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Which is better, incandescent or CFL's? Read this, then decide.


This year the federal government began the phaseout of traditional incandescent lightbulbs, giving us yet another enlightening example of politicians short-circuiting free markets. The 100-watt bulb was banned on New Years Day of this year 2012, and all the rest will be by 2014. 

This prohibition of the standard lightbulb is justified on the grounds that it will save energy.  Well, if that were true, don't you think consumers would figure it out for themselves ? The chief replacement is the compact fluorescent lamp (CFLs)- you know, those things that look like glass corkscrews.  They cost from six to ten times the amount of the old bulbs, but Washington politicians assure us that consumers will ultimately save money because CFLs will last longer.

But they may not, warns experts such as Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute: "Cost savings are exaggerated.  First, the [new] bulbs are tested under ideal conditions.  Some household uses approximate these ideal conditions. Most do not. For example, if you turn a light on and off a lot, such as a bathroom light, you will save very little electricity because CFLs use a lot of electricity to start up. Second, CFLs tend not to last as long as advertised.  Therefore you end up replacing CFLs before they have achieved the savings needed to make up the [cost] difference [of the old-fashioned bulb]."

There's an even bigger problem: mercury, a poison.  Heaven help you if you break one of these things. Another branch of our ever expanding government, the EPA has numerous instructions on what you're supposed to do when this happens. Here an excerpt from their instructions-

1. Before Clean-up
     a. Have people and pets leave the room.
     b. Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outside.
     c. Shut off the central forced air heating and cooling system.
     d. Collect materials needed to clean-up broken bulb.
2. During Clean-up
     a. Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.
     b. Place clean-up materials in a sealable container.

It also goes into detail on how to handle vacuuming carpeting or rugs:

*The next several times you vacuum the rug or carpet shut off the HVAC system if you have one, close the doors to other rooms and open a window or door to the outside before vacuuming.  Change the bag after each use in this area.

*After vacuuming is completed, keep the HVAC system shut off and windows or doors to the outside open as practical, for several hours.

The EPA also has bulletins on what to do when the bulb burns out. You can't make this stuff up. Congress should promptly pass legislation to repeal this dangerous, anti-free-market piece of idiocy. 

Here's your tip on CFLs vs. Incandescent...

In rooms where lights are turned on and off frequently such as bathrooms, install fixtures with multiple sockets and use lower wattage incandescent bulbs in groups. Example- 6-lamp fixture using 25watt bulbs = 150watt, 4-lamp fixture using 40watt bulbs=160watt. The lower wattage bulbs burn cooler, last longer, and are still easy to find and purchase, and provide plenty of light over your vanity. 

Use CFL's in lamps, overhead fixtures, range hoods, anywhere lights are used for lengthy periods of time. CFL's are especially good in enclosed fixtures as they stay mostly cool to the touch.

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