Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Energy Efficient NOT Environmentally Friendly Light Bulbs: CFL Hell!!!

Many years ago, when CFL lights began to show up in stores next to halogen and incandescent light bulbs, I thought I might as well try them due to the fact that the package stated they use less energy and will last much longer than conventional bulbs.

A few people I worked with stated the downside to CFL bulbs is the fact that when you turn the light on, it starts off dim and gets brighter. I didn't see a problem in that because I figured a trade off had to be made so I bought a few packs.

The light fixtures in my house seem to have been wired with basic wiring. I've had many issues with incandescent bulbs blowing out quickly in some fixtures and last for years in others. My ceiling fan in my office seems to be the worst so that's the first to get replaced.

Since 2009, I can honestly say that I've only had 3 out of nine blowouts. That's a great record in 5 or 6 years. Of course I discovered more downsides to these bulbs than I ever imagined. Possibly one of the biggest issues/complaints regarding CFL's is the fact that they aren't as environmentally friendly as we were led to believe. They contain mercury, a toxic substance that has ill effects on humans if ingested, inhaled or absorbed through our skin. These bulbs, much like lithium ion batteries, by law, are NOT to be disposed of through any other method other than dropping off the used and no longer useful unit to a facility which will in turn dispose of it properly. Best Buy, some Wal-Mart stores as well as home improvement stores usually have a drop off location for these toxic items.

Now that I've mentioned the toxicity and environmental danger of these bulbs, I'll now fill you in on two additional reasons why I will never purchase these bulbs again.

A friend that I went to school with had a mishap in recent years where he accidentally stepped on a CFL bulb barefoot. Not only did the bulb cut the hell out of him, the damage resembled a snakebite. A few weeks later, when it should have healed or at least been close to healed, it looked even worse and was seriously infected in spite of keeping the wound clean and all that jazz. Maybe there's more to these bulbs that just the threat of mercury and we all know mercury doesn't stop something from healing or infect it just poisons us internally...remember mercurochrome?

My last reason behind NEVER buying these again...besides the fact I can't throw them in the garbage for weekly pickup and they can cause nasty infections if one happens to break one and get cut by the glass...They are a fire hazard. The few that have already blown out in my home, include 2 that were in my office ceiling fan...the most recent blew 2 days ago. Rather than a flicker and the lumen pops, these things are just supposed to stop working. The ones I have in my home, seem to get hot at the base of the glass and melt the plastic material and seal. I've observed burn marks on each bulb I've had to replace, one had obviously flamed out because it was BLACK. Aside from the fact that the bulbs flamed or literally burned out, the seal was broken or ummm melted, releasing whatever vapors, gas or fumes into the air.

Unfortunately, I wish I could saw this was an isolated event among one brand but I actually purchased bulbs manufactured by GE as well as Wal-Mart Great Value. I find it suspect when 2 different brands from several different points of time suffer the same faulty issues.

It would seem incandescents are becoming a thing of the past, halogens are basically too bright for indoor use and CFL's are a hazard. Now that I'm feeling the burn from "energy efficient" light bulbs, I thought about going back to incandescents but seriously, they are a thing of the past so I'm gonna test out a few LED bulbs...those guys are EXPENSIVE but I'm sure in the long run, the expense will pay off...If not, I'm going snatching every light fixture from my house and light this bitch up with candles and lanterns.

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