen and LED’s should also be considered as they tested a bit better than the fluorescents.

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  • I don’t have any problem with paying the extra $ required for the modern CF bulbs, but I do have a problem with their performance.
    I’d picked up 4 separate 3 packs of the GE CF florescent bulbs and have seen a very noticeable difference on how the bulbs look as a group.
    In one 3 pack, none of the bulbs had the same output as the other. One was a dimmer warm like incandescents while another was much brighter. Then a third one was brighter but was really white in color.
    Put simply, it made my ceiling fan and dining room lights look like there were several different brands and watts of light bulbs in them.
    Top it all off with the fact that the end of life processing required due to the mercury vapor and requirements to ensure safe disposal offsets any savings in energy make CFs ill suited IMO.
    I’d try LED or halogen but neither are easy to find at big box stores just yet.
    I’m really hoping that CFs improve further over the next few years and become safer to dispose of.
    Granted the mercury gas is minute but thousands in a landfill which will result from people not realizing that they need to be disposed of correctly will be a mess.
    After all. What happens to batteries of all kinds?.. Yup, leaching into the ground at your local landfill.

  • Fred

    I just made the switch to CFLs and referenced the same new york times article on my site. I agree that some CFLs don’t work as well as we would hope, but I’ve found some that work well. Stop on over and take a look.
    My CFL Lighting Experience