This is it, I’ve had it with the CFL bulbs. We’re switching back to the regular incandescents. Here are my reasons for it:

  1. CFL’s NEVER last as long as advertised
    5 to 7 years you say? It’s such a scam! More like 5 to 7 months, if that. We tried Noma, Philips and Globe brands. Noma was the worst (about 2 months), Globe – the best (about 18 months). Frankly, if the bulbs lasted as long as they advertise, those companies would probably go bankrupt pretty quickly.

    True story: there was a Canadian company that made the best photo strobes that lasted 30-40 years. They guaranteed it and it was in fact true. That company is now out of business, not unlike the Maytag repair guy

    Since these bulbs are at least 6 times more expensive than regular ones and they don’t last much longer, the financial benefit is a myth. We switched half our bulbs 2 months ago to regular ones and our electricity bill was about 2% lower for some reason. The point is the bill did not go up.

    And if you don’t buy these bulbs in bulk, which of course is silly for all of us frugal people, you could be paying up to 15 times the cost of a regular bulb for one CFL.

  2. The split second of darkness
    With the ones that don’t start up right away you’re always wondering “Did I turn it on?” Though it only lasts for a brief moment, it’s very annoying
  3. The dim ages
    With the ones that do come on instantly, I have to rub my eyes for a few minutes and adjust my focus. While they’re warming up the light is very dim – and also, very annoying.
  4. Color temperature
    Yes, color temp has definitely improved in the past couple of years but it’s still nowhere near the variety and comfort I can get with incandescent bulbs. After awhile things start shifting and / or glowing in my eyes. More re-focusing.
  5. Health reason #1: EMF
    This should really be at the top of the list. Electro-magnetic frequencies travelling through and accumulating in our bodies. The first CFL bulb to go was the one on my night table. Another true story: I noticed I got headaches when sitting near it, 15 minutes of reading was enough.

    EMF’s are quite a bit more harmful than that. In addition to the headaches they cause other side-effects such as sleep problems, neurological disorders, and more. Sick people should limit their EMF exposure as they’re even more prone to their effects.

  6. Health reason #2: Mercury
    CFL bulbs contain mercury. I say if it’s there, it’ll evaporate, even if only a little bit. Mercury is harmful at very low doses and I don’t want to risk getting a depression in the name of supposedly helping the environment (oooh, so evil and selfish). Here’s some info from Energy Star Canada on the matter:

    If CFLs contain mercury, how can they be better for the environment than incandescent lights?

    Despite the presence of small amounts of mercury, CFLs provide significant environmental benefits compared to incandescent products. Here’s why:

    – CFLs use far less energy than incandescent bulbs, so they reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electrical generating stations powered by fossil fuels
    – CFLs last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, so fewer bulbs and less packaging ends up in landfills
    – the amount of mercury in a CFL is so small – less than one-fifth of the mercury found in a wristwatch battery – that it does not pose a significant threat to human health or the environment (nevertheless, CFLs should be handled with care and disposed of properly)
    – by decreasing the demand for electricity from coal-fired generation plants – one of the largest sources of mercury emissions in Canada – CFLs can actually reduce mercury levels in the environment

    To me this sounds that the relatively small health damage is worth it in the big picture. How about coming up with a better way? A way that doesn’t damage health and helps the environment? Is this too much to ask? I don’t know but that’s what I’d prefer.

I’m happy to get this off my chest, though I am breaking my New Year’s resolution to complain less. I’ll consider it a contructive criticism, not a complaint. Thanks for reading and let me know if you agree or disagree.