Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shedding Light On CFL Light Bulbs... Let's Face It. They Totally Suck...

First of all, I want to tell you that I'm going to start using word verification on comments because the spammers will simply not leave me alone. I DON'T WANT OR NEED VIAGRA!!!!! Never have. Never will. Oh, unless I decide to get that sex change operation I've been hoping for. Whatever. Anyway, on with my post.


Ever since the wacky looking (so called) light bulbs were first introduced, I've disliked them intensely. CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Light and is said to be better for the environment. They don't give off nearly the amount of light as Thomas Edison's incandescent bulbs do. While I certainly don't mind less light in certain rooms of the house, I'd like to actually be able to see in my bedroom (and closet), my office/den, and most of all my kitchen. I'm now having to use a magnifying glass in addition to my glasses in order to read a recipe. As it is, I often leave home with mismatched socks or brown tights with a black outfit because I can't see anything in my room. It's beginning to really grate on my nerves.


There are other negative aspects of these bulbs as well. Last year, three of my best lamps quit working, so I hauled them all out to the car and took them to a shop that sells and repairs lamps. The woman had one look at the bulbs and said, "There's your trouble. It's those damned light bulbs and they will eventually ruin all of your lamps." Then she proceeded to put a regular light bulb in. Huh? All three lamps were in perfect working order. I was steaming mad and I'll tell you why. Well first of all, obviously, I wasted an hour of my life on taking those lamps in for repair when they didn't need repair.


I also have several beautiful antique lamps that are worth a great deal of money and I'll be damned and hog-tied if I'm going to let them be destroyed by these stupid, useless light bulbs. I'm thinking I need to start hoarding regular light bulbs right now. Today.


They are also supposed to work for like 5 years before they burn out. Big. Fat. Lie. Out of a package of eight of these bulbs, maybe ONE will last that long, but so far we've had to replace most of them after 3 to 6 months. It's just a huge lie there and it really annoys me that our wonderful government is telling us that soon we cannot use anything but these bulbs. I'm calling interference on this play, for sure.


So, last week I was replacing yet another of these bulbs in the living room and accidentally dropped one on the table where it shattered into tiny little shards of glass that seemed to go everywhere. When Mr. Snoots got home from the office I told him about the mess I had to clean up. His reply was "What about the mercury?" Huh? Was I not supposed to know this? My reply was "What mercury?". Presumably, I would have known these bulbs contain a minute amount of mercury if I could see the freaking directions. These bulbs truly suck at shedding a light on anything. I feel like Abe Lincoln when trying to cook, read a recipe, clean, and a number of other activities that need good lighting. It's like living by candlelight and these bulbs are what the government is going to eventually require that we use? PUHLEASE! I can't help but wonder who the genius is that came up with these bulbs. I'd sure like to get my hands around that person's neck.


I was seriously worried about getting mercury poisoning so I did a google search and this is what I found:

What is the proper way to handle a broken CFL?
Open the windows and let the room air out for 15 to 30 minutes, then remove as much material as possible without a vacuum cleaner. Using disposable gloves, scoop the glass onto a piece of cardboard and wipe the area with a wet paper towel. For smaller pieces of glass and powder, use duct tape to pull up the fragments and wash your hands after cleaning up the debris.

What is the proper method to dispose a CFL?
Check if your local recycling center has services available for CFL disposal by calling directly or by visiting Earth 911. Plus, as retail giants such as Home Depot and Wal-Mart amp up their CFL offerings, IKEA recycled 156,301 pounds of CFLs in its 2005 fiscal year with its “Free Take Back” recycling program that puts a collection bin in each store. If that wasn’t enough incentive, officials are looking into providing more consumer bonuses for CFL recycling, Leslie says, and they may even add a deposit value much like cans and bottles. Leslie promises: “Over six months to a year, you will see changes.”


There is not one single sentence on the package to indicate that these bulbs contain mercury; nor do they suggest what to do if one is broken. WTF? Wait a minute! I forgot to read the small print! Of course, there it is in plain sight. I finally got out my trusty magnifying glass, so now I can see it. I've always enjoyed reading the fine print on my light bulb packaging... Not! However, it does NOT tell you what to do if one is broken, unless of course you want to call on their toll free line and talk to a machine voice.


Okay. So.... is there any kind of mandate on how thick my freaking glasses can be? I mean, they can only make them so thick. I'm going to have glasses thicker than Imogene Coca had before too long. I can't see 150 feet in front of my face, much less just inches. With this lighting, I have no hopes of it getting any better. I'm certain that I'll be the first person documented to have gone totally blind from the use of said light bulbs. They are, however, making me insane, so commitment to a sanitarium may come first, by way of a straight jacket and a padded cell.



Any thoughts out there on these ridiculously low light producing bulbs? Is anyone else going blind from the use of these bulbs? Don't make me beat the truth out of all of you. Fess up and put me out of my misery. Now don't get me wrong here. I'm all for changing the ways we conserve our energy in this country. However, it seems to me that this is just the teensy little chip off the iceberg. And we have seen NO CHANGE whatsoever in our energy bill, so I'm not buying into the line about how these are going to save us so much money. What about the money I'm having to spend on buying stronger glasses or my trips to the Opthamologist? I'm pretty sure those cancel out any savings we might have gotten. Outside in the sun I can see everything perfectly, often without the use of glasses at all. Maybe I just need to wear a headlight...

11 comments:

Clippy Mat said...

snoots you look perfectly adorable with a headlight and should wear one more often! ;-)
i have no issues with the new lightbulbs except they wouldn't work in my wall lights with a dimmer switch. other than that i like the light they give off. were you using the correct watt for the light? (sorry, don't mean to insult your intelligence.) i'll shut up now. do you want any viagara? just thought i'd ask LOL
:-))

The Incredible Woody said...

I have worried about the mercury inside because I am a klutz and I drop things. A lot. And mercury is poison!! I don't like the fact that 3-way switches won't work with them.

Snooty Primadona said...

Mr. Snoots bought the 100W and the 60W, which we use in the appropriate lamps.

However, I did read an article that says the CFL bulbs decrease in light over time, as much as by 70%. Incandescent bulbs lose 7% of their strength in their lifetime. I guess no one took this into consideration...

Cathy M said...

A few years ago I changed all the bulbs in my house believing all the hype that they would lower my electric bill. They didn't. You're right, they don't give off enough light. About a year ago I broke one in the garage. I just cleaned it up the usual way and lived to tell about it. I hate them.

BJ Roan said...

I'm likin' the headlight. Perhaps I should get me one, as Hubby insists on using those horrid new fangled bulbs! I shall enlighten him on the Mercury factor. Thanks for the heads up. Oh, and you do look Mah-ve-lous!

Pam said...

Snooty, the headlamp is definitely you. We replaced the lighting in our kitchen last March with the "new" energy saving spots. I have enough in the kitchen that I can see well, but dang, I hate having to go in and "warm up" the lights before I can cook, make coffee, or anything. Pain in the arse deluxe. I may have to borrow TBO's head lamp and solve my early morning crankiness!

I also HATE those lightbulbs in lamps...my mom has one in her den and I always think I've gone blind when I first sit down and they haven't "powered up"...very disconcerting.

imom said...

I'm lovin' the headlamp on you! We used those bulb where we can, but they definitely don't last as long as they claim. I guess turning them on and off shortens their life, who knew! I also don't like the buzzing sound they give off.

Ronnica said...

I dislike CFLs too. I've seen some that I didn't mind so much, but I don't know which ones they are. My parents have them, and I really don't like having to wait a few minutes to be able to see in my room at home!

Daryl said...

Interestingly I read recently that they are not 'all that great' after all .. but I guess like everything else you cant tell now how things will be in X months or weeks without trying/testing ... I wonder why these werent tested more

Snooty Primadona said...

Daryl: I know! Hello! They test everything else out the wazzoo, so why not this? It's all about lobbying these days, I suppose...

TheVinylVillager said...

When these things first came out, I got two for my living room lamps because the suckers seemed to burn out every other week. I didnt expect to like them at all...the color on ones Id seen before wasnt right at all. But, I was amazed that I LOVED them. Color and brightness equal to what I was used to-instantly "on" and not terribly expensive. And those bulbs are now almost five years old.
Bolstered by the sucess of those, I slowly started changing out my other lamps. All was fine til I got the bedroom. I like a three way bulb in there...and at least then, you couldnt get a CFL three way--and have they made them dimmable yet?
Anyhoo...I got CFL floodlights for my recessed lighting up the stairs and in the hallway. And they suck like a 4 dollar streetwalker. They have to "Warm up" for a while...so Im already up the stairs and through the hall before I have full light (DANGEROUS!) and the color is too "white" I feel like Im shopping at Wal Mart. But I paid twelve bucks for the damned things, so the next owner can worry about them.

 

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