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View Full Version : Does anyone else hate these CFL lightbulbs, or is it just me?


justJM
09-05-2008, 06:53 AM
I'm trying to do my part. I want to conserve and be good and tighten down my carbon footprint to a delicate little Cinderella slipper.

But I swear on my seventh rib, I hate these CFL lightbulbs.

It casts the most Space Station Zulu pall I've ever had the misfortune to sit under. I'm going anemic under its cold ooze. This cannot be good for me.

I hate global maturity.

Yeshanu
09-05-2008, 07:16 AM
I like them. Ex doesn't like them so much. *shrug*

justJM
09-05-2008, 07:17 AM
Oh no. I'm in league with somebody's ex. This also cannot be good for me.

astonwest
09-05-2008, 07:31 AM
I like them so much, I've converted around half our house to them, and plan to do the rest at some point. I especially like them for the outside lights, because I don't have to replace them as often (I keep the outside lights on full-time).

justJM
09-05-2008, 07:39 AM
Okay. It's gonna be just me. This is the ugliest light I've used, but I'll have to admit, it certainly ain't dark in here. I can see the veins under my skin, but god bless my duty to global warming.

Matera the Mad
09-05-2008, 07:39 AM
It's just you.

Bayou Bill
09-05-2008, 08:18 AM
Okay. It's gonna be just me. This is the ugliest light I've used, but I'll have to admit, it certainly ain't dark in here. I can see the veins under my skin, but god bless my duty to global warming.
It ain't just you, babe. One thing you can try to do is get the lowest "KELVIN" rating you can find. As a rule-of-thumb, the lower the number the more "natural" the light.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/33/CFBulbs.jpg/250px-CFBulbs.jpg

A photograph of various lamps illustrates the effect of color temperature differences (left to right):
(1) Compact Fluorescent: General Electric, 13 watt, 6500 K
(2) Incandescent: Sylvania 60-Watt Extra Soft White
(3) Compact Fluorescent: Bright Effects, 15 watts, 2644 K
(4) Compact Fluorescent: Sylvania, 14 watts, 3000 K

Rumple Foreskin :cool:

kct webber
09-05-2008, 08:52 AM
No, Perks, it isn't just you. I hate those freakin' things.

justJM
09-05-2008, 08:55 AM
I think I've been validated here, but I can't be sure. My eyes have shriveled to raisins, so reading isn't what it used to be.

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2008, 09:00 AM
They are horrible for the environment. They are filled with mercury. If you drop one and break it? The government has a whole posting on what you're supposed to do. Open all the windows and let the room air out. DO NOT use brooms or vacuum to clean it up. This will contaminate them. Use pieces of cardboard to sweep up the glass. Then masking tape to pick up the rest.

Seriously. I'm too tired to find the link. But its a hazmat situation if you break one.

kct webber
09-05-2008, 09:05 AM
Now that you mention it, I read that too, SF. They are good for the environment with regard to energy usage, but terrible once they end up in a landfill.

BenPanced
09-05-2008, 09:09 AM
Screw it. Y'all are invited to a candle dipping at my place this weekend. 100% all-natural BEEF TALLOW.

Unique
09-05-2008, 03:51 PM
It's you.

But I don't like them for task lighting. My reading lamps have regular bulbs because they just aren't bright enough for that.

Those 6 fluorescent tubes in the kitchen are the bomb, though. BRIGHT!

But then, they're 4 feet long. :D

justJM
09-05-2008, 04:34 PM
They are horrible for the environment. They are filled with mercury. If you drop one and break it? The government has a whole posting on what you're supposed to do. Open all the windows and let the room air out. DO NOT use brooms or vacuum to clean it up. This will contaminate them. Use pieces of cardboard to sweep up the glass. Then masking tape to pick up the rest.

Seriously. I'm too tired to find the link. But its a hazmat situation if you break one.Are you serious? Gah. I am so annoyed. My daughter broke the last glass thermometer last year and it was the biggest damned hassle to clean up. Crap.

I think I'm with Ben and going back to candles.

regdog
09-05-2008, 04:42 PM
Hate them . We had four in the house I've already taken two out and will be replacing the third soon. The two I took out I put in the outside porch and garage lights since the claim is they last for a real long time. We'll see. One I'll leave because it's in the cellar and I rarely go down there;spider phobia.

The longer the lights were on the brighter they became it got so bad in the hall light i thought I was going sunblind. Give me old fashioned incadecent bulbs anyday. I'm going to start hoarding them I think.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
09-05-2008, 04:43 PM
No, you're not alone, Perks. I hate 'em, too... and one of the cats, believe it or not, hates 'em even worse. She's my SAD cat. She loves to sit under the lamp shades and get warm - but these bloody things don't help her any.

justJM
09-05-2008, 04:47 PM
Yeah, the color of light they give off is hideous. I can see, but it turns out, I'm not sure I want to. Poor SAD kitty.

Deccydiva
09-05-2008, 04:52 PM
They are good for the environment with regard to energy usage, but terrible once they end up in a landfill.

So - the point of using them is... ? :Shrug:

justJM
09-05-2008, 04:54 PM
So - the point of using them is... ? :Shrug:Because I have more money than I know what to do with, apparently.

Pagey's_Girl
09-05-2008, 04:55 PM
I don't see any difference one way or the other in the quality of the light, but I spend so much of my time under office lights that I'm probably immune to flourescents by now.

I did learn the hard way, though, that if you're making a necklace with a pattern that calls for blue beads (say, for instance, red white and blue for July 4th,) you need to check those blue beads under incandescents first to make sure they stay blue. There's a type of Alexandrite glass that looks blue under flourescents and purple in incandescent light and sunlight. Red white and purple just doesn't work...

CaroGirl
09-05-2008, 05:47 PM
I didn't like the kind of light they cast at first, but quickly got used to it. The worst thing about them now, for me, is if you use them in outside lights in cold weather, they take more than 30 seconds after you flip the switch to come on. It feels like forever when you're used to instant light.

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2008, 05:52 PM
Are you serious? Gah. I am so annoyed. My daughter broke the last glass thermometer last year and it was the biggest damned hassle to clean up. Crap.

I think I'm with Ben and going back to candles.I don't think thermometers contain mercury any longer. It's some glowing red liquid.

Here's the information from the EPA on cleaning up broken CFLs. (http://www.epa.gov/mercury/spills/index.htm#fluorescent)

Funny thing is, they don't list that stuff on the PACKAGING!

Anyway, if you want to conserve energy and get awesome lighting, go with the LED lights. Except they're expensive. About $20 a bulb. But they last like a million times longer than regular bulbs. So the initial outlay is expensive, but over the long haul, you'll actually save money. Me? I'm way too cheap to fork over $20 for a bulb.

CaroGirl
09-05-2008, 05:56 PM
I don't think thermometers contain mercury any longer. It's some glowing red liquid.
You should definitely invest in an electronic ear thermometer. They're fast, accurate and non-invasive (if you know what I mean).

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2008, 06:06 PM
You should definitely invest in an electronic ear thermometer. They're fast, accurate and non-invasive (if you know what I mean).
We have this thermal temperature strip that you stick to their forehead. We had one of those electronic ear thingies. It was expensive and broke within the year.

And maybe I like being invasive. :e2brows:

justJM
09-05-2008, 06:07 PM
I don't think thermometers contain mercury any longer. It's some glowing red liquid.

Possibly. But the one I had, that my daughter broke, was full of a silver liquid that beaded up all over the floor and changed my DNA so that when I get angry, well, you know...

CaroGirl
09-05-2008, 06:07 PM
Did you know they can make light bulbs last way longer than they do? An old boss of mine told me a story that he once rented an cottage and the bulb over the front door burned out. When he went to replace it, he discovered that the bulb was an original Edison bulb and was more than 40 years old! It was made of thick glass and had a huge tungsten filament. Might not have been energy efficient, but boy did it last.

justJM
09-05-2008, 06:09 PM
We have this thermal temperature strip that you stick to their forehead. We had one of those electronic ear thingies. It was expensive and broke within the year.

I rarely bother to take temperatures. The exact number means less to me than the impact the fever is having on the sicko. In my house, it's either, "here's a cold cloth for your forehead" or "for the love of god, get to the hospital before you have another seizure and break something. I'm tired of cleaning up your messes."

stormie
09-05-2008, 06:11 PM
I vote for hate 'em. Too dim to read by, and yep--if they break.... Not good.

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2008, 06:13 PM
Possibly. But the one I had, that my daughter broke, was full of a silver liquid that beaded up all over the floor and changed my DNA so that when I get angry, well, you know...
...we'd never notice the difference from how you were before?

Cool. Mercury. And to think we used to play with the stuff in science class when I was little. And it certainly *twitch* didn't effect us.

As far as taking temperatures, there is a trick, I think it was from Ferret Bueller's Day Off, where you rub soap under your forearm and it gives you a temp. Anyway, that's neither here nor there.

Carogirl, that's all well and good, but the good old US of A is BANNING incandescent bulbs, so it doesn't matter how could they could have made them.

CaroGirl
09-05-2008, 06:17 PM
Carogirl, that's all well and good, but the good old US of A is BANNING incandescent bulbs, so it doesn't matter how could they could have made them.
Yes. So is the good old Canada of...Canada. I just thought it was an interesting bit of trivia since I just spent 20 years buying bulbs that lasted six months at the outside.

I bet they could make the new bulbs last longer too.

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2008, 06:27 PM
Yes. So is the good old Canada of...Canada. I just thought it was an interesting bit of trivia since I just spent 20 years buying bulbs that lasted six months at the outside.

I bet they could make the new bulbs last longer too.
Well, they SAY the CFLs are supposed to last, but I've already replaced them several times in our rec room in the last few years. Don't seem to be lasting that much longer to me, and they're more expensive.

But as I said, the new LED lights are supposed to last a gazillion hours.

justJM
09-05-2008, 06:27 PM
Are they really banning incandescent and replacing them with mercury bombs? Great. Just swell.

Williebee
09-05-2008, 06:38 PM
So - the point of using them is... ?
Because some lobbyists wanted to sell light bulbs. (imho)

I don't like them either. I had dimmer switches in the main hallways and stairs of the house. These things don't work with them.

As to them lasting longer, if your wiring has any kind of faults, is prone to power surges, etc., these things aren't very tolerant. (But, when the burn out because of it? They turn some really cool creepy colors.)

A lesser hassle is that the standard bulb shades don't fit on them. So maybe this is all really a clever conspiracy by the shade makers...

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2008, 06:42 PM
Are they really banning incandescent and replacing them with mercury bombs? Great. Just swell.
Phase out begins in 2012, and they'll all be gone by 2014. Better start stocking up now.

Because some lobbyists wanted to sell light bulbs. (imho)
Because the lobbyists want to sell MORE EXPENSIVE light bulbs. Well over $3 a bulb for CFLs compared to 20 cents for incandescents.

JennaGlatzer
09-05-2008, 06:44 PM
Haaaaaaaaaaaaate them. They make me nervous and edgy and I can't eat when I'm sitting under them. No kidding.

eveningstar
09-05-2008, 07:09 PM
Now that you mention it, I read that too, SF. They are good for the environment with regard to energy usage, but terrible once they end up in a landfill.

Which is why you're supposed to recycle them. Home Depot accepts them for recycling, so does IKEA.

I have almost only CFLs in my apartment and I love them. I really haven't noticed a difference in the light quality (maybe I just have interesting lamp shades) and I quickly got used to them having to warm up and not just clicking on instantly.

And I certainly don't mind paying a few extra dollars for a lightbulb that's going to last longer, consume less energy, and save me long term $ on my electric bill.

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2008, 07:14 PM
And I certainly don't mind paying a few extra dollars for a lightbulb that's going to last longer, consume less energy, and save me long term $ on my electric bill.But they really don't last longer. I've had them in my rec room and have had to replace several in the last couple years. At well over $3 a crack (in fact, when I first installed them they were $6!) compared to 20 cents for an incandescent. So if I even just replaced one twice (so I've had three CFLs in there), that's say $12 (first one at $6, the other two at $3) compared to 60 cents and even if the incandescent is pulling 4 times the wattage, I don't think the CFL is saving me anything.

Bravo
09-05-2008, 07:35 PM
i hated them at first, but i eventually got used to them if and when they put in the proper place. they have no business being in anyone's room, but in the hallway or in the basement or furnace room is just fine.

you will learn to tolerate them.

Clair Dickson
09-05-2008, 07:38 PM
They last longer in a room with "normal" usage hours. According to the back of all kinds of lights (incandescent and CFLs) they consider normal usage to be, IIRC, about 6 hours per day. In my office, I have two that are on at least 10 hours a day, usually closer to 12 or 14. My first set of CFLS in the office lasted about three years.

I've been using them for a while in my office and definently change the bulbs less in there. I didn't care for the "Natural" light ones that were this cool bluish color. But I also spend most of my waking hours under the light of flourescents, so I don't mind.

It also depends on the brand-- I've bought El Cheapo brand ones that didn't last but a few years, while the ones I have now have already surpassed their predecessors.

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2008, 07:54 PM
you will learn to tolerate them.
You will be assimulated.

Beach Bunny
09-05-2008, 09:56 PM
I've been using Compact flourescent light bulbs for over eight years. It greatly decreased my electricity bill when I switched over.

As for the mercury issue ... In eight years, I haven't broken a bulb. How often do you break a light bulb? On the link that SF provided above on cleaning up after you break one, is this FAQ sheet http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/promotions/change_light/downloads/Fact_Sheet_Mercury.pdf

Basically. mercury emissions to the environment from using compact flourescent light bulbs is LESS than using incandescent light bulbs.

If the light from them really bothers you and you can't find one that gives off light that doesn't (bright effects, etc.), then use incandescents. Otherwise, use compact flourescent bulbs. You will save money and it is better for the environment.

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2008, 10:06 PM
How often do you break a light bulb?
Quite often. They don't call me "butter fingers ferret" for nothing.

Mela
09-05-2008, 10:25 PM
Perks, I don't have any of the bulbs yet but I've heard exactly what you've described: their glow is like death - no warmth to them at all.

So put a gruesome mask over your face and turn them on full throttle for Halloween and scare the bejeezus out of the neighborhood kids.

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2008, 10:29 PM
So put a gruesome mask over your face ...
Oh, god. Too easy. Too easy.

I ain't gonna say it.

Pagey's_Girl
09-05-2008, 10:29 PM
I've found that, on average I get four to five years out of a CFL compared with 1-2 months for an incandescent. I just had to put the first new bulb in the bathroom at home since 2004. So I find them good for hard-to-reach lights. (It is not fun trying to get that stepladder into that bathroom!)

Although I certainly think it's good that there's more and more awareness about the environment and not screwing it up more than it already is, I think there's also a dangerous tendancy for people (the media, the government, whoever) to latch onto one certain thing as "THE ANSWER!" when it's just one thing in a set of options that all have their pros and cons - and might not even be the best option available. For example, given the rate at which we humans can burn through fuel, what impact would the farming efforts needed to produce enough biofuels have? Hydrogen fuel cell technology is another option I've read about. From what I understand, the only byproduct would be water vapor - but what would be the effect of suddenly throwing a lot more water vapor up into the atmosphere? Would it be enough to have an effect? How much would be needed to screw things up - if it would screw things up?

I'm not saying green isn't good - it is. It's high time we started caring about the mess we're making of this planet. But thinking that just buying a different kind of lightbulb or plastic bag or whatever is all it takes is dangerously simplistic - and that's the attitude I see a lot of companies pushing, wittingly or otherwise.

And now that I've utterly derailed this thread, I'll shut up... :)

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2008, 10:35 PM
Compact Flourescent Light.

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2008, 10:38 PM
Oh, go take your poetic lariat and twirl it somewhere else!

Chumplet
09-05-2008, 10:40 PM
I find the wattage to be too bright for the bathroom. I have one of those 5-light globe fixtures that require 25-watt incandescent decorative bulbs. If I put a florescent equivalent in each one, I'd burn out my retinas because each bulb is equal to a 40-watt bulb. I wish I could find some 7-watt bulbs to replace the globe lights that don't last more than a month or so.

There's a wide variety of the newer bulbs available, with different light temperatures. Some take a while to warm up, and others are instantaneous. I guess you have to shop around to find the one that works for you.

alleycat
09-05-2008, 10:40 PM
I like them, especially in places where it's hard to change the bulb. I have two carriage lamp fixtures on the front of my house and it's a royal pain in the butt to change the bulbs . . . so I use CFL's and I'm good for two or three years.

Shadow_Ferret
09-05-2008, 10:45 PM
I find the wattage to be too bright for the bathroom. I have one of those 5-light globe fixtures that require 25-watt incandescent decorative bulbs. If I put a florescent equivalent in each one, I'd burn out my retinas because each bulb is equal to a 40-watt bulb. I wish I could find some 7-watt bulbs to replace the globe lights that don't last more than a month or so.


This is an interesting question. Do they make decorative CFLs for special purpose lighting, like chandeliers? What about refrigerator bulbs? CFLs are not supposed to be used in the cold, so they can't be used there or outdoors where I live.

What then is our option? The $20 LED lights? When will they start putting them on shelves? I've only seen them on-line.

Beach Bunny
09-06-2008, 12:22 AM
This is an interesting question. Do they make decorative CFLs for special purpose lighting, like chandeliers? What about refrigerator bulbs? CFLs are not supposed to be used in the cold, so they can't be used there or outdoors where I live.

I'm not sure about chandeliers, but yes they do make specialty CFL's. I get CF floodlights to use outside. They are the same size and shape as a regular floodlight. The compact flourescent part is housed inside. And I think I remember seeing some special ones for other types of lighting situations.

Unique
09-06-2008, 12:38 AM
Well, they SAY the CFLs are supposed to last, but I've already replaced them several times in our rec room in the last few years. Don't seem to be lasting that much longer to me, and they're more expensive.

But as I said, the new LED lights are supposed to last a gazillion hours.

Most of mine lasted 7 years. I think I still have a few of the originals. I did break one but nothing leaked out. :Shrug:It was just glass all over.

Maybe it's your wiring or how many things are on your breakers. Or the fixtures.

Haaaaaaaaaaaaate them. They make me nervous and edgy and I can't eat when I'm sitting under them. No kidding.

It's the radio waves. You have to hum countercyclic to the waves to negate them.

Actually...that's our one exception too. Our en-suite bathroom has a 5-light globe fixture thingy too. We just didn't replace the globes with those monstrosities because, well, they're monstrosities.

Ack. I have 6 bulb 'hollywood' vanity bars. I keep waiting for the bulbs to burn out so I can get new fixtures. I moved in here in 1998. The house was built in 97. Those damn things will never die!

I have half of them unscrewed because the power co. gets too much of my $$ as it is. Sleezy varmints.

Shadow_Ferret
09-06-2008, 12:48 AM
Maybe. Sounds like you have a new house. Mine was built in 1956. Although I think the rec room sconces are much newer, maybe 10 years or less.

7 years. Wow. The only one that lasted that long was the one I put in our closet back at our apartment. But I hardly ever went in my closet.

Beach Bunny
09-06-2008, 01:58 AM
Maybe. Sounds like you have a new house. Mine was built in 1956. Although I think the rec room sconces are much newer, maybe 10 years or less.

My house was built in 1950. The wiring in it was bad. If the rec room was put in by a do-it-yourselfer, then having the wiring checked would be a good idea. *shudders at the memory of wires only connected with electrical tape* Can you say "fire hazard"?

astonwest
09-06-2008, 02:27 AM
Anyway, if you want to conserve energy and get awesome lighting, go with the LED lights. Except they're expensive. About $20 a bulb. But they last like a million times longer than regular bulbs. So the initial outlay is expensive, but over the long haul, you'll actually save money. Me? I'm way too cheap to fork over $20 for a bulb.Give it a little time. Over the past couple of years, the LEDs being used have gotten tons brighter, and the weaker LEDs have gotten way cheaper. I imagine in a few more years, it'll be the same. Plus, when everyone starts making the shift to LED, increased supply is going to drive down the price.

IMO

In the meantime, I'll stick to my CFL usage.

I find the wattage to be too bright for the bathroom. I have one of those 5-light globe fixtures that require 25-watt incandescent decorative bulbs. If I put a florescent equivalent in each one, I'd burn out my retinas because each bulb is equal to a 40-watt bulb. I wish I could find some 7-watt bulbs to replace the globe lights that don't last more than a month or so.

That's strange. I try to put a 60W CFL into the same spot as I had a 60W incandescent, and it doesn't seem nearly as bright. They even advertise that the 60W CFL is the "equivalent of" something like less than 20W, so my guess is that they're brighter than the same "equivalent" wattage, but dimmer than the stated wattage. Maybe?

For my outside lights, I had to go to a 100W or 150W CFL to get enough light output. It was still the equivalent of a 40W bulb compared to the 75W incandescent I had.

Shadow_Ferret
09-06-2008, 03:56 AM
My house was built in 1950. The wiring in it was bad. If the rec room was put in by a do-it-yourselfer, then having the wiring checked would be a good idea. *shudders at the memory of wires only connected with electrical tape* Can you say "fire hazard"?Actually, I can see the wiring on the other side of the wall. It all looks fine. My FIL, who's one of those do-it-yourselfer types, didn't see anything wrong.

And why would bad wiring cause CFLs to burn out but not the incandescents?

Susie
09-06-2008, 02:12 PM
Mr. Susie luvs 'um, has one in the kitchen. Me, not much.

Unique
09-06-2008, 04:04 PM
And why would bad wiring cause CFLs to burn out but not the incandescents?

Incandescents have metal filaments. Do CFLs have filaments? I do not know.

Different size wires can carry different loads. Many older wiring systems aren't up the the loads of microwaves, dishwashers, hairdryers, etc.

A wire is a wire, true, but what they are made of (copper vs. aluminum et.al) and the size can make the difference.

I'm not an electrician (and I hate that sort of thing) but I had to learn it somewhat for my illustrious career fixing nav systems. :p

Carole
09-06-2008, 04:20 PM
Count me is a "don't like 'em"

We tried to be good environmentalists. Really, we did! But I swear, they've been nothing but a pain in the arse since day one. The first pack we bought only had one functional bulb out of three. Second pack, same thing. (Because, like Jamie, we obviously have more money than we know what to do with.) Next, we brought the ladder into the foyer to replace that bulb with a happy little energy saving one, and it burned out the next day. Then one in the kitchen did the same thing the next day. Did I mention just how tricky it is to replace the bulbs in the light fixtures we have in this house? (We purchased all the fixtures off a clearance table as temporary ones to get us through the inspection. At an average of $2 per fixture, we were robbed.)

Honestly, I think it's kismet. I'm just not meant to have energy saving light bulbs. Gimme my $1.50 pack of Wal Mart brand bulbs any day.

Unique
09-06-2008, 04:28 PM
A buck fifty?

Youz bin robbed!
98 cents down here. :D

Carole
09-06-2008, 04:32 PM
You will be assimulated.
Bah! That was gonna be MY line!!! :D

Carole
09-06-2008, 04:36 PM
A buck fifty?

Youz bin robbed!
98 cents down here. :D
Actually, I was taking a stab in the dark. I dunno the actual price so mine are prolly about the same. Blue pack and 4 pretty little bulbs that work. That does it for me.

My jaw hit the floor when I saw the price of the two boxes of non-working energy savers. Because I loooooouuurve throwing away money.

Julie Worth
09-06-2008, 04:38 PM
you will learn to tolerate them.


And that's by order of Congress, which banned incandescent bulbs last year. The ban starts on 2012 with 100 watt bulbs, and bans every wattage by 2014. So you might want to buy a lifetime supply the year before. Or else go back to candles.

bluntforcetrauma
09-06-2008, 06:03 PM
But I swear on my seventh rib, I hate these CFL lightbulbs.


My landlord has equipped all the sleeping rooms that are lucky enough to have a wire dropping from the high ceilings with those CFL's. It looks like a bad DQ cone hanging by it's claws in a cavern. And my poor eyes are strained to the max. Hate 'em. Absolutely positootly.

Shadow_Ferret
09-08-2008, 04:14 AM
Here is the Bulb Cam! (http://www.centennialbulb.org/photos.htm) showing the longest continuous burning incandescent light. Supposedly it's been burning non-stop for 105 years.