Starting January 1, all standard incandescent 60- and 40-watt light bulbs will be illegal to manufacture or import. We can thank President Bush, who signed the Energy Independence and Security Act in 2007. And apparently the light bulbs that are currently in at least 50 percent of households (including my own) are not energy independent nor secure, whatever that means. So stock up now, my friends, before there's a massive run on. According to Yahoo News, the old incandescent bulbs are "highly inefficient -- only about 10 percent of their energy output is converted into light." The bummer part is that the new bulbs, called LED (light-emitting diodes) and CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs, are more expensive and not as "warm" and just don't make you look as good! But the power companies claim customers will save $13 billion a year. Still ... people have some seriously scary complaints about the new bulbs.
Here are just a few of the thousands of negative comments on Yahoo News:
- This is a true story of what happened with my water utility. I and the people in my area were all encouraged to reduce our water consumption. I/we first purchased flow restrictors for the faucets and then replaced the faucets throughout the house with new low flow versions. I/we then replaced the toilet(s) with low flush toilet(s). The washers then was replaced with high efficiency models ... The water company then raised our rates at an outrageous pace with the excuse that because their revenue had declined due to low water consumption, it had to make up those revenues with nonstop rate increases. This is what will happen when the electric utilities see their revenues drop because of a decrease in expected revenue growth.
- A few years back I had a solid, predictable electric bill of a minimum of $80.00 a month. I bought an Energy Starr frig and dishwasher and converted every light possible to CFL or LED. My bill dropped to $40.00 the following month. I still have the same fridge, dishwasher and CFL/LED lamps and my bill is back to $80.00 due to the fact that my rate went from eight cents per kilowatt to 16 cents! This is how my electric company treats their customers.
- I have three vintage Art Deco light fixtures in my home that are original to the house. The CFL (compact fluorescent light) will not screw all the way up into the socket for them to come on. They are much thicker at the bottom than a regular incandescent bulb.
- After buying these worthless things and having them quit in only a few months, I started saving the receipts. I gathered up a box of these damned things and sent them and the original receipts (required) back to Phillips. That was almost a year ago and still no replacements.
- People will be throwing these into their regular trash and in 20 years you'll be hearing how we are poisoning the land and water with mercury from millions of CFL bulbs that have been thrown out.
- Why are we forced to buy a product that isn't manufactured in the United States? I want to support OUR country, buy AMERICAN made.
- CFLs contain mercury, which is highly toxic to children and even skin exposure can cause permanent neurologic damage.
- I've had two compact florescent bulbs burn out for no apparent reason after being in use for a short period. My electrician asked if the burn marks were on the base of the bulbs, which in fact they were. Fortunately, I was at home for one fire, which only involved the bulb and not the whole lamp. But the other fire was in a ceiling fixture and burned out the the entire circuit, which had to be replaced by an electrician. I now regard compact florescent bulbs as dangerous and never leave them on unless I am around and awake.
- I have yet to find a non-incandescent light that suits my vision needs. Due to low vision, I need bright light to read or work by; but for some reason CFLs don't work the same no matter what lumens rating I've tried.
- I tried the new bulbs in my house for a year ... But I noticed a ringing in my ears all the time. I had my hearing checked out and my hearing was fine. I noticed that when I was in [another room] it has the old style bulbs. My ears didn't ring. I found some old style bulbs and I don't get that ringing anymore!
Yikes, it pretty much runs the gamut here. According to the commenters at least, the bulbs are everything from more expensive to dangerous to environmentally-hazardous to non-fitting to tinnitus-causing. Who knows if all of that is based on fact, but stuff to consider.
I have a couple of the new CFL bulbs, and I agree that the light is dimmer -- definitely makes it more difficult to read or write with them. Also, I just lifted up the base of my lamp to look at the bulb and discovered it was littered with tiny little dead bugs around the flat base, something I never saw with the incandescent bulbs.
So I stocked up! Good for a few years. ------->
Have you tried these new bulbs? What do you think about this new law?
Images via Kiri Blakeley