The Reckoner!

Energy Saving light bulbs. Really worth it?

Energy saving light bulbs use less power to produce a given amount of light, and I know that there's been a lot of encouragement to ditch the incandescents and go fluorescent. 

However, they take about 5 minutes to warm up and actually produce that light, while incandescents are instantaneous.  In many situations, it is frustrating to be dimmed out while the light builds, so you just leave the light on instead of turning it off, which cuts into the energy savings.  Also, fluorescent bulbs have that whole mercury disposal issue, which cuts into their ecological benefits.  Plus the light from incandescents tends to be warmer and better for interior spaces.

Tell me, Reckonauts!  Are you on the fluorescent train? Or are you sticking with the good ol' fashioned incandescents in your house?

Reckoning Results!
Fluorescent, always!
Incandescent in my home!
I'm green! I'm with it!
I want light right away!
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Reckoning Comments!

The mercury angle is a legitimate concern, but the energy savings are huge.  Generally, it's about a four-to-one improvement on converting wattage to candela.  Four to one!  That means that if you leave an energy-saving bulb on all all week, it's still better than if you only leave the equivalent incandescent bulb on over the weekend.

As for the mercury, apparently the difference in energy savings means that there's actually less mercury emitted, since power stations themselves emit mercury.  Here's a comprehensive analysis.

I've also always had a prediliction for institutional lighting.  I blame Stanley Kubrick.

What bothered me the most about compact fluorescents was the fact that Congress was going to outlaw the making of the incandescents, instead of leaving it up to the consumer to decide.  Mercury may be the price of progress, but let me decide, don't force it on me.  However, I have heard that Congress changed their mind on that law, but the damage to the manufacturers has already been done.

Also, it's not about the mercury emitted, it's about the hazards of cleaning up the mercury when the bulb breaks, an inevitability in most households with children.

@Michael Clem

Great point. It's one thing if it's down in the wastewater at the power plant, it's another if it's *in your home*.

I go along with Michael Clem. The bulbs are considered hazmat and seriously? what average American is going to know about this? Mercury is a major cause of disease, we're trying like hell to shut down the coal fueled power plants since mercury is a bi-product, as well as having it removed from all vaccines, and then they out-source the biggest labor job in this decade to China! 

You drop a green bulb in front of your child in the kitchen, and you've got vapors inhaled. 

And as I believe regarding vaccines, we should HAVE A CHOICE.

OKAY! off my soapbox and into bed! Got my grandkids tomorrow! (oops, I mean today)

Damn, this site is addictive!!!

The Reckoner!