- CFLs evolve and newer models are getting better and better all the time. Still, they are not as versatile as incandescent lamps, and can’t be used for every household requirement. For example, CFLs usually take some time between being switched on and achieving full brightness. This time is even longer as the CFL approaches the end of its life. Cold temperatures make the situation even worse, with some CFLs not even starting in cold weather.
- Another downside for CFLs is that their lifespan is shortened considerably when they are switched on and off within short time frames. Think of the light that comes on automatically as you approach your garage, and then turns back off after a few minutes. CFLs are not a good option for this or other light activated motion sensors.
- CFLs are also not very suitable for dimming. If you require a dimmer controlled light source, CFLs are not a good option. Dimming shortens a CFL’s lifespan considerably, and the dimming range is disappointing. You’d really be better off sticking with a regular, incandescent light bulb for dimmed rooms.
- CFLs, unlike incandescent lamps, emit ultra violet and infra red light. The ultra violet light may damage paintings. The infra red, on the other hand, may interfere with remote-controlled devices such as your TV – since these will interpret the infra red light as a signal.
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.