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Wal-Mart Is Pushing Compact Fluorescent Bulbs 923

While we all know from reading the internets that Wal-Mart is irredeemably evil, the world's largest retailer has committed to get compact fluorescent lightbulbs into 100 million homes this year. CFLs are found in only 6% of households today. These energy-saving bulbs use 75% less electricity than incandescents and produce far less greenhouse gas to manufacture and use. Wal-Mart seems determined to use its marketing prowess to do what hasn't successfully been done in the CFL's 25-year history: to convince consumers to pay more upfront for large savings over the product's lifetime.
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Wal-Mart Is Pushing Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

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  • Brilliant! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kid Zero ( 4866 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:15AM (#17439678) Homepage Journal
    I'll assume the extra cost vs regular bulbs is just a happy side effect? That said, I buy 'em because they last longer.

  • Thank you Wal-Mart (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:15AM (#17439684)
    They're doing this for the environment. Not because it's a profitable business to sell billions of fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Oh come on... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jarjarthejedi ( 996957 ) <christianpinchNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:19AM (#17439700) Journal
    "While we all know from reading the internets that Wal-Mart is irredeemably evil"

    What is that? Sure, the majority of people don't like Wal-Mart, but why do you feel the need to mention it in an article where Wal-Mart is doing something good?

    As for the article it's mostly a "duh" thing. It's main points seem to be that Wal-Mart's trying to sell a lot of these bulbs, the people who make money off of incandescents don't like it, and then it goes into the history of the light bulb.

    I'm glad Wal-Mart's doing this, too many people refuse to buy them, if Wal-Mart does what they always do (cheap) then their plan should work and power consumption should drop.

    ((Why do I see myself losing Karma here...?))
  • by kennedy ( 18142 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:19AM (#17439706) Homepage
    and i do hate to admit it - but with their buying power this really could actually help drop the cost of these sorts of lights for everyone.

    in any case, good for wal-mart. this, along with that $4 RX deal they've started (in some areas? dunno if it's company-wide yet), and we've got a few small steps in the right direction. now if only wal-mart would use it's buying power to get a good deal on gas...
  • by Heir Of The Mess ( 939658 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:20AM (#17439710)
    I've found that replacing my 100watt bulbs with the equivalent in CFLs was ok, but light coming from them somehow seemed dimmer due to it being a colder temperature light. What I would like to see is really bright CFLs, like 150W equivalent, which would use about 30W. I think this would encourage people to buy them more because as well as only using 30% of the electricity they also get bulbs that produce 50% more light, not to mention the immediate wow factor of having brighter bulbs. Unfortunately things seem to be going the other way, as at my local store I can now only buy 18W CFLs.
  • by jlarocco ( 851450 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:25AM (#17439772) Homepage
    I'm not seeing how this makes them any less evil. If they sell the bulbs for less profit, then I'd say maybe a little less evil.

    Selling things for a profit isn't evil.

    If you want to complain about Walmart, complain about their shitty service, or how their employees are morons, or the over all low quality of the products they sell, or how they treat their employees like dirt. There's no shortage of reasons why Walmart could be considered "evil", but selling things for a profit isn't one of them.

    Everytime you get a paycheck that isn't negative, you've sold your labor for a profit. Get over it.

  • Re:Oh come on... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:27AM (#17439786)
    Sure, the majority of people don't like Wal-Mart...
    No, the majority of slashdotters don't like Wal-Mart. The majority of people, in general, either like it or don't have any feelings for it one way or another. Same with Microsoft, SCO, and the RIAA.
  • Re:Plop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:27AM (#17439792)
    It's a great move by WalMart. This gets them great press with people calling them "not evil" on Slashdot and everything, and it cost them practically NOTHING.
  • Re:Brilliant! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by radtea ( 464814 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:27AM (#17439802)

    Zero delay on modern bulbs. My only current complaint is that they don't play nice with dimmers. I use them everywhere else.
  • Re:Brilliant! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Holmwood ( 899130 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:30AM (#17439842)
    The bulbs last massively longer and do use a lot less energy. As long as people are happy with the 'colder' light they produce, it really is a good deal for consumers. There's far less landfill space consumed (1 compact fluorescent vs 5-10 incandescents), a lot less CO2 and other pollutants due to lower energy use. (Downside: the CF's do contain small quantities of mercury).

    It is a relatively benign move by Walmart. One presumes they're doing this for PR reasons, but that doesn't make it evil.

    That said, in typical slashdot fashion, I'll point out a technologically superior solution: LED lights.

    You can use a 100W incandescent that lasts (say) 1000 hours; ($1)
    a 23W CFL (compact fluorescent) bulb that lasts (say) 10,000 hours; ($10)
    a 5-9W LED that lasts 130,000 hours. ($40+)

    Thanks to Walmart (and others), the CFL's probably make the most economic sense. From an environmental standpoint, the LED bulbs are probably best, though the cost is up-front cost is prohibitively high.

  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:32AM (#17439854) Homepage Journal
    Go ask - women do not like the light they throw off.
  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:44AM (#17439974)
    They're doing this for the environment.

    Technically ... that's called a "side effect".

    No, they're doing it to make money, gobs and gobs of it.
  • Indeed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by woolio ( 927141 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:49AM (#17440020) Journal
    Selling things for a profit isn't evil.


    However, I think many people would be upset at a company that pays its employees as if the company never made a profit when it in fact does fairly well...

    In Texas, there is a store named "H.E.B" , (Howard Butt). Its prices are similar to walmart, but slightly higher... But the culture inside the store is entirely different. The store is actually clean, the employees not worn out, and the whole thing is a privately owned company!

    Profit+Greed = Evil
  • by Nanoda ( 591299 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:50AM (#17440024)
    I've never used them myself, but my local hardware store has had Globe brand dimmable CFLs for almost a year now. They are about twice as expensive, but given that they use 1/4 the power and last 10 times as long as incandescents, it's probably still worth getting a few.
  • by BiAthlon ( 91360 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:50AM (#17440026)
    You can buy dimmmer friendly CFLs today.

    http://www.gelighting.com/na/home_lighting/ask_us/ faq_compact.htm#dimmer [gelighting.com]
  • by Joebert ( 946227 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:51AM (#17440034) Homepage
    If it succeeds in selling 100 million compact fluorescent bulbs a year by 2008

    They will also have converted about 28% (nearly a third) of their yearly lightbulb sales to somthing that is 8 times as expensive.
    Given that profit margins normally work on percentages, that should roughly octuple 28% of their profit margin on lightbulbs.
    They should be making 2.96 times as much selling light bulbs, of course they want to push this.
  • Re:Brilliant! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by plover ( 150551 ) * on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:59AM (#17440068) Homepage Journal
    I've bought over a dozen Commercial Electric bulbs in the past few years (Home Depot specials.) My bulbs exhibit the same kind of delay-on that the GP claims. The bulb is usually in the 60-70 degree Fahrenheit range and it's darn slow to turn on, maybe 0.5 to 1.0 seconds. And it takes them roughly a minute to come to full brightness.

    Overall, I'm not thrilled with the illumination performance of CF bulbs. I keep using them in all my sealed ceiling fixtures for two reasons: I don't like the risk of fire brought on by the high-heat incandescents, and I don't like replacing them annually. But the quality of the CF's light is poor, and the color of the light is not the most pleasant. There's plenty of room for someone to invent a better light bulb yet.

  • by MLease ( 652529 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:59AM (#17440072)
    They will also have converted about 28% (nearly a third) of their yearly lightbulb sales to somthing that is 8 times as expensive. Given that profit margins normally work on percentages, that should roughly octuple 28% of their profit margin on lightbulbs. They should be making 2.96 times as much selling light bulbs, of course they want to push this.

    Um, one problem with that. The fluorescent bulbs last 10x longer on average (see TFA). So while they may make 2.96 x as much profit on one bulb, they're going to end up selling one tenth as many bulbs. This is going to cut their profits in the long run (though it might make their short term profits look better).

  • Re:Brilliant! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 10Ghz ( 453478 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @01:24AM (#17440268)
    Uh, I live in Finland, and if anyone told here that they are using a hot-running lightbulbs so they would save some money on heating, they would be officially titled as the village idiot. Instead of using lightbulbs as your source of heat, I recommend that you use them for their primary purpose (ligthing), and heat your home through regural means. The heating in your home is designed for heating, so use it. It would be same if I ran my radiators red-hot so I could use the red glow as a nice source of ambient light. Hey, at least I would be saving some money on lighting, right?
  • by adolf ( 21054 ) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @01:42AM (#17440410) Journal
    As long as we're explaining general viewpoints for karma, here's how I see things:

    RIAA is evil. They're suing their customers.
    Microsoft is evil. They lock people into their products and make my job difficult with obscure licensing requirements and feature omissions.
    SCO is evil. Sure, UNIX(r) was great and all, but we got over it years ago.

    Wal-Mart? Come on. All they do is sell products that people want, for less money than the competition, and offer correspondingly little in the way of customer service. Just like Newegg, Amazon, or any of most of the other faceless online entities who are struggling to charge as little as possible in an attempt to get ahead. This might hurt the local specialty merchants, but then, so does Newegg limit the market of a brick-and-mortar specialty PC parts store, who stands no chance at all at matching the pricing, availability, or product diversity such a beastly online merchant.

    That said, I'm an informed sort of fellow, and I don't really want to pay someone to hold my hand while I make a purchase, anyway. The decisive lack of knowledgeable sales representatives at Wal-Mart and Newegg is, to me, a clear advantage, because I don't have to pay extra for supposedly-clued people to stand around and bullshit me.

    Right then. So you say that they only sell stuff made in China. But so do all of the other places where I can actually afford to shop.

    And so, at the end of the day: I could either pay less for those cheap Chinese goods, or I could pay more. Obviously, I'd rather pay less. Just like I'd rather get a raise, than continue toiling away undercompensated. Just like I'd rather sit, than stand. And I'd rather lay down, than sit. And so on, and so forth.

    So now, they're making a concerted effort to boost CFL lighting, so as to cause people to spend less money on electric lighting instead of more money on more money on electric lighting. A boon for everyone. Cool!

  • Re:Oh come on... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monkelectric ( 546685 ) <slashdot@mon k e l e c t r i c . com> on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @01:50AM (#17440464)
    A subject that nobody *EVER* discusses is the limits of human perception. Our brains our designed to make quick evaluations about things. This is the *ONLY* strategy that works because you have to evaluate thousands of things in your life.

    When we give a name to something, an entity as large as walmart for instance, that allows us to sum up the hundreds of thousands of people and millions of actions they take on behalf of walmart as one concept. But in reality, walmart is hundreds of thousands of people and millions of actions.

    Add this to a blurry concept of good and evil, and you've got a real mess that can't be summarized easily and thus can't be easily comprehended by our brains.

    The truth about walmart (and every other thing) is it is neither evil nor good. Some of the people are evil, some of the policies are evil, some are good, some of the people are good. I worked for walmart after college during a hard time in my industry ... I met all those people, good, bad, evil, and the majority just people trying to feed their families. Most aren't even capable of understanding the damage walmart as a hole does to the country (wage depression which leads to manufacturing outsourcing which leads to more wage depression)

  • Re:Plop (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Barny ( 103770 ) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @01:51AM (#17440472) Journal
    Don't know what ones you have, the Philips ones I have been using for over 4 years now (no, I have not replaced a single one) give a wonderful pure white light, not sure about camera tainting, but if you want something that is lit for photography, then, well, buy the old filament type globes.

    As a side note, the one light I did not change (the outside porch light) has blown about every 3 months since purchase, after 3 years I eventually changed it for a CF light too.
  • Re:Brilliant! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Antity-H ( 535635 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @02:37AM (#17440830) Homepage
    I have been reading and testing quite a bit lately with the CFs and yes some show startup delay others don't. I think the form factor is important, in my experience the delays were inversely proportional to the size of the bulb. the larger the bulb the lower the delay until it becomes unnoticeable. I bought a large globe for my kitchen which lits up instantly, while the ultra compact "spot-like" bulbs in my living room will take half a sec to lit up and then a few more seconds before reaching full brightness. I guess the electronics are not perfect yet in smaller bulbs. Btw, in my living room I mixed CFs spots and halogen spots to get the best of both worlds : instant warm directed light from the halogen completed by the colder broader light from the CFs and I like it quite much (my wallet does too as it cut the lighting cost of the living room almost by half).
  • by Dr. Cody ( 554864 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @03:19AM (#17441028)
    I don't know how often this problem comes up, but I am in a small apartment with a district heating-connected radiator. Right now, I have way too much window area for my own good, and my radiator cannot keep up. Unfortunately, earlier this year, I replaced all the bulbs in my apartment with compact fluorescents to keep from having to replace them all the time. The room is considerably colder. I had no idea that just how wasteful incandescent light bulbs were until I needed their heat. Additionally, because the apartment is so cold now, the CF bulbs take an eternity to get bright.
  • by phulegart ( 997083 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @04:06AM (#17441292)

    Are you freaking serious? The delay was too long? Have you become so immersed in the current culture of Instant Gratification, that when you weigh the individual bonuses and global bonuses of using these bulbs, against the minor annoyances of how long the bulb takes to achieve brightness and the exact color of "white" light that the bulb throws off (Ok, that wasn't YOU, but I'm replying to other freaks who agreed against the bulbs.. sue me)

    Come ON! Let's see.. the bulbs use an incredibly small amount of electricity compared to regular incandescent bulbs.. so you get to save money there. Don't need to save money? I'll give you an address you can throw money at. I'm only one of the MILLIONS of people who could use that money you are throwing away by not switching to CF bulbs.

    Don't like a "whiter" light? You prefer the yellowed light from incandescents? Ok, sure it is a "warmer" tone.. that is because it is created by a glowing filament... it is a "white" light born of a red light... you know... red as in infrared, red as in burning, red as in fire and heat.. remember playing with metal and campfires, getting a piece of metal glowing brightly orange, or even white hot (if the fire was hot enough). Seeing a common theme of wasted energy here, thrown off in HEAT that is unnecessary to the process of providing light? I say unnecessary, because if you want heat, use a blanket. Not a light bulb.

    You bathe your head in more radiation coming from your cell phone. You are in no danger from your CF light bulb.

    I just can't believe people are whining "But it takes soooo long for it to light up. WAH! Mommy! Make the bulb light faster!" It takes longer for a web page to load with broadband, than it takes for the light to come on. Christ, it takes less than a second. Time measured in Microseonds. Why aren't you whining about how seconds it takes your car to start between turning the key and actual ignition? WHy aren't you whining about how long it takes the BIOS to check your drives before booting begins off the harddrive? Why aren't you whining about how long it takes your OS ((Linux or Windows) to boot? My God. Is 30 seconds just way way too long to melt butter for you as well?

    As far as the color of the light goes... get a life. There is more variation in the shade of white in the background of this freaking web page, from computer monitor to computer monitor, than there is in the difference between regular bulbs and CF bulbs. And if you are complaining about the color, and you DON'T have a specific color profile set up for your monitor, as well as the exact INF file for your monitor, and programs like Adobe color correction running, AND an accurate, less than 4 month old AFGA color chart nearby to check your monitor color reproduction against.. you have no right to talk about the shade of white.

    Stop burning paper money and get with the program. And go buy some damn CF bulbs. At Walmart!
  • by Twinbee ( 767046 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @04:16AM (#17441338) Homepage
    You're absolutely right that warm light is overrated. After all, typical 60-100 watt bulbs use light in these proportions:

    50% red
    33% green
    17% blue

    That's almost 3 times as much red light as blue! See here [skytopia.com] or here [everything2.com] for details.

    Basically, we're not getting the full range of colours we would otherwise because of the heavy bias towards orange. It's a pain, and I hate it. I also wish they'd make these flourescent bulbs in 40 watt (200 watt equivalent), so we get more light. You'd think that'd be the first thing they'd do now that the power consumption has gone down.
  • Re:Oh come on... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @04:23AM (#17441398)
    Remember when Computer Games came in bigger boxes?

    Yes I do - and I remember at the time quite a few people (myself included) thinking that it was a ridiculous waste of space and cardboard. I'm actually very happy that they come in much smaller boxes now, and if that's down to Walmart then I think that's something we should be thanking them for.

    Hell, one of my reasons for finally buying a DVD player is that DVDs take up less space on my shelves than VHS cassettes.
  • Re:Brilliant! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by trentblase ( 717954 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @04:24AM (#17441406)
    electric heat is very inefficient

    I think you mean it's not economic. A heater designer would have to be pretty dumb not to get 100 percent efficiency out of an electric heater.
  • Re:Brilliant! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tom17 ( 659054 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @04:25AM (#17441414) Homepage
    I agree, but I must add something.

    We got a cheapie CFL from ikea in our bedroom and its warmup time has degraded *immensely*. It is the only cfl we have that displays any kind of warmup time. The others (different ikea ones) all seem to come on "as quick as you need a light to come on" and at full brightness.

    The thing is, this degraded warm-up one in the bedroom is a bit of a godsend... You turns it on in the morning and it does not blow your eyeballs out, it barely lights the room. Then gets to full brightness over a minute or so as your eyes adjust. Its fantastic, they should make them like this for bedrooms. Its only mildly annoying if you need to go in there from another lit room and its hard to see for a minute.
  • Re:Plop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @04:34AM (#17441454)
    Oh they are still evil. You realize this is their plan to control the US, right?
    Ha, ha. Actually Wal-Mart deserves praise for the pro-environmental actions it takes, if only because we want to encourage them to continue. People aren't inclined to give corporations the benefit of the doubt so when they do good things it's often overlooked. This was a good thing and we should not overlook it.

    There are some simple changes that some corporations are in a position to make which have great environmental impact, like when Google [com.com] started pushing the PC industry to make simple 12 volt power supplies instead of inefficient ones with multiple voltage outputs. People assume that pro-environment means "expensive" but that's not necessarily the case. More and more companies are realizing that this sort of thing can be a cheap, painless way to generate good press for your organization. And after all, Wal-Mart is not really an evil company, just a money-grubbing company that deservedly gets a lot of press for doing evil things.
  • by Randym ( 25779 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @05:31AM (#17441728)
    I'll consider Wal-Mart as a source when they commit to taking back -- and actually recycling -- the old CFL bulbs. Otherwise the bulbs just end up in a landfill somewhere leaking mercury into the environment -- and Wal-Mart will come across as a typical corporate greenwasher, benefitting from appearing "socially conscious" while externalizing the nasty end result. In Europe, they have laws mandating that 'waste electrical and electronic equipment' must be recyclable [eu.int] in this way. Here's the wikpd link [wikipedia.org].

  • by nobodyman ( 90587 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @05:58AM (#17441820) Homepage
    It's funny, if Walmart was so terrible to its employees you'd think they would have trouble hiring anyone, especially when a brand-new store opens. But I've never heard of that...

    Then you must not be looking hard enough. Perhaps they haven't any problems hiring people, but getting people to stay there is another story. Walmart's turnover rate hovers at around 50% (in 1999 it was 65%). Industry average is around 15%.

    The turnover is precisely because walmart is so terrible to it's employees. The high turnover works out well for walmart since employees only receive healthcare coverage after 6 months (2 years for part time).

  • by Jamie Lokier ( 104820 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @07:33AM (#17442278) Homepage
    Ah, Color Kinetics, the folks who patented pulse-width-modulation for varying LED colours so other LED manufacturers can't do it or have to pay through the nose. I wouldn't mind, but it's such an obvious technique.
  • Re:Oh come on... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SkyDude ( 919251 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @08:23AM (#17442518)
    I'm glad Wal-Mart's doing this, too many people refuse to buy them, if Wal-Mart does what they always do (cheap) then their plan should work and power consumption should drop. ((Why do I see myself losing Karma here...?))

    No loss of karma from me. I'm glad they're doing it too. The unions are doing their best to portray Wal-Mart as this big evil biz, but if 100,000,000 homes change just three bulbs in the house, that's the equivalent of removing 3,000,000 cars. And that means less oil being purchased from countries that would like to see us dead.

    Is this too difficult to understand for some?
  • by ojQj ( 657924 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @09:31AM (#17443142)
    You are exagerating the contrasts between men and women. Speaking as a woman, I prefer CFL's... especially for certain tasks.

    1.) Cooking -- I can more easily check that the color of certain foods is correct. So I don't overcook the vegetables for example.
    2.) Arts and Crafts -- I have trouble distinguishing the difference between blue and black and the difference between grey and beige with incandescents and halogens. When sewing or painting its good to be able to see these differences.
    3.) Choosing matching clothes -- I hate picking a "matching" blouse and skirt only to discover that they don't match when I go out in the sun.
    4.) Programming -- Good bright lighting helps me concentrate.

    I don't like them for some things though:
    1.) Candle-lit dinner -- candles produce an attractively colored light with soft edges.
    2.) Lighted walkways -- When it's dark outside your eyes need to adjust gradually to the bright light indoors. The lighted walkways are the first light you see from a house. So they need a luminance which is intermediate between indoors and outdoors.
    3.) Parties -- People relax better when the room they are celebrating in doesn't remind them of an interrogation room or a hospital.
    4.) Short-burning lights -- CFL's still don't turn on instantly and for light-fixtures in hallways or other rooms where you only spend a short period of time that's impractical.

    I hope this sheds enough light on the topic to reveal that women exhibit just as many human details in their preferences as men do.
  • by Futurepower(R) ( 558542 ) <MJennings.USA@NOT_any_of_THISgmail.com> on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:39PM (#17445692) Homepage
    I know you were joking, AC, but it would have been better if you hadn't.

    It's very, very unfortunate, but in perhaps 7 years, Slashdot editors have not learned how to be editors. kdawson, the Slashdot editor for this story, chose a title that makes it sound like Wal-Mart is a drug pusher: "Wal-Mart Is Pushing Compact Fluorescent Bulbs".

    That set the tone. A lot of ignorant people commented on the story, ruining the discussion. People began talking about mercury, showing amazing ignorance. See my comment below about mercury: "[Oregon's] largest mercury contributor is the Ash Grove Cement Co. in Durkee, which emitted an estimated 1,538 pounds in 2005." [slashdot.org]

    Wal-Mart is selling compact fluorescent bulbs in this area for 99 cents each. They are excellent.
  • Re:Less AM Stress (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @12:45PM (#17445784) Journal
    Others have already posted all these points, but since you replied to me, I'll respond.

    The thing I don't like about it is that I have some fixtures that CFLs will not fit into.

    Once true, but not anymore. Granted, you can't get high-wattage CFLs for all fixtures, but you can now get the 60W-equivalent CFLs that take up less space, at every point (including the stem), than an incandescent. My hallways, which have recessed fixtures with the bulb at an odd angle, currently contain exactly such bulbs.

    If anyone doesn't believe that there is still a delay, then put a regular bulb in a socket next to a CFL bulb on the same switch. You'll see the delay.

    If you need to do a side-by-side comparison to notice the delay, your objection has nothing to do with the delay itself... You have a preconceived idea of how lightbulbs "should" behave, and dislike anything contrary to that belief. Not a "bad" or "good" thing, per se, but it does cost you money to hold that belief.

    At $0.17/KWh (my current rate, including all the various fees that basically double your "official" rate), switching one light kept on for roughly a third of the day, from a 60W incandescent to a 14W CF, saves $1.92 per month. Even if CFLs had the same lifespan as incandescents, the electricity alone would make them a pretty significant savings. And the longer you use a given light (foyer? Living room? Kitchen? Many people keep at least one of those turned on almost 24/7), the better the savings. Of course, I'd think about just turning it off in the middle of the day and while asleep, but some people dislike change, however beneficial.
  • by amper ( 33785 ) * on Wednesday January 03, 2007 @01:22PM (#17446406) Journal
    I used to use only fluorescent bulbs, both traditional and compact in my house, until I started recording my music again. I don't remember if the early CFL's were any better (the $20 ones made by the bigs, like Philips, rather than the cheap-ass ones made by the off-brands they sell at Lowe's and HD), but I got so much interference in my systems because of them, that I had to turn off all the lights in the house just to get anything done. This did not well please She Who Must Be Obeyed. So, I replaced all the CFL's with regular incandescents, and I'm back in business. The regular big fluo's I can live without, but they're noisy, too.

    As an aside, as an Amateur Radio operator, I can tell you that many, many, household appliances are guilty of severe RFI these days. I really don't think that I should have to run around putting chokes and such on devices I paid several hundred dollars to own.

    Now, where's that FCC when you need them?

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein