Send Your Light Bulbs To Washington
All light bulbs have usage advantages. People should feel perfectly free to use and enjoy CFLs and LEDs along with incandescents.
But pushing the use of any bulb is wrong: And CFLs are being pushed on consumers, in energy saving campaigns, in CFL replacement programs, and lately also via regulations, as the only practical replacement alternative, which also happens to be more profitable for the light bulb manufacturers.
"Hey, you can still use energy efficient incandescents like Halogens, and LEDs that show such promise!!" Certainly - as said - all light bulbs have their advantages. But that does not make them worthy replacements.
Replacement Halogen and similar incandescents are still different from simple incandescents in light quality and other respects, apart from costing much more for marginal savings, which is why neither consumers or politicians like them much. No "Halogen replacement program" in any American state!
Besides: All known general service incandescents including touted Halogens will progressively be banned on the enacted EISA 45 lumen per W end regulation standard. That's right. The politicians don't tell you that. USA regulations including updates on repeal bills in local states (legislated Texas June 2011)
LEDs meanwhile have still greater differences, cost much more, and have particular development issues around brightness, omnidirectionality, and broad spectrum light quality.
That is why the replacement push is to use CFLs - as also seen in post-ban Europe. Unfortunately, whatever the CFL energy saving advantages, politicians also choose to hide, obfuscate, or ignore the disadvantages relating to this type of lighting.Therefore this blog seeks to highlight some of these issues, with appropriate references. Not least of which is the issue of CFL disposal:
Improper disposal of compact fluorescent light bulbs is dangerous to your family and to the environment. In some states, it is illegal to put these light bulbs in your trash. It's easy to dispose of compact fluorescent light bulbs properly. Just send them to your Senator or Congressman in Washington. Or send them to the EPA.
Lamp Recycling Information
Given our emphasis on CFL safe disposal and recycling: How does one find out more about it? As they say themselves on their website, lighting manufacturers, through their trade association, National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) developed lamprecycle.org to provide a one-stop source of information about recycling lamps (the term used in the lighting industry to refer to all types of light bulbs). This follows their earlier extensive study (pdf) on the subject. Also see the extensive EPA information on recycling, linking to waste collection agencies, participating retailers, and much else of interest. This Earth911 search may (or may not!) automatically show the collection center nearest your computer IP address. Their CFL recycling page is here [ However, the useful information on these sites should also be taken with a pinch of salt as regards their defence of “ballpoint pen tip” mercury amounts, toxicity of course is not just connected to quantity but also proximity, as again when they compare CFL mercury to coal mercury emissions etc, the latter being under 90% EPA reduction mandates anyway. See Ceolas.net, the CFL mercury issue: Breakage — Recycling — Dumping — Mining — Manufacturing — Transport — Power Plants ] This post will probably be updated and in part copied to the information section, also with the related Facebook page.