Thursday, August 23, 2007

Springy light bulbs

Living with CFLs is a neat guide to those of us thinking about switching to CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) and interested in learning more about them. I am about to buy a bunch of CFLs of varying wattage to replace some of the lamps in my apartment. Sadly, I'm told the dimmable CFLs are very expensive and not worth it, so the study will remain incandescent.


paperfrog said...

Actually, I think the dimmables have really come along. Just don't use a standard CFL in a dimmable incandescent fixture.

I use a big three-way CFL here in the office where Lighter Footstep is produced. Works very well.

We've just received our first LED bulbs, and will be reviewing them Friday.

Thanks for linking us. :-)

Pete O said...

I work in a windowless office, so I bought some full spectrum CFLs to keep my brain from getting some variant of SAD. My only complaint is that they have that blue color that CFLs are regrettably known for. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be enough of a market out there yet to cause someone to specifically produce a full-spectrum bulb with a warmer color.

cce said...

funny you bring this up, david -- i just recently read an interesting letter in the brown alumni magazine by a physicist challenging the conventional wisdom on CFLs as energy-saving panacea. his letter may seem a little back-of-the-envelopey, but this editorial Stop! DON'T "Ban the Bulb" by a Brit with a PhD in "Condensed Matter Physics" presents even more persuasive reasons to not feel bad so for preferring incandescent light (as well as some quick calculations illustrating typical household energy/CO2 figures).

we recently bought a bunch of CFLs of different types for our house, and i have to admit that i don't enjoy reading beneath any of them. though i should also admit that i'm easily swayed by the arguments of PhD holders.

David McClosky said...

Hmmm, yeah, it does seem to be a disproportional amount of effort and I agree with him on not banning the bulb. Two things, though: First, he almost makes it sound like driving 1.2mi/day less is mutually exclusive with switching to CFLs but there's no reason to not aspire to do both. Also, he doesn't consider the relative manufacturing CO2 costs of the different types of light bulbs -- the longer life of the CFLs should give them an advantage. I imagine this is not a huge factor either, but it would be interesting to know.