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The Reasons why CFL's are a rip-off
by Rick Delair

1 Cost- Compact-Flourescent Lamps, or CFL's are expensive to buy, compared to standard incandescent "A-Line" Lamps(bulbs). The claims are that CFL bulbs, also called "Twisty bulbs," will pay back their much higher initial purchase price in so-called energy savings and claimed longer lamp life. In commercial and industrial use, they can net a small payback, but in residintial applications, a payback is not likely to happen, and if any, it will be so small as to be insignificant, especially after the cost of disposing(recycling) of burned-out lamps is factored in. Also, if incandescents and halogens are banned(proposed for 2012), the lame-duck beauracrats and politicians will make the lamp makers monopolize CFL bulbs, and the price will go UP, not down! They are already a rip-off!

2 Disposal- CFL bulbs contain many nasty toxic substances. You likely know of the mercury they contain already, but they also have things like lead(stabilizer in the plastic ballast housings), arsenic in the electronic parts, phenol in circuit boards, cyanide to process metals for parts, toxic phosphors, and the list goes on and on! They can't be tossed in the trash can, and have to be saved and recycled(expensive!) when they burn out. Incandescents are not only easily recycled, but can be discarded in the trash- the glass and metals used are inert!

3 FIRE DANGER! CFL bulbs with built in electronic ballasts, like the twisty bulbs, have a serious inherent flaw- they are poorly designed, in an effort to maximize profits for lamp makers and beurecrats, and have overheating problems with the electronic ballasts. They are supposed to have internal fusres, but the fuses blew early, causing very short lamp life, so "fusible resistors" were substituted, that, that, instead of blowing, they just get red-hotand eventually burn out, insuring longer lamp life, but often igniting the plastic bases or causing other allast parts to burn up, igniting the plastic base and circuit boards. Several major fires were caused by CFL retrofit bulbs! The lamp makers claim it's "normal for CFL bulbs to emit smoke, odor, sparks, and some flames at the end-of-life(EOL)- it's harmless." WELL- if this is "normal", something is VERY wrong . If you use this junk-yes, JUNK, don't leave them on when when not home, or in basements, attics, closets, or other unused spaces- you may end up with a pile of ashes that used to be your house! CFL's also have bogus UL and CSA stampings, even names brand like GE and Sylvannia, etc!

4 Life, Lumen maintenance- CFL bulbs with integral electronic ballasts have issues with uniform lamp life. For every CFL that lasts to or even past the rated life, in hours, 10 or more will have a much shorter life- some will even fail before 1 hour! Some will be bad and non-operational right out of the package. Most can't be returned to the store where they were purchased, and the companies that make them won't even bother to help you at all. This is a sad situation, and one I see more and more today! The lumen maintenance, if the lamp achieves the rated life stated, is generally very poor- much worse than incandescent, so efficiency drops dramatically throughout life. At 3,000 hours, a typical twisty bulb, rated life of 8,000 hours, will be as low as 50% of it's initial lumens! This is very poor performance, and thypical of these small, heavily loaded, hot running fluorescent lamps!

5 Quality- Generally speaking, quality of CFL bulbs is poor. The bases should be made of aluminum to dissipate ballast heat, but cheap, heat-trapping plastic is used to cut costs! The tubes aren't phosphor coated uniformly, and heavy areas actually trap light and cause darker areas, lowering lamp efficiency quite a lot. Mercury dosing is seldom controlled well, and it's not unusual to see 13-watt CFL's with more mercury inside than a 1,000 watt mercury vapor lamp! The ballasts in CFL's are made with poor quality electronic components and lack proper heat-sinks on critical components-bad practice! The fragile glass tubes are easily broken, and the UL listings fake and bogus. Light output claims are generally incorrect and a lie. The are not REAL bulbs!

6 Country of origin- It should be noted that none of the current CFL lamps are U.S. Made! Most, over 95%, come from China, banning incandescents will insure the demise of American lamp makers and jobs!

7 Quality of light- Despite claims that the newer CFL bulbs "have nearly the same quality of light as incandescent lamps," the claims are bogus. The color rendering index(CRI) of incandescents and halogens is 100, while most CFL's are around82. This means CFL's don't show the colors of objects and surroundings nearly as well as incandescents. Many people find CFL lamps to be harsh, sterile, and unnatural. Even lamps(CFL) in the same color temperature range, 2700 to 3000 kelvins, as incandescent lamps seem harsh and unnatural. The other CFL colors do have merit, such as 3500k, 4100k, 5000k, and 6500k, because incandescents generally can't emit these colors without colored bulbs, and even then, light output will be much lower in these special color lamps. G-E REVEAL is an example of an incandescent lamp that uses blue-purple neodymium glass to produce about 3200k-3500k color temperatures. However, REVEAL lamps give up to 25% less light than a standard clear, frost, or soft white bulbs. Here is where some CFL's have merit. You can get a. say. 6500k daylight color from a standard incandescent socket. But, also remember, the REVEAL bulb has a CRI of 90 to 100 vs a 3500k CFL at 82. In this case the CFL gives a certain color of light at higher efficiency. The "soft white" CFL's(2700k-3000k) really aren't worthwhile to replace standard incandescents. The just made things look "funny" and harsh.

8 CFL=Chronic Fatigue Lamp- They have gone to high-frequency electronic ballasts in most modern fluorescents today, with NO regards to the proven fact that these T-5, T-8, and CFL lamps operated at high frequency may cause Chronic Fatigue Symptoms in people exposed to them. People who tried CFL bulbs often had to go back to incandescents because the CFL's made them tired, and gave them bad headaches. I find that these new lights cause me to have bad bouts of MS fatigue, and I avoid them like The Plague! If they ban incandescents, just what are folks like me going to do! LED's aren't an option, they also cause fatigue. This is a serious issue, and millions will suffer. I'd venture to say that the high-frequency electromagnetic radiation may be damaging to our health in other ways as well.

9 Usage restrictions- CFL's are quite restricted as to usage and applications. They don't fit all fixtures, shouldn't be used in an enclosed tight-fitting glass and plastic globes, etc., can't be used with dimmers(and dimmable lamps are expensive!) because a dimmer will cause a serious CFL ballast burn-up and maybe even a fire, they will fail fast in very damp and wet locations, will not light brightly in cold weather, cannot be used in appliances such as ovens, refrigerators, etc, are dangerous in garage "lead-lights"-NEVER USE THEM HERE! They perform very poorly in recessed "hi-hat" fixtures, and look awful in fixtures with exposed lamps, such as chandeliers, vanity lights, etc. Though "3-way" CFL's exist, they are expensive, hard to find, and on the lower settings they look dim, dreary, and pinkish. To ban incandescents is to make over half the sockets in the U.S.A unusable. Not a smart idea.

10 Propoganda- Stuff like TV ads sponsored by the beaurocrats at NYSERDA, the DOE, etc pushing us to use this junk, also teachers in schools telling students to tell their parents to switch to CFL, and even worse, LED bulbs, power utilities handing them out for free, stores pitching them heavily on ads and in stores. All propoganda. The Eco-Greenie enviromentalists are no better. Yeah, and I have ocean-front property in Arizona, too! The enviro-screwballs actually got President Bush to sign into "law" the ban on incandescent bulbs, and they drove the documents to Congress in a Toyota Prius-GIVE ME A BREAK- this was NOT serious, but rather a public display of utter stupidity and political idiocy! And you wonder why our people are getting dumber and dumber? This is an example, Oh- and to AL GORE- screw a twisty-bulb in your ear- you'll have to pry my "inefficient" incandescents from my COLD DEAD HANDS!

Rick Delair
August 24, 2010



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