[PLUG-TALK] light sensor question

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Tue Sep 6 23:37:31 PDT 2011

On Tue, 6 Sep 2011 22:57:41 -0700
Russell Johnson <russ at dimstar.net> dijo:

>Incandescent bulbs are not yet in fact dead. In fact, This week I
>purchased a box of 24 60 watt light bulbs for $8 at Home Depot. While
>I laude the idea of CFLs, until they prove to me that the CFL bulb
>will actually last longer than an incandescent, I'm not switching
>until I have to. I have not yet had a CFL that has lasted longer than
>one year in any application I've used it in. I have many incandescents
>that have lasted longer than any CFL I've used. Not to mention the
>mercury in CFLs, the fact that you can't dump them in the waste
>stream, and no one wants to take them back when they are dead. 

These are very interesting points. I can second the fact that CFLs do
not last anywhere near as long as the hype on the package would lead
you to believe. And once I actually had one explode and scatter hot,
smoking pieces of itself all over the floor. On the other hand, I have
a 13w CFL that lives in a living room lamp that is never turned off, and
it is at least five years old. I suspect part of the life expectancy
issue is turning them on and off. Incandescents don't do well with that
either, but it seems to me that CFLs are worse.

It would be interesting to see a real life study of CFLs v.
incandescents v. LEDs v. halogen, v. everything else. How much energy
does it take to produce them? How much energy do they use? What is their
useful life? How can they be disposed of? Which is really greener,
taking all factors into consideration?

And I mean real world data, taking them off the shelf at Home Depot,
not some theoretical laboratory figure about how long they last and how
much energy they use. I suspect the results might be surprising. I'd
guess that CFLs would still win, but not by nearly as big a margin as
we've been led to believe by the advertising hype.

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